NHL Rumor Mill – July 18, 2022

by | Jul 18, 2022 | Rumors | 41 comments

A look at some potential offer-sheet candidates but recent speculation on Nazem Kadri, John Klingberg and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.


RDS.CA: Calgary Flames winger Matthew Tkachuk could be a top candidate to receive an offer sheet. The Flames have the cap space ($18.45 million) to match any offer. However, the 25-year-old Tkachuk’s future in Calgary remains uncertain and it’s unclear if he’d want to sign a long-term extension with the Flames. A bid of $10.5 million for one season would cost four first-round picks as compensation to the Flames.

Calgary Flames winger Matthew Tkachuk (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames could let Tkachuk go if a rival club made that bid and use those four first-rounders to put toward retooling their roster. The winger didn’t file for salary arbitration, making him eligible to receive an offer sheet.

That one-year offer sheet could also backfire on the team successfully signing Tkachuk away from the Flames. He could decide to test next summer’s unrestricted free agent market, leaving them without their first-round picks in the next four drafts. If a team is going to go for it, they’d better be sure that they can lock him up beyond 2022-23.

Dallas Stars winger Jason Robertson and goaltender Jake Oettinger could also prove tempting targets. The Stars have $11 million in cap space.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Both players are key parts of the Stars’ future and they don’t want to lose either guy. The club can afford to match for one but not both unless they’re willing to shed salary before the start of the season.

Winnipeg Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois and Columbus Blue Jackets winger Patrik Laine are two other possible offer sheet candidates.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dubois’ reported desire to test the UFA market in 2024 has sparked speculation that the Jets could trade him for the right return. He’s been tied to the Montreal Canadiens as his agent recently admitted his client would one day like to play for them.

Some observers wonder if the Habs will go the offer sheet route if efforts to acquire Dubois via trade fall through. With just $1.2 million in cap room and ongoing uncertainty over whether Carey Price ($10.5 million AAV) will play next season, they don’t appear to be in a position to make a competitive bid.

The Blue Jackets’ signing of Johnny Gaudreau last week left them with just over $2 million in cap space. Management indicated its intent to continue negotiations with Laine, who opted not to file for arbitration. However, he could prove a tempting option if a club is willing to pony up a hefty deal for over $9 million per season.


SPORTSNET: In the final “32 Thoughts” podcast of 2021-22, Elliotte Friedman reported hearing that Nazem Kadri is waiting for teams to clear salary-cap space to sign him. He thinks the Colorado Avalanche and New York Islanders could be among his suitors.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That would explain why Avalanche defenseman Samuel Girard ($5 million annual average value) has surfaced in trade rumors of late. Islanders winger Anthony Beauvillier ($4.15 million) was a fixture in the rumor mill last season but I haven’t seen his name being mentioned with their efforts to clear cap room for Kadri.

Speaking of the Islanders, Friedman believes they’re not done making moves. “They’ve been way too quiet,” he said.

Friedman also cast some doubt on reports suggesting the Calgary Flames could make Kadri a mega-offer. He thinks the two sides have talked but believes the Flames are trying to be careful in the aftermath of Johnny Gaudreau’s departure to Columbus via free agency.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As I’ve noted before, Kadri rejected a trade to Calgary by the Toronto Maple Leafs three years ago. Perhaps he feels differently now, especially if the Flames are willing to make a significant offer. That doesn’t seem to be the case based on Friedman’s assessment.

Jeff Marek believes the Detroit Red Wings could be the final destination for John Klingberg. However, he doesn’t think the Wings want to sign the 29-year-old free-agent defenseman to a long-term contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Klingberg is the other remaining notable in this summer’s UFA market. There was speculation also tying him to the Seattle Kraken. Like the Wings, they have the cap space to sign him. I doubt he will get between $7.75 million and $8.5 million per season that Marek had him seeking from the Dallas Stars last fall.

Friedman reported the Edmonton Oilers were trying to move Jesse Puljujarvi for a draft pick. He indicated that it’s difficult right now because the clubs with an interest in him have little or no cap space and didn’t want to make that deal.

According to Friedman, the New York Rangers were talking to the Vancouver Canucks and the St. Louis Blues. He asked them at the draft about their conversations with the Blues and they said they had nothing going on with St. Louis. Nevertheless, Friedman said he’d heard they were talking for a while.


  1. You really want help this club, get serious and go after Tkachuk If ever there was a franchise player. This is it. Course it’s Sweeney we’re talking about The crown prince of lethargy.

