NHL Rumor Mill – April 15, 2022
Vladimir Tarasenko reportedly wants to remain with the Blues plus the potential cost of Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau’s new contract in today’s NHL rumor mill.
REPORT: TARASENKO WANTS TO REMAIN WITH THE BLUES
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tarasenko became a fixture in the NHL rumor mill after requesting a trade last summer amid reports of his unhappiness over the treatment he received by the team’s medical staff for his shoulder surgeries. The Blues were believed to have had trade discussions last summer with several clubs but couldn’t find a suitable offer.
After two injury-shortened seasons, Taranseko is enjoying a bounce-back performance with 31 goals and 72 points in 67 games. The 30-year-old winger is signed through next season with an annual cap hit of $7.5 million and a full no-trade clause.
GAUDREAU HEADED FOR BIG PAY RAISE ON HIS NEXT CONTRACT
SPORTSNET: Rory Boylen looked at what Johnny Gaudreau’s next contract will look like. The 28-year-old Calgary Flames left winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 13. He’s earning $6.75 million annually on his current contract.
With Gaudreau enjoying a career-best 101-point (and counting) season and the Flames poised to clinch a playoff berth, he’s going to receive a significant raise on his next deal. Boylen speculates he could earn $8.5 to $9 million on a multi-year deal but wonders how his playoff performance might affect that number or if the Flames are willing to invest that much to sign him.
Further complicating things for the Flames is winger Matthew Tkachuk becomes a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer. It will cost the Flames $9 million to qualify his rights.
Flames management could be forced to choose between Gaudreau or Tkachuk. However, Boylen suggests they could garner cap relief to sign both by buying out the remaining year of center Sean Monahan’s contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Gaudreau camp could price him out of the Flames’ market if they push for well over $9 million annually by pointing to his performance this season. Tkachuk’s representatives could also do the same for their client.
Shedding Monahan’s $6.375 million cap hit for 2022-23 would go a long way to clearing space to re-sign Gaudreau and Tkachuk. Trading him would be preferable but the recent decline in his performance brought on by hip injuries would make it difficult to swing a cost-cutting deal.
That could leave buying out Monahan as the only reasonable option but that effort could be hampered by his recent season-ending hip surgery. They could place him on long-term injury reserve if he remains sidelined to start next season but would have to free up cap room at some point when he’s ready to return to the roster.