NHL Rumor Mill – April 19, 2022

by | Apr 19, 2022 | Rumors | 33 comments

In today’s NHL rumor mill, an update on Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau’s contract situation plus some off-season goaltender targets for the Sabres.


CALGARY SUN: On Sunday, Wes Gilbertson reported Flames general manager Brad Treliving promised his club’s fans that he will “move heaven and earth and do everything we possibly can” to sign Johnny Gaudreau to a new contract. Gaudreau, 28, becomes eligible for unrestricted free agent status on July 13. He’s in the midst of a career year with 107 points and a key reason why the Flames are sitting atop the Pacific Division as the regular season draws to a close.

Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau (NHL Images).

We’re going to do everything we humanly possibly can to have him be back here and be a Flame for a long, long time,” said Treliving. The Flames GM praised Gaudreau for how well he’s performed under head coach Darryl Sutter.

TSN: Pierre LeBrun said Treliving had better move heaven and earth because that’s what it’s going to take to sign Gaudreau. He indicated there’s nothing new regarding his contract talks, pointing out the two sides agreed to pick up those conversations following this season.

LeBrun said there’s been “really good dialogue” all season long and there’s still time to sign him after this season. He also praised both sides for the lack of drama regarding this situation. It hasn’t proved to be a distraction.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s going to cost the Flames a lot of money to keep Gaudreau in Calgary. His performance this season (sitting third overall in league scoring) has pushed his value much higher than it would’ve been last summer. At that point, I think the Gaudreau camp would’ve sought between $8 and $9 million annually. Now, it could be closer to $10 million annually on a long-term deal. Maybe the Flames can get it close to $9 million by selling Gaudreau on an eight-year contract, something he can’t get on the open market where the limit is seven years.

Complicating things is the Flames’ cap space for next season. Cap Friendly shows them with $55.4 million invested in 12 active players. That gives them plenty of space to re-sign Gaudreau, but they’ve got Matthew Tkachuk, Andrew Mangiapane and Oliver Kylington due for new deals this summer as restricted free agents with arbitration rights.

That’s why there’s speculation the Flames could attempt to trade Sean Monahan, who has a year remaining on his contract with a cap hit of $6.375 million and a 10-team no-trade clause. Muddling things further, however, is Monahan’s declining performance over the past two years and his recent season-ending hip surgery.

Trading Monahan to shed salary could prove very difficult. Buying him out this summer won’t be an option if he hasn’t fully recovered from his surgery during that period and he doesn’t agree to go along with it.


THE BUFFALO NEWS: Lance Lysowski examined some potential off-season goalie targets for the Sabres if 40-year-old Craig Anderson decides not to return next season.

The Sabres have the cap space to overpay for an experienced netminder on a short-term deal. However, there are few options in this summer’s UFA market. That list includes Darcy Kuemper, Mikko Koskinen, Jaroslav Halak, Braden Holtby, Ville Husso, Joonas Korpisalo, Casey DeSmith, Tomas Greiss and David Rittich. Most have endured recent struggles while the others might not want to sign with the Sabres.

Lysowski believes they might have better luck in this summer’s trade market. Options could include the Los Angeles Kings’ Jonathan Quick, New York Islanders’ Semyon Varlamov, Anaheim Ducks’ John Gibson or the New York Rangers’ Alexandar Georgiev.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As per Cap Friendly, the Sabres have a projected $40 million in cap space for 2022-23. They’ll have to spend to reach a cap floor that could be close to $61 million. Their ongoing struggles and perpetual rebuild could make them a difficult sell to potential free agents or as preferred trade destinations for the others.

Quick lacks no-trade protection but he only has a year remaining on his contract and it wouldn’t surprise me if Kings management lets him finish it in Los Angeles. Varlamov has a 16-team no-trade list and Gibson a 10-team no-trade list. Lysowski suggested Georgiev’s inconsistent play this season might not make him enticing for the Sabres.


  1. Lyle,

    I wish that you and Lysowski would include BINNINGTON and not HUSSO on the potential “short list” for the Sabres! Wishful thinking…..


    • Be careful what you wish for.

  2. A trade for Monahan will help the Buffa-slugs to reach the cap floor.
    Sean + 1st for a 7th

    • There is ZERO chance trading Monahan brings back a first. Read the article again, or any others detailing his dramatic collapse in performance. There are homers and then there is you.

      • Hi Pete

        I think JZ was inferring Flames “sweetening” the deal by giving the first; not Sabres sending the first

        My read of JZ’s proposal was

        Cgy 1st + Monaghan (@full Whack); for Sabres 7th

        I still think best move is retains 1/2 … several bidders

      • I think you may be right Pengy. I don’t touch that player or contract. I wonder if he’ll be forced into retirement?

      • Ain’t no one forcing him into retirement. He could ride out ltir though…

      • Yep the injury makes him easier to trade if long term.
        I think the proposal is fair only a year left and maybe the surgery actually helps him get his wheels back.