    • Ya. Bruins trade for Tkachuk Their 1st rd l pick and pasta or mcAvoy. Would be required then have to sign him over 10 mil year. Or in your mind . Foligno. Nosek. Reilly and a second. Lol

      • The other way around bud Pasta has scored more goals since drafted than 99% of the league. Mac is a top 5 d in the nhl

      • Paul

        My post was 100% sarcasm
        Wouldn’t trade either guy 1 for 1 for Tkachuk. Though love him as a player

  2. Tkachuk signs for a multi year deal or traded, and soon as possible in August Before any offer of any kind to Kadri.
    In hindsight Johnny at 10.5 would have hamstrung the Flames. This year and years to come .
    Klingberg in Ottawa or Detroit would be icing on their respective UFA cakes this’s summer

  3. We’ve all heard about Dubois and his intention to test the UFA market in 2 years. Tkachuk has said nothing, but I would imagine he’d prefer to keep his options open and wait to see which direction the Flames will go. So neither player will sign an offer sheet because the teams would likely match and they’d be stuck there long term.

    • Howard

      That sounds correct to me. Both want to control where they end up

  4. Have to feel for the flames got burnt by JG and not knowing the status of Tkachuk.

    Personally if i’m the flames i’m not to upset over the Johnny walk. That contract is only good for 3yrs Johnny will be 29yrs old in October.

    Tkachuk is a different story won’t be 25yrs old until Dec, need to lock him up long term.

  5. It was reported that Pasrtnak didn’t like how Sweeney handle things with his two good buddies in Krecji and Krug and wouldn’t sign long term if Sweeney was still the GM.

    The report wasn’t really denied the agent only said doesn’t know where it came from.

    If Sweeney is Bringing back Krecji does this make Pastrnak feel differently?

    The longer the negotiations drag on the more water the story hold.

    Pastrnak is 26yrs old so an 8yr contract isn’t the end of the world. Personally he had a terrible year, losing his young son. Still managed 40g and 77pts in 70gp

    I still don’t think he’s a $10m per player but i also don’t think McAvoy is a $9m per player. Maybe i’m just cheap or I want money to have a well balanced team.

    Understanding you need elite talent to win.

    • I think Pasta is definitely a 10M player, specially with the cap rising in the next few years.
      If he wants to sign at $10Mx8 then it should be a pretty straight forward play for sweeney.

    • Not sure they have to go 8 x $10?
      If they go 8 x $9 that means other teams would still have to go over $10.25 for 7 to beat them in total $.

      Ya I know he can sign another deal after the 7 years, but won’t be at the same value.

      Meet at $9.5 and get on with it or trade him.

    • If I’m the Habs, I have no rush to trade for Dubois. In fact, I’d purposely wait till the deadline at least. I don’t think Habs will be that good this year so my thinking would be let the season play out and see if they’re a lottery team. Have a chance at Bedard, Michkov, Fantilli or any of the other impact forwards in the top of the draft.

      If they’re surprising near the deadline, then talk to the Jets about a trade which would help them on their playoff chances. Win win for the Habs

      • They should definitely not overpay. Certain players, such as Suzuki, Caufield, Slafkovsky and possibly Guhle are of limits. But if they can make a good trade, on their terms, without giving up one of those players, they should go for it. Things can change quickly and opportunities must be grabbed when presented. I’m not a big believer in a team not making an otherwise reasonable move because it may possibly result in a lesser draft pick.

      • You’re right Howard the can’t over pay…after already doing so for Suzuki, Price, Anderson, etc

        Dollar value on a contract is important but not as much as its percentage towards the cap. That way you can better compare cap hits of good or bad players fairly since some guys pay can be more than cap hit for those very $$$ obsessed.

  6. I think Pasta will sign an 8 x 8.88 deal just before camp opens.

    • Pasta will want and get $10 mill per

      • I think he should and will take a home discount if he doesn’t so much for taking one for the team What’s wrong with 9 mill?.Quite frankly Joe I think Sweeney’s so far in over his head, I can’t see him getting out this.He is the worst gm in bruins history who should have been fired after the 2015 draft.

      • RWM…. Just look at all the UFA he signed in the last 4 years & what do you see ? Sweeney will not sign a big ticket UFA

      • And in fairness to Sweeney, how often does the big ticket UFA work out for the team?

        Can’t say Chara, as other than him it is the mid range guys that come to mind as being good for the term of the deal.

