NHL Rumor Mill – April 26, 2023

by | Apr 26, 2023 | Rumors | 17 comments

What’s the latest Flames speculation? Would Blue Jackets center Jack Roslovic be a good fit with the Canucks? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


SPORTSNET: Pat Steinberg recently looked at the big questions facing the Calgary Flames in this offseason. Who might be the club’s next general manager following Brad Treliving’s departure and how that might affect head coach Darryl Sutter topped his list.

Calgary Flames center Elias Lindholm (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sutter’s fate will be tied to whoever becomes the next GM. That person could prefer bringing in his own head coach. However, I think Treliving’s replacement will be stuck with Sutter for at least 2023-24 as his two-year contract extension kicks in on July 1.

Another disappointing performance next season, however, could spell the end of Sutter’s second tenure behind the Flames’ bench. I think the club’s ownership would be more comfortable with that scenario rather than firing him now and having to pay him not to coach their team for two years.

Steinberg also wondered about the future of notable Flames with a year remaining on their contracts. They include Elias Lindholm, Mikael Backlund, Tyler Toffoli, Noah Hanifin, Nikita Zadorov and Chris Tanev.

Lindholm and Backlund were non-committal about their futures beyond next season. The other four, however, seemed more positive about staying in Calgary.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The new GM could meet with those players as soon as possible to find out whether they’re willing to open extension talks after July 1. Those that aren’t or are at least reluctant to do so could end up on the trade block before the NHL Draft on June 28-29.

Steinberg also wondered if a forward who can play well alongside Jonathan Huberdeau will be brought in via trade or free agency. After a career-best 115-point performance with the Florida Panthers in 2021-22, Huberdeau managed just 55 points with the Flames this season.

THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Julian McKenzie suggested Lindholm would fetch the best return if the Flames were to shop any of those players eligible for UFA status next summer. He believes any deal involving Lindholm should fetch a first-round pick and a top-six forward or a top-four defenseman.

Backlund might get the Flames at best a second-round pick and a prospect. He wonders if the high cost of re-signing Hanifin might force them to trade him regardless of whether he wants to come back.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maybe that linemate for Huberdeau can be found by using Lindholm or Hanifin as trade bait.


THE PROVINCE: Ben Kuzma mused over whether Jack Roslovic would be a good fit with the Vancouver Canucks as a third-line center. The Blue Jackets’ depth in promising young centers plus the big contracts they’re paying Johnny Gaudreau and Patrik Laine could make the 26-year-old Roslovic expendable.

Kuzma noted the Canucks’ previous management had an interest in Roslovic during his tenure with the Winnipeg Jets. He now has a year remaining on his contract with a cap hit of $4 million. That’s pricey for a player who struggled to reach 44 points in 77 games this season.

The Blue Jackets have a glut of wingers so that’s not a trade option for the Canucks. Kuzma believes the Canucks would need the Jackets to retain $1 million of Roslovic’s salary. He suggests offering up a draft pick (the Canucks have two third-rounders and three fourth-rounders in this year’s draft) might get it done.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It might even cost two draft picks depending on how keen the Canucks would be to get Roslovic. However, we don’t know at this point if they’re interested in the Jackets center given his inconsistent play and defensive miscues.


  1. Is there a list out there of how much money a player makes, compared to how many points he’s expected to put up for that salary?

    The reason I ask is because you read things like Roslovic making $4 million had a rough year, only reaching 44 points…. and then you’ll read another article where they are say what great season another player had by hitting 44 points and they are making comparable money.

    I know there’s a lot of other factors, (including the actual player, and team, and history) but it just seems odd that one guy with 44 points struggled, and the other had a great season….. For example, Huberdeau struggled to get 55 this year… most players would be very happy with 55 points…I get that

    • I don’t know about a list of the number of points a player is expected to get for their contract, but here is a link to Cap Friendly’s list of each player’s cost per point, goal, and assist.

      • That’s for 2019-20 – Spezza is still listed!

      • The filter is at the top left to change the season.