        Good team mate by the sounds of things, not the worst thing to have around young players.

        If he would go there, but a chance to play in a decent role, if healthy, helps him get a new deal.

      • Maybe you should learn how to read Pete. In that trade offer, the Sabres also get a first to take on the contract

    • I dont see the problem, well I do, but there is an easy solution. As soon as FA starts, Lucic get his bonus and he salary is only 1m. Trade him and free up cap, he might actually bring something back since Lucic is still worth 1m+, not by much but still. Good guy in the locker room and is kind of an enforcer, still good hands, just a little slow

  3. Article failed to include soon to be UFA All Star and Vezina candidate Jack Campbell on the list of potential signings for the Sabres.

    • REALLY???? SERIOUSLY??? Only leaf fans would think their goalie who is 9th in GAA and 34th in Save Percentage is Vezina worthy. Lay off the Kool-Aid and maybe pay attention to the all the articles about the leafs’ concerns about shaky goaltending.

      • Ron forgot the sarcasm font again. LOL

      • Pete, if you want to comment on what others have said please take the time to carefully read their comments and consider the context. You blew it on Johnny Z’s Monahan trade proposal and you blew it on Ron’s comment mocking the report from a FOX affiliate who said the Leafs could win all the hardware, including the Vezena.

  4. First round pick instead of a buyout option don’t think so.
    maybe a good prospect not named Pelletier . Kylington came out of no where . A team friendly show me bridge is in order.
    Is it just me or is there a goal tender shortage ?

    • There definitely is next year. Will be an interesting off season.

  5. If somehow Monaghan comes off LTIR pre window for buyout….

    Still better to trade (retaining 50%) than buyout

    Cap savings buyout (in 22/23) saves additional (over trade @ 50%) $800K in Cap; BUT deadcap of extra $2M in 23/24…. AND trade @ 50% will get something (anything) in return; with zero Cap hit in 23/24

    Receiving team gets a player in desperate need of proving himself for his UFA year, for next contract; a C that can play W; fair size; only 1 year contract; he is 2 years removed from 6 straight 25+ goal seasons (82 G pace in 19/20) ….. for 1 year at $3M cash ; $3.2 M Cap…. Should be a few suitors

    Re GMBT and “ move heaven and earth and do everything we possibly can” … publicly stating that guarantees he’ll have to do that now to keep him

    3rd in League, 107 pts…. Should be a Hart candidate…. I would think Johnny Hockey’s agent opening (will come down after) ask is $10.5 M * 8

    7 @ $9 M not cutting it

    To keep him… I’m guessing 8 @ $9.5 M

  6. People are quick to throw players under the bus. Monahan has likely been playing with a nagging hip injury for a while, bad hips don’t just happen overnight. Dealing with lingering injuries is a PITA in everyday life for the average Joe but can you imagine how frustrating it is for a pro athlete who cannot compete to the level they know they should and then they get ripped by the fans and the press?
    He had the surgery to repair damage , he rehabs and comes back strong next season or if he cannot play up to expectations goes on LTIR. I get the advantage of having the 6+ million to sign players in the offseason but giving up 1st round picks, eating 50% in a trade or buying him out is not the way to go IMO. Give him a chance to get well and go from there.

    • Calgary’s 1st to get rid of $6.375M cap hit and to be able to sign Johnny and Matt is a good trade-off. AZ and Buffalo will gladly take that to reach the cap floor and have room for cap-strapped teams to make more deals with them.

      • Like Pengy, I too see Johnny signing at $9.5M x8. Matt’s deal will $8.5M x 4, and it may take a while to get there.

      • Detroit would be happy to take fully salary for a year and a first in hopes the hip surgery helps him recover some of his game.

    • I agree Fergy, Did these people suggest the same trade/buyout options for Jamie Benn, Seguin,Krecji, Pastrnak or Kucherov when they were having hip problems?

      What about when Crosby was having concussion issues or McDavid damaged his knee?

      Monahan ,granted is not the same stature as most of the above, but he has had a solid career and is young enough to bounce back.

      • They arnt comparable situations. The only reason the trade buy out is coming up is that two other superstars need paid and the cap is problematic for that.

  7. Love me some Johnny hockey but let’s watch playoffs than decide on contract. Personally I wouldn’t go over 5 years I know it’s hard to let him walk but 8 years is nuts.

    • Cap space has been at a premium for all of those teams over the years.

      You don’t give away 1st round picks or buy good young players out just because they got injured.
      Either trade for asset ( even cap space) but if he is that badly hurt use Ltir and get the space that way.

    • Will be interesting to see how the little guy performs in the playoffs.

  8. Monahan had better come back from surgery and be able to prove he’s healthy at camp. Otherwise he’s on Ltir next year until his contract expires.
    The Flames will give him the choice of Ltir or the minors.
    No way they hold 50% for 2 years and sign the players above. Jmo

    • Hi Isotopes

      Re: “The Flames will give him the choice of Ltir or the minors.”

