NHL Rumor Mill – March 16, 2023
Does Trevor Zegras have a long-term future with the Ducks? Which Flames could become offseason trade chips? What could the Kings do with Cal Petersen? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.
DOES ZEGRAS HAVE A FUTURE IN ANAHEIM?
TORONTO STAR: Nick Kypreos questions whether Trevor Zegras has a long-term future with the Anaheim Ducks after listening to Hall-of-Famer Adam Oates, the 21-year-old center’s skills coach. “There’s a difference between Instagram skill and regular skill and I’m trying to get the Instagram out of there,” said Oates.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Oates was interviewed by Kypreos and Justin Bourne on their podcast on Tuesday. He acknowledged that Zegras has highlight-reel skills but he felt there’s a time and place for Zegras to try them. Oates added that the young center has responded positively about the issue during their discussions and acknowledged he still has much to learn.
I doubt that this will have an effect on Zegras’ future with the Ducks. He’s their leading scorer this season with 57 points in 68 games on a club that’s rebuilding with young talent that includes Mason McTavish and Jamie Drysdale. They also have promising prospects such as Pavel Mintyukov, Olen Zellweger, Nathan Gaucher and Tristan Luneau in their pipeline.
Negotiations between Ducks management and Zegras over his next contract could be cause for concern. He’s completing his entry-level contract and his camp will undoubtedly push for a significant raise on his next deal. The outcome of those discussions could become a determining factor in his long-term future with the club.
It wouldn’t be surprising if he and the Ducks agree to a lucrative eight-year contract. At the very least I anticipate he’ll be playing for them for at least the next four seasons.
LATEST FLAMES SPECULATION
McKenzie doesn’t expect either player to be shopped, pointing out they were brought in last summer with the idea that the Flames wanted to be competitive for the next little while. He also doesn’t expect two forwards who will be over 30 next season carrying expensive long-term contracts would fetch much of a return even if with some salary retained in the deal.
More realistic trade chips will be players on expiring contracts next season such as Mikael Backlund, Noah Hanifin, or Chris Tanev. If Brad Treliving remains as general manager, however, McKenzie wouldn’t be surprised if he hangs onto his core.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames could face another interesting offseason. Big changes could be coming if Treliving is let go as general manager. Then again, perhaps Treliving shakes things up a bit if he stays. They’ll definitely be worth keeping an eye on this summer.
WHAT WILL THE KINGS DO WITH PETERSEN?
THE ATHLETIC: Eric Stephens recently wondered what the Los Angeles Kings will do with Cal Petersen. General manager Rob Blake bet big on Petersen taking over from Jonathan Quick as the Kings’ starting goaltender, signing him in 2021 to a three-year, $15 million contract that began this season.
Petersen, however, struggled this season, so much so that Blake sent him to the minors. He brought in Pheonix Copley and traded Quick to the Columbus Blue Jackets as part of the deal for Joonas Korpisalo and defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov.
Unless there’s a desire by the Kings to trade the 28-year-old Petersen, Stephens believes helping him get back on track is their priority. They re-signed Copley for next season but Korpisalo is slated to become a UFA this summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Kings re-sign Korpisalo they’ll be trying to move Petersen this summer though they might end up having to retain some salary to do so. His 10-team no-trade clause could also complicate things.