Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – December 19, 2021
Will the Flames make any big moves? Does Joe Pavelski wish to stay with the Stars? Find out in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup
NOTE: The NHL’s holiday roster freeze begins at 11:59 PM EST on Sunday, Dec. 19 and lifts at 12:01 am EST on Tuesday, Dec. 28.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I wouldn’t expect very much trade activity leading up to the holiday freeze given the increasing number of players testing positive for COVID-19 and game postponements.
This situation is also dominating NHL news and the rumor mill. Pundits have shifted their focus toward speculation over whether the league will pause the schedule and the implications of doing so for the remainder of the season, including participation in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Hailey Salvian was asked if she thought the Calgary Flames would make a big splash before the March 21 trade deadline or a series of small moves to shore up their roster.
Salvian believes they’d like to add a depth defenseman and a high-impact forward. Regarding the latter, she observed there are several good potential rental options such as the San Jose Sharks Tomas Hertl, Anaheim Ducks’ Rickard Rakell, Nashville Predators’ Filip Forsberg and the Seattle Kraken’s Jared McCann. However, limited salary cap space could restrict them to instead make more affordable depth moves.
Asked if the Flames could bring in winger Evander Kane from the San Jose Sharks, Salvian said she wouldn’t make that move if she were the general manager. His off-ice issues raise too many questions plus he has an expensive $7 million cap hit.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames attempted to acquire Jack Eichel earlier this season from the Buffalo Sabres. They were outbid by the Vegas Golden Knights but that could leave lingering conjecture that Flames general manager Brad Treliving will try to swing a major deal before the trade deadline.
However, the Flames are doing well thus far this season. Despite having games postponed they’re still third in the Pacific Division. Treliving could be reluctant to make a big move if his club is still in the thick of the playoff race, perhaps preferring a couple of affordable rental depth options.
Even if Treliving remains in the market for a big deal I share Salvian’s view that it won’t be Kane. Assuming the Flames GM could find a way to make the dollars work the 30-year-old winger has too much personal baggage.
THE MERCURY NEWS: Curtis Pashelka recently shot down any hope San Jose Sharks fans might have had of seeing Joe Pavelski return as a free agent next summer. The still-productive 37-year-old winger said his No. 1 option is re-signing with the Dallas Stars. He indicated he and his family love it in Dallas and he really enjoys playing with the Stars.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly shows the Stars with over $23 million in projected salary-cap space for 2022-23. However, that will quickly evaporate if they intend on re-signing Pavelski and fellow UFAs John Klingberg, Braden Holtby and Alexander Radulov as well as restricted free agents Denis Gurianov and Jason Robertson. Pavelski might have to take a pay cut from his current $7 million annual average value to remain in Dallas.