NHL Rumor Mill – May 27, 2022

by | May 27, 2022 | Rumors | 19 comments

A look at the Flames’ possible offseason decisions plus the latest roundup of Penguins speculation in today’s NHL rumor mill.


ESPN.COM: Greg Wyshynski believes the Calgary Flames’ offseason decisions will be tied to Johnny Gaudreau. The 28-year-old left wing had a career-best 115-point performance this season but he’s also slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 13.

Calgary Flames left wing Johnny Gaudreau (NHL Images).

The Flames must also sign restricted free agent wingers Matthew Tkachuk and Andrew Mangiapane. Tkachuk tallied 42 goals this season and Mangipane 35 goals.

Wyshynski observes the Flames have 12 players under contract for 2022-23. If general manager Brad Treliving tinkers with the roster it’ll likely be on the defense as the forward lines are deep and talented. He also mentioned center Sean Monahan has a year remaining on his contract with a cap hit of $6.375 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Flames have over $55 million invested in next season’s roster. Tkachuk is completing a three-year deal with an annual average value of $7 million but his actual salary for this season was $9 million, which will be the cost to the Flames to qualify his rights unless they can agree to a new deal before the July 11 qualifying offer deadline.

Mangiapane earned $2.425 million annually on his current deal and could be seeking a raise between $4.5 and $5 million per season. RFA Defenseman Oliver Kylington will be seeking much more than the $750K he earned this season.

That’s why there’s been speculation suggesting the Flames could trade or buy out Monahan to free up cap space. However, he underwent hip surgery several weeks ago and could be ineligible for a buyout if he’s not fully recovered by then. That would also affect efforts to trade him.

THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Giana Han wonders if the Flyers might be able to woo Gaudreau if he hits the open market in July. The South Jersey native grew up a Flyers fan and suggested back in 2017 that it would be “sweet” to play for them one day.

Han speculates Gaudreau could command between $9 million and $10 million on his next contract. NBC hockey analyst Keith Jones said adding the gifted winger would provide some real excitement for a fan base that hasn’t had much to cheer about lately. However, it would take a lot of cap maneuvering as well as hoping Gaudreau would accept a hometown discount.

The Flyers have over $77 million invested in 18 players next season with all their core players are under contract. They’ll have to shed a lot of salary to sign Gaudreau even if he accepts a hometown discount, which I doubt he will.


TRIBLIVE.COM: Seth Rorabaugh reported earlier this week that Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Ron Hextall’s priority remains re-signing pending UFAs Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang. He acknowledged his club’s limited salary cap space but remains hopeful of reaching agreements with both players, though there’s no timeline right now. Their statuses will reflect how the rest of the roster takes shape.

THE ATHLETIC: Josh Yohe reported Hextall said he’d focus elsewhere if he can’t sign Malkin but indicated his focus “first and foremost” is on the 35-year-old center. He wouldn’t commit to bringing back RFA forwards Danton Heinen and Kaspari Kapanen. He also indicated he’d be willing to have trade discussions regarding one of his left-handed defensemen to make room for Pierre-Olivier Joseph.

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Paul Zeise believes the Penguins better upgrade their goaltending if they’re bringing Malkin and Letang back. He doesn’t feel this season’s tandem of Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith (also a pending UFA) is good enough to carry the Penguins to the Stanley Cup, which should be the purpose of retaining Malkin and Letang.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dave Molinari believes the list of viable candidates to replace Letang starts and ends with the Dallas Stars’ John Klingberg.

THE ATHLETIC: Harman Dayal examined the cost for the Vancouver Canucks to acquire John Marino. He cited speculation from earlier this season suggesting the Penguins’ defenseman could be available for the right price. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported the Canucks kicked tires on Marino before the trade deadline. Dayal observed it’s no secret Canucks hockey ops president (and former Penguins GM) Jim Rutherford is a Marino fan.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins have $59.2 million invested in 16 players. Re-signing Malkin and Letang could eat up around $12 million to $14 million in cap space. The Penguins can afford it but it will hamper efforts to bolster their roster next season.

We could see Hextall shed some salary to make room for a younger defenseman like Joseph or to bring in depth in goal. Marino and his $4.4 million annually through 2026-27 could be an option.

There aren’t many palatable choices for goaltenders via free agency unless they’re bringing back Marc-Andre Fleury. The trade market is also thin on goalies this season.

Heinen played well enough to earn an affordable short-term deal perhaps. Kapanen, however, could end up on the trade block given his disappointing performance this season.


  1. I don’t think we will see Gaudreau in a Flames uniform next season. In 5 playoff appearances, Gaudreau and the Flames had zero success. So I think that both sides will agree that they both need to move on from each other. With the saving that the Flames will get from not signing Gaudreau, they can put towards extensions for Tkachuk and Mangiapane. Although, I don’t see getting Tkachuk (One season from UFA eligibility) signed as an easy thing. Especially after his comments this past offseason when Brady was negotiating his contract.

    • I wouldnt say zero success. That term should be reserved for the LeafsNet and TorontoSportsNetworks beloved 6 Straight First Round Exits Maple Leafs. At least the Flames won a round.

      I agree though that Johnny Hockey is likely gone. Where though remains to be seen. Chase the Cup? Or chase the $$?

    • The Flames.
      🍁Johnny Gaudreau has been a top 5 LW for the past 5 years…? the flames need him,

      As far a MathewTkachuk go’s he will test free agency 100%…..
      Dont be surprised to see him playing for His hometown St lous Blues in 2024…….🤔✔️

    • Johnny said he loves Calgary, can’t blame him great city to live in. I wouldn’t assume he bolts, unless somebody gets crazy with a UFA offer.

      Tkachuk didn’t impress me at all in the Oil series. Only time he was physical was after the whistle giving face washes, which accomplished nothing.