      He is either on LTIR (Dr sign-off, league sign-off) or healthy enough to play

      If not on LTIR, Flames can send him down without his consent (he lacks an NMC). He’d have to clear waivers but no team is gambling $6.4 M Cap and $6 M cash on a player that may or may not come back at that cash/cap level’s worth. And— waiving/sending him down only saves $1.07 M (buried); the rest stays against cap

      To me— if healthy by/during the buyout period; there are 5 options

      1) Trade him at full whack— would cost at least a 1st (maybe more) as a sweetener— not worth it IMHO

      2) Keep him, hope that he plays up to his Cap hit; and that there is enough space for re-upping the players they want to keep— longshot, and not worth it IMHO

      3) Send him down— only saves $1.07M off of Cap— not worth it IMHO

      4) Buy him out— saves $4M in Cap in 22/23; but has a dead cap hit of $2M in 23/24; and get nothing in return

      5) Trade, retain 50%— only loses $800 K in Cap space vs #4 (buyout), NO Cap hit in 23/24, and get something (anything ) in return— at 50% – there should be suitors (plural) willing to gamble on him (2 years removed from 6 straight 25+ goal seasons (82 G pace in 19/20)… and in a must prove himself scenario)

      I think #5 is the best option

      If still on LTIR as at the end of buyout….

      Obviously #4 is off the table. #5 still the best option— more suitors in that since he is on LTIR, they are not gambling any Cap as at time of trade; and if he stays on LTIR for the entire 22/23 season- benefit of the LTIR space.

      Worst case, he comes back, $3.2 M Cap hit, and plays at his level of 21/22 (not that good). Best case they get a 25 G C (who can play wing) absolutely needing to prove himself for his next contract…. At only $ 3.2 M… that is — best case is a very good performing 3C that spare in at 2C when needed and/or top 6 wing.

      Re: “hold 50% for 2 years and sign the players above”— they would only be holding 50% for one year… his contract only goes to 1/7/23…. so at 50%— retaining $3.2 M in Cap,$3 M cash for 22/23 only

      • What about a #6 option that solves Calgary’s cap issues? 4th line toughness and 3C’s exchanged.

        Lucic and Monahan plus a 1st for
        Smith and Suter from the Wings.

  9. Top Priority for the 🍁 Edmonton Oilers this July is to get a #1 Goaltender signed up, there a re a few good ones mentioned, as Mikko Koskanain is done🙈 and Mike Smith my Reiite💊.

    Top 3 UFA’s, would be…
    🧹The Leafs, Jack Campbell,
    🧹The Avs, Kuemper,
    🧹The Blues Husso,

    Most teams have Cap space, but not lots for Goaltenders… these 3 Goaltenders will fall in the $4.75 .M to $6.M range ⁉️

    Top 3 Trades would be…
    NYI, Semyon Varlamov, Ducks’ John Gibson or NYR Back up Alexandar Georgiev.

    The Rest are Expericed back up Goaltenders

    Re the Ducks..?
    I’m Not sure if i see the Ducks trading Gibson…❓
    as there Re-build is further along than most with lots of young talent there, and on the way with lots of picks and prospects

    They have 2X 1st round picks & 2nd rd picks in this Draft 2022 coming up.❗️
    They also have $40. Million in Cap space with no big ticket to Sign,
    They have a Great selection of top talented Forwards goming up
    They do need 2 top D/men to play 2, & 4 or 5th spot
    and not sure what they have coming in young goaltenders maybe they go after young Gorgiev from the NYR..?

    • Hi Wiliiew

      The Jack Campbell of the first part of 21/22 would certainly have been of interest to the Oil for 22/23 +, but that Jack Campbell would also already be in serious discussions with Dubas

      The Jack Campbell of the last 2-3months, perhaps NOT what the Oil need in a starter

      I’m not sure Oil have the space to compete in market to get Keumper— if he wins the cup—- forgedddddahbowdit

      Husso is going to be in very high demand— and I believe Iowa Prince is going to do all in his power to ensure he stays a Blue

      Gibson at just a bit over 900 save percentage for the last years; and with a Cap hit of $6.4 M through the end of 26/27; should not be of interest to Oil

      Varly probably a good option in trying to get via trade. GMLL does not realistically need $9M in goalies. Sorotkin, younger,better, cheaper, longer contract

    • Next year’s a different story but Oilers fans must feel a lot better about the playoffs this year with the way Mike Smith’s got it going.

  10. I watch most Flames games or at least parts of. Monahan lists of injury is lengthy. This hip this year the other hip last and his wrist prior to that. He is labouring physically. Very apparent except to the casual viewer or one who only looks at stats . Slower and less zip on his shot. He didn’t lose his hockey sense from 3 years ago. Slightest of difference makes a big difference in The NHL . I doubt any club who also uses the eye test would have any material interest unless proven healthy