NHL Rumor Mill – March 24, 2023

by | Mar 24, 2023 | Rumors | 14 comments

Could tension between Flames coach Darryl Sutter and center Nazem Kadri force management to make offseason changes? Could the Flyers end up shopping some right wings in the summer trade market? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: Steve MacFarlane cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman recently reporting of possible friction between Flames head coach Darryl Sutter and center Nazem Kadri having an adverse effect on the latter’s production this season.

Calgary Flames center Nazem Kadri (NHL Images).

Friedman cited Kadri’s limited minutes in three recent games where he saw less than 14 minutes of ice time, including their 8-2 blowout loss to the Los Angeles Kings. He believes Kadri’s blunt nature could be behind the reduction in his playing time and led to frustration between the center and Sutter boiling over in that Kings’ game.

MacFarlane noted Kadri’s been in a scoring drought since Feb. 18 and had just two goals in his previous 23 games before scoring on Thursday against the Vegas Golden Knights. He wondered if that means it was time for a change and if the Flames’ ownership has the stomach to make the right ones.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kadri downplayed the conjecture about tension between himself and Sutter, claiming his relationship with the Flames coach was fine. He also observed that there’s lots of speculation in Canadian NHL markets but was putting his focus on the game.

MacFarlane pointed out that Kadri was acquired last summer to help improve the Flames, especially during this point in the season when they’re jockeying for a playoff spot. His reduced playoff time and popgun offense could be attributable to age, the wear and tear of a long season or an ongoing adjustment to a new team and coach.

Whatever the cause, Kadri’s struggles are among the reasons why the Flames are in danger of missing the playoffs. That could spark some offseason changes but I doubt Sutter or Kadri will be part of it. It could be in the front office starting with general manager Brad Treliving, who built this club, brought back Sutter and signed Kadri last summer.


PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Sam Carchidi reports the Flyers possess a deep group of right wingers. They include Travis Konecny, Cam Atkinson, Owen Tippett, Tyson Foerster, Wade Allison and Bobby Brink.

If the Flyers move one of them this summer, Carchidi believes it’ll be to bolster their depth at center, left wing and defense. The center position, however, could improve if Sean Couturier is healthy for next season and promising Cutter Gauthier is ready to make the jump to the NHL.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flyers head coach John Tortorella’s recent cryptic comments about the need for subtraction before adding in younger players could provide grist for the rumor mill. He felt that some of the young players had improved and some hadn’t. “Some of the veteran guys hadn’t,” he added.

I still believe the more likely trade candidates are veterans like center/left winger Kevin Hayes and defenseman Ivan Provorov. Still, we don’t know yet what interim general manager Daniel Briere has in store for his roster.

Maybe Briere will move one of those right wingers mentioned by Carchidi. Konecny would draw the most interest and has the best trade value but he played very well under Tortorella so I can see them hanging onto him. Atkinson was sidelined by injury for the entire season so they might want to see how he performs in 2023-24.

They’ll likely hang onto Tippett and Foerster but Allison could become the odd man out here, especially if they’re looking at promoting Brink next season.


  1. Coach Sutter has lost the Team in Calgary thats for sure❗️
    Brad Treliving the GM has No Contract after this season…, nothing being said about ether situation
    lots of changes coming down the pipeline in Cowtown

    None of the players seam happy and are not playing well they are all in a Slump.

    the New players they just signed…
    Nazem Kadri $49.M,
    Jonathan Huberdeau $84M,
    MacKenzie Weegar $50.M
    =$183.M dollars…‼️

  2. Shouldn’t it have been a huge red flag that 2 of the best players in the league were wanting to leave one of the top teams in league after each having record seasons? …It’s funny, I’m a big fan of Torts, but don’t like Sutter all that much… even though they run their teams similarly.

    • what is this, Twitter? I expect these type of bot replies there.

  3. Why is the coach always the fall guy. Kadri and Hebedeau need to play harder and more consistent.
    Sutter is hard nosed and knows how to get players where they need to be. The athletes today want to be babied but not with Sutter

  4. This is what happens when you sign a player like Kadri, who had one outlier season in 21-22, playing with some of the best players in the game.
    Kadri Career before last season .64 points per game.
    Last season 1.23
    This season .68
    Is it the coach or is it Kadri regressing back to his career average?

    • Brian, you failed to notice that Kadri carried the 21/22 team for months while McKinnon was out. Not the other way around.
      Without Kadri, there would not have been a championship. Look at the team this year without Kadri.
      It’s okay if you don’t like the player, but give credit where it’s due.
      I wouldn’t have expected him to duplicate last season, but he could still be a great player if put in the right situation.
      Regardless, they are stuck with him after overpaying on his contract, unless they retain, and no GM will admit to that mistake and retain a year into a long term contract.

      • What are you talking about? Kadri did not carry the Avalanche for months.

        2021 regular season scoring stats without MacKinnon:

        Rantanen: 36 goals
        Makar: 28 goals
        Landeskog: 30 goals
        Burakovkski 22 goals
        Nichushkin: 25 goals
        Compher: 18 goals

        Everyone knew that Khadri’s 2021 season performance was atypical. His scoring this year is back within his regular scoring range. Calgary signed him to an expensive, long term contract at 32 because they were surprised and hurt that Gaudreau and Tkachuk left.

        That’s not Khadri’s fault, he took the money that was offered. The fault is anyone expecting that an exceptional season at 31 years old is the new norm for him. It isn’t, and won’t be.

        Each conference has its own style and it’s not uncommon to see players struggle when they go from one to another. But it’s just not on for any top 6 player to score just 2 goals in 23 games. That’s on Khadri, not Sutter.

  5. Flyers to trade Kevin Hayes?

    Good luck with that. Not much of a market for a 7 million dollar floater.

    No forecheck, no backcheck, only paycheck.

    • Hayes for Kadri? In keeping with the theme of this group of comments. Surely a change of scenery would help things.

    • that’s an interesting comment! I was wondering about what Hayes is like on the Flyer’s because I was hoping that the Avalanche might go for him at the trade deadline? At the same time, I wondered if he is like a liability on the Flyer’s? When he was on the Rangers, he seemed like a much better player but in Philadelphia he appears almost not that noticeable. The Flyer’s I bet will hang onto Koneckny and Sandheim; those would be the two player’s I would keep if I were them. Maybe a lot of other guys become available? Watching them against the Wild though, the Flyer’s looked much better than earlier in the year against the Avalanche. Avalanche better bring it tonight I want to see a better effort than against Pittsburgh. GO AVS!!!!!

  6. Weird how nearly every arm chair GM knew that Kadri was going to regress back to “old Kadri”. I wonder if IF the Flames make the play offs this year if he gets suspended for some cheap shot? Wouldn’t that be poetically fantastic.

    • Dark G that made me laugh but everything points to the suspension more the hoisting the cup lol .

  7. Time to clean house in Calgary, coach and GM need to go.

  8. Kadri is a second line Center. Flames are using him as a one. Never was and never will be. Could hardly do a one timer for most of his career.
    Suter is a dictator. His way or there are consequences usually involving ice time or press box . Quoted as saying
    “I will tell you only once and show you only once “ . I personally think the game (players ) have changed and he has lost the room. Why isn’t Scotty Bowman still behind the bench .
    My prediction …Darryl upstairs as GM and Brent behind the bench as the head coach.