      • That’s not bad, but the stats get skewed by the players who are not expected to be points getters. Those 4th line guys and more so those stay at home defensemen. Chris Phillips used to get paid a hefty amount for like average 6-7 goals or around 20 points a season. He was still worth every penny.

    • “Huberdeau struggled to get 55 this year… most players would be very happy with 55 points”

      You think you can find a single player who would be happy to score 55 points in 79 games after scoring 115 points in 80 games the previous year and signing an EIGHTY-FOUR-MILLION-DOLLAR contract?

      I bet you $1000 you can’t find anyone who would be happy in that situation.

      • Didn’t say going from 115 to 55 anyone would be happy. I was referring to guys who get 20-30 a year. THEY would be very happy with 50. There are more guys in the league under 50 than there are over 50…. sorry for the confusion

  2. I have said this before and a certain Flames fan (sparky) didn’t like it, but I stand by it.
    IMO if the Flames should trade away any d-man to free up cap space it should be Zadorov. Hanifin is too important of a piece to the Flames defence.
    Lindholm and Toffoli are two pieces the Flames need to resign. This past season where pretty much the whole team struggled, they were the two who outplayed their current contracts. I would say without Toffoli the Flames would have been out of the playoff race in February.
    IMO other trade pieces should be Mangiapane and Dube. Let Lewis and Lucic walk. Backlund is a tough one. He is a fan favourite, but if he refuses to resign do you trade him this offseason or keep him and decide if he becomes an own rental for the playoffs or trade him at the TDL?
    Replacements from the farm will be Coronato, Pelletier, and Zary.
    In training camp let Wolf and Vladar fight it out for the backup role. If Wolf is the odd one out then send him down if he’s eligible to be sent down. If not then trade the odd goalie out.

    • Zadorov and Backlund would be great placeholders on the Wings til the youth come up. Mangy might be an option Stevie looks at too….
      Vlader probably needs to go as Wolf seems redy and that would free up around $1.4M. Seems like a no-brainer.

      • The reason why I said to have Wolf and Vladar fight in the preseason for the backup role in the preseason is because Wolf, who came off of a really strong AHL season in 2021/22 didn’t look too good in the preseason last year. I just wonder if his style is suited for the NHL. I could be wrong about him, but he is a smaller goalie. NHL forwards have better accuracy than AHLers, and there is more room to shoot at on smaller goalies.

  3. Because of all the young talent bubbling up &/or who debuted this season and could develop further, plus the return of Alexander Texier, the Jackets have a glut of middle six forwards. Add in needing to make room for Jiricek and maybe another defenseman for next season and the Jackets will be dealing.

  4. Bold statement to say the Blue Jackets have “depth in promising young centers”. Still way too many question marks before using “promising” or “depth”

    • 5 first-round picks in the last 2 drafts. Two are defencemen and three are centres. Plus The Hockey Writers have their prospects ranked 6th best in the NHL. Sounds to me that they are building a nice pool of promising prospects.
      Plus they have 2 more first-round picks in this year’s draft.

      • Very good prospect pool; but disagree center is one of the strengths. Did not count the two first rounders this year in my post; but at least one will probably become a “promising” center. The big question for Jackets fans at center is KJ. I think he will be a winger; but time will tell. Read the post as the current situation and saw it as a bold statement. Now a trade for Lindholm, that would help. Fair point on question mark.

      • The book on Johnson is highly skilled with elite vision, lacks commitment to the defensive side of the puck. Also still pretty scrawny and needs to get stronger.

        So ya Winged Jacket, if he doesn’t commit to play both sides of the puck and get stronger, he can’t play C.

        But if he does, and no reason he shouldn’t be able to, he will be a 1 or 2 C by the sounds of it. And if CBJ drafts in their slot they will get Fantilli who right now screams top line C and in many drafts goes first. Add in Sillinger at 3C and the Jackets could be all set up the middle in a couple years.

        Would be good to see a smaller market that supports the team get some lottery luck and get 1 or 2 in the draft this year.

        Watch out Jackets in 26/27 if that happens.

    • “Still way too many question marks before using “promising””

      “Promising” is essentially a synonym for “question mark” when it comes to young players.

  5. Hey Calgary, I hear Hextall is available.