      More giveaways than Johhny, and half the takeaways. Plus Johnny is the transporter and generates the chances at a higher rate.

      Not saying the Flames need to choose one or the other, but if that is what they determine cap wise, I try and keep Johnny and move Tkachuk based on this years playoffs. They likely keep both, but add Tkachuk’s name to the list of young guys that need to learn how to step it up come playoff time.

      And yes, I am not a Matt Thachuk fan. Like his bro though.

    • Gaudreau walks (maybe), Sign Mangy and Kyller, and trade Matty!
      Matty to StLou for Kyrou, Perunovich, and a 2nd and they can have the headache of signing him too!
      If after trading Matty, you can sign Johnny for his $9M+, or the Flames can trade the rights to Johnny Hockey to Philly for a 3rd if no progress.

      • We are not giving up a 3rd to sign him, we dont have the cap space and it would be stupid to open up cap space just to sign him.

        We are not JG away from being a cup contender.

  2. The required qualifying offer for Kapanen is only $800K per Capfriendly’s qo calculator. Heinen’s is $1.1M.

    • Hi Cliff

      yes the $840 K and $1.1 M necessary QOs for Kappy and Heinen respectively are not much

      at only $90K over league min for Kappy; why not qualify him

      If he accepts the QO—- he can always be buried in WBS; showing nothing against Pens big club Cap

      Similar with Heinen— only $360 K over League min; and can be buried— if buried only $25 K total shows on Pens Cap

      Arbitration concerns— don’t like the result—- walk away

      Re Pens and can they afford both Tanger and Gino— I’ve posted many times before— numbers are there — can be done

      Big first step is the Zucker exodus

      If they can also move Marino (I would rather they try to move Dumo)…. that is a combined total of $10 M…. a great deal of space!!!!

      With $10 M

      • Pengy

        Suppose neither Letang nor Malkin resign with the Penguins ??

        Give you names of UFAs or players Penguins would have to acquired by trade :

        John Klingberg D

        Tyler Myers D

        Matt Dumba D

        John Manson D

        Vincent Trocheck C

        Nazem Kadri C

        Filip Forsberg C

        Anyone give opinions with these players or additional players.

      • Hi SK

        Really can’t see both not re-signing

        But if that does happen…. Manson and Kadri…. Won’t have to trade for them …. Straight UFA bids

        I’m still thinking 80% chance both are re-upped

        It’s the only NHL team they have ever been on; would need to upheave fam; Pens want them back; Sid wants them back

        Hard to believe that Pens final offer (when it comes) is so far away from their bottom line that both are motivated to leave just to net (take home) at best an extra $2M over 3 years…. Change in location will have costs associated with it

  3. Even with letang signed pens rd is thin after Marino. If tanger leaves? Can’t see Marino go.

    • Fully agree Chrisms

      Tanger gone— Marino absolutely MUST stay

      That said— I really think there is a fair shot that Tanger will stay

      If they then move Marino, Pens in huge need of quality RHD for RD2

      Friedman can easily handle all of 3RD needs

      Who comes in for RD2???

      Again all moves start with Zucker going B-Bye

      If (big if) they can move Dumo; along with Zucker gone…..combined Cap free up of $9.6 M. From the current showing on CapFriendly,

      if you remove Zucker and Dumo; and Zoho, O’Connor and Ruhweedel back down to WBS….that is $34.6 M to fill 8 Fwds, 3 D, 1 back up

      QO to Kappy, Heinen, bring up PO-J; and 2 WBS Fwd grads (could include Zoho???) ; sign UFA 7th D; and if you can re-sign Tanger/Gino/Rackell/E-Rod for $23 M combined; below is the roster; with ~ $7 M in space:

      Sid Guentz Rusty
      Gino Rackell ??
      Carter Heinen E-Rod
      Blueger McG Kappy
      *Two WBS grads

      Tanger Matheson
      Marino Petterson
      Friedman P-O J
      **UFA 7th Dman


      *pick any two from : Poulin, Nylander, Zoho, Legare, O’Connor

      so that is ~$7M left to get a back up and top 6 winger

      If they move E-Rod up with Gino/Rackell— then it is ~$7M to get a bottom 6 winger and a back-up

      would the Flower go for 2 years at $3.5 M (heavily laden with SB)? Should be able to easily get bottom 6 UFA winger for < $3M

      This all starts with Zucker gone; and then maybe Dumo

      Moving Marino certainly complicates things.

      The moves above are in HexBurkie's control…
      move Zucker & Marino; sign 3 UFAs (possibly just 2). The rest is promos (WBS) and re-ups.

      If they can't move Zucker— forgeddabowdid!!!

      • ooops

        “The moves above are in HexBurkie’s control…
        move Zucker & Marino”

        Should have been “….Zucker & Dumo”

      • Holl is your RD to replace Marino, Pens and Leafs will gladly help each other!

      • Hi JZ

        No please to Holl on Leafs or Pens

  4. Flames are a budget team. Maybe considered cheap even . Johnny has to be worth 9-10. Had a good playoff. Not sure he stays if Flames try to low ball him. That extra year will be a lot of money and Calgary’s only advantage .
    Trade Tkachuk (and I am a fan of his hockey’s IQ ) . Flames lack of secondary scoring not good enough for the playoffs. Where was Waldo Toffoli ?

    • The Flames have spent to the cap every year for some time now. Where are you getting this idea that they’re a budget team?

      • Who is their highest paid player this year? Who is their highest paid defence . That’s what I meant
        No 10”s no 9”s. They don’t pay any individuals big like many of the teams in the league

    • Strange definition of budget team. Agree on 2nd scoring, TT was a no show, as was Jarnkrok, that was a total miss.