NHL Rumor Mill – July 22, 2022
Another list of possible trade destinations for Matthew Tkachuk plus the Blue Jackets are trying to clear cap space for Patrik Laine. Check out the details in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.
MORE TRADE DESTINATIONS FOR MATTHEW TKACHUK
SPORTSNET: Mike Johnston included the Florida Panthers, New York Rangers and Ottawa Senators on his list of potential trade destinations for Matthew Tkachuk.
The 24-year-old restricted free agent winger is expected to be traded soon after informing the Calgary Flames that he wouldn’t sign a long-term contract with them. Meanwhile, the date for the Flames’ club-filed arbitration hearing with Tkachuk is scheduled for Aug. 11.
Johnston noted that Tkachuk reportedly submitted a list of five or six teams with whom he’d be willing to sign a long-term contract. It’s uncertain which teams are on that list. Johnston also included the St. Louis Blues, Vegas Golden Knights, New Jersey Devils, Nashville Predators, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings and New York Islanders.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I already addressed whether the Blues, Golden Knights, Devils, Predators, Stars, Red Wings and Islanders could acquire Tkachuk in the July 21 rumor mill and with The Hockey News. I’ll add that the Predators signing Nino Niederreiter yesterday to a two-year, $8 million contract suggests general manager David Poile isn’t pursuing a big fish like Tkachuk.
Detroit Hockey Now’s Kevin Allen poured cold water on the idea of the Red Wings acquiring Tkachuk. He believes the Flames won’t be interested in Tyler Bertuzzi (a UFA in 2023) as part of the return while Wings GM Steve Yzerman won’t part with promising youngsters like Lucas Raymond and Simon Edvinsson.
Florida Hockey Now’s George Richards believes the Panthers’ limited cap space makes it difficult for them to land Tkachuk. While Richards suggested that could be accomplished by trading Jonathan Huberdeau and perhaps MacKenzie Weegar to the Flames, he doesn’t expect the Flames are interested in players a year away from UFA eligibility.
Larry Brooks of the New York Post shoots down the Rangers as a destination. “They have neither the cap space nor the means to create it,” he writes. “Wishing it so doesn’t make it achievable.”
The Ottawa Senators have the cap space and the depth in young players and prospects to entice the Flames. Matthew might love the idea of playing alongside younger brother Brady in Ottawa through 2028 when the latter becomes an unrestricted free agent.
However, the Senators already acquired a 40-goal scorer in Alex DeBrincat. Their focus now is on adding a top-four defenseman.
BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Joe Haggerty believes the Bruins aren’t really in any position to make a blockbuster move to acquire Tkachuk. The only logical scenario would be a one-for-one swap with David Pastrnak going to Calgary but sources say the Flames wouldn’t be interested in that kind of deal unless Pastrnak signed a contract extension. He also pointed out the Bruins already have two top-six left wingers in Brad Marchand and Taylor Hall.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see the Bruins calling the Flames about Tkachuk. They’re already engaged in extension talks with Pastrnak and reportedly still talking contracts with Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci.
MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy considers it extremely unlikely that the Montreal Canadiens will be among the suitors for Tkachuk. Lack of cap space and the Flames’ anticipated high asking price take them out of the equation.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not to mention the Canadiens probably aren’t on Tkachuk’s wish list.
BLUE JACKETS TRYING TO CREATE CAP ROOM FOR LAINE
THE ATHLETIC’S Aaron Portzline tweeted yesterday that Columbus Blue Jackets winger Patrik Laine has until 5 pm ET on July 22 to accept his qualifying offer. If he does, the Jackets can still sign him to a contract extension but they’d have to wait until Jan. 1 to do so.
The Blue Jackets are actively trying to shed salary to make room for Laine’s new contract in the aftermath of signing Johnny Gaudreau last week. If the winger doesn’t accept the qualifying offer, his agent and the Jackets can continue to negotiate a long-term deal, allowing the club more time to shed salary
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I touched on the Blue Jackets’ need to clear cap space for Laine earlier this week with The Hockey News. My guess is they’ll try moving veteran winger Gustav Nyquist and his $5.5 million cap hit.