    • Nah, he will sign it 08/08 at 8pm

  7. Dubas needs to get Tkachuk in Toronto! Nylander and Kerfoot plus a prospect would get it done. That way when we sign Tkachuk after his RFA season we still 4 over priced forwards but at least one will be nasty and primed for playoff like hockey. Matthews has actually shown some tenacity as well which I believe would improve alongside his extremely pesky and talented American counterpart. Mind you seeing Nylander leave would be sad; which a couple of years ago I would not have admitted to. It’s just unfortunate that he is the one forward who will likely have to go and his salary is the best of the four!

    • You meant the Tkachuk in Ottawa, right? I couldn’t cheer for the brother ever.

    • Nylander isn’t grossly overpaid.
      Tkachuk would fit on any team and definitely the Leafs but there is no way the Leafs can afford him from a cap perspective, and thats after they somehow manage a competitive trade offer.
      Its just not happening with Tkachu’s salary expectations.

    • I don’t look at Tkachuk and see playoff performer. After the first game against the Oil where the Flames potted 9, Tkachuk was a no show.
      Wasn’t nasty, wasn’t tenacious, wasn’t even pesky.

      Last 4 games in that series which the Oil won all 4, when the Flames needed someone to step up, he had 1 assist and was -5.

      Didn’t disrupt, didn’t do anything. Maybe he was worried about Kane or Kassian?

      Not saying he never will become a playoff performer, just that he hasn’t yet.

      Will be interested to see how much offence he generates without Johnny driving the play on that line.

      • Apparently he had injured his hand early in the Dallas series Ray.

        Who knows if he had any other injuries. Most NHLers play hurt.

      • That would explain not getting engaged like he does in regular season Sparky.
        Wonder what Treliving does if he won’t sign a long term extension?
        That’s a tough call, but I think he needs to move him?

      • I totally agree Ray. They need to put a deadline for a deal and if they can’t make one happen, don’t drag it out, trade him.👍

  8. Tkachuk will end up in St. Louis. This really shouldn’t be a shock. Tkachuk has stated multiple times he wants to play for the Blues and Robert Thomas and he are pretty tight. IMO it will be done in UFA next season, as St. Louis will have close to 25 million in open cap space.

    • That is what Philly fans said

      • My best guess is that he would have been in Philly right now if they had the cap space.
        That DeAngelo deal with what he gave up for an RFA and then that contract under a coach like Torts is so risky.
        Very Very high risk for medium to high reward.

      • Yeah, you would need a crystal ball to say for sure.

        I’m just saying there is no guarantee he is going to St. Louis. Possible, for sure.

  9. Lyle,
    I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for this blog. In season, it’s the quickest way to know the latest news and rumors. But when I really appreciate your efforts is between UFA signing day and the first day of training camp when there’s so little to report. Yet, you give us good things to read every day.

    • Did Lyle pay you to say this? Lol

      • Thanks, Paul. I appreciate your support and everyone else who visits this site.

        P.S. – Your check is in the mail…;)

    • Well said, Paul. I agree. Thanks, Lyle! I appreciate all the news and analysis on this site.

  10. No player is worth $10.5M except for the mcdavid’s and matthew’s etc. Especially when the cap is projected to be flat for the next several years. JG did the flames a favour by walking. Tkachuck is a very good player but not sure tag him as a franchise player. Not sure he makes those around him better. Teams that mange there internal cap structure are usually the teams that are successful year after year. Boston and Tampa Bay are perfect examples.

    • It won’t be long until there are several players pulling down $10MM/season. Within the decade, all top players will make at least that much.

    • Projected to be flat. Seattle is here and covid is moving behind us. Revenues are going up. They tend to take the cap with them.

  11. My take on the PL Dubois situation.

    a) Chevy is going to trade Dubois no earlier than at the trade deadline or more likely at the draft next year. He will want to see what Montreal’s draft picks actually are to maximize his return.

    b) IF, the Habs place the “C” upon Suzuki’s jersey this fall, Dubois will go into Super Sulk Mode because he will feel the Habs should have waited to give it to him.

    c) Dubois, because of the reason above, will finish out his next two years with any team but Montreal. Once he becomes an UFA that summer, he will immediately sign with the Bruins giving the Habs the proverbial bird for dissing him!!!

    • Uwey,

      I tend to agree with you on a). Unless Chevy gets blown away by an offer (unlikely), he’ll try to keep PLD in the fold another year. He will hope that he can get PLD to change his mind about wanting to leave Winnipeg (not likely either). But there’s always a chance that the acrimony between player and club could build to the point that he can’t wait that long.
      I trust you were being sarcastic with b) and c). Because they are nonsense.

      • Dead serious with b & c.

        Dubois has yet to show that he doesn’t feel entitlement.

        His last couple of shifts with the Blue Jackets tells me all I need to know about his character.