NHL Rumor Mill – September 14, 2023

by | Sep 14, 2023 | Rumors | 28 comments

Check out the latest on the Flames and the Blues in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


CALGARY SUN: Wes Gilbertson reports Flames general manager Craig Conroy isn’t panicking over having six key players eligible for unrestricted free-agent status next summer. He said he’s been talking to those players (Elias Lindholm, Mikael Backlund, Noah Hanifin, Oliver Kylington, Chris Tanev and Nikita Zadorov) during the summer and those discussions will continue.

Lindholm didn’t have much to say to reporters yesterday regarding his contract talks when the Flames gathered for their annual charity golf tournament. “I’ve made it pretty clear that I want to stay,” said the 28-year-old center. “That’s about it”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Daniel Austin also reported on Lindholm’s contract situation. It’s understood that the Flames have made a big-money, long-term offer to the two-way center to keep him in Calgary. He also indicated that Conroy doesn’t want to risk losing Lindholm to free agency like his predecessor did with Johnny Gaudreau.

Earlier in the week, Gilbertson suggested it could take over $9 million annually to keep Lindholm in the fold. However, he thinks the lack of progress in getting a deal done is due to the center taking what appears to be a wait-and-see approach regarding the coming season.

Gilbertson believes Conroy doesn’t want to trade Lindholm but doesn’t doubt that he’s gauged the interest of his fellow NHL general managers to see what type of package they’d be willing to offer. Trading him, however, would also leave a huge hole at center for the Flames that will be difficult to fill internally.

Calgary Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin (NHL Images).

TSN’s Salim Nadim Valji believes Lindholm sounded more open and optimistic about his future in Calgary than he did a couple of months ago. Time will tell if that’s the case as this season unfolds.

Hanifin also provided some clarity on his situation following a summer of reports claiming he didn’t want to sign a contract extension. The 26-year-old defenseman told reporters he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of re-signing with the Flames but is putting his focus on the coming season and will see how things go from there.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Valji reported that Hanifin told management he would wait and see how the season went but he hadn’t shut the door on an extension. He also informed them during the summer that he needed time to digest the disappointment of last season.

Conroy stressed that none of those six pending UFAs have asked to be traded or told him that they didn’t want to be in Calgary. He considered it understandable that they want time to evaluate the club’s performance this season following last year’s disappointing outcome.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, a bounce-back performance by the Flames followed by a strong postseason effort could sway most of those core UFAs to re-sign. Another discouraging season like 2022-23 could lead to Conroy peddling some of them by the March 8 trade deadline.


THE ATHLETIC: In his latest mailbag segment, Jeremy Rutherford was asked if there was any substance to rumors of the St. Louis Blues being interested in William Nylander and offering up Colton Parayko for the Toronto Maple Leafs winger.

Rutherford dismissed that rumor as well as another reader’s suggested offer for Nylander with Torey Krug as the centerpiece of the return to the Leafs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Rutherford observed, Nylander is a two-time 40-goal scorer who nearly had 90 points last season. The Leafs wouldn’t accept Krug even if he was healthy. He also believes any possibility of a Nylander-for-Parayko swap died out a long time ago. Parayko isn’t on the same level of talent as the Leafs winger.

Rutherford was also asked if the Blues might attempt to move a veteran defenseman such as Krug, Parayko, Justin Faulk or Nick Leddy at some point this season. He didn’t rule out the possibility.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As we saw with Krug earlier this summer when he nixed a trade to Philadelphia, the respective no-trade/no-movement clauses of those blueliners will make them difficult to shop.


  1. Leafs would not swap Parayko AND Krug for Nylander.
    The Flames and players risk with wait and see is injury. They all sounded positive when asked. They are all still under contract so no immediate rush
    I might add they can sign short term extensions and see what happens

  2. I think the Leafs fans on this site will agree that Krug is the last guy they need. Even before his injury. He doesn’t provide the toughness and defensive abilities they need.
    Paryko would help the Leafs but in a trade for Nylander they’d need another front line player along with him. Jordan Kyrou for example. I don’t see the Blues doing that though.

  3. My hope of a Lindholm-Johnny Hockey reunion w/ CBJ is looking far less likely. Always loved Lindholm but also appreciate his age & contract value may not be the best fit at this phase of the CBJ retool. Still think CBJ need to add another difference-making C…will be interesting to see who may become available later in the season

    • Pettersson next summer could be interesting

      • Kent, that would be amazing & CBJ could put together a competitive offer…there are always players that become available that you don’t expect so I it could get interesting in Pettersson really doesn’t want to stay in VAN.

    • Babs would like to see lindholm’s phone before doing that trade.

      • That’s if you believe those 3 losers on Spitin Chicklets

      • Or you can believe what players say in privacy….but as you point out, the source is also valid for concerns.

        I’m sure the truth lies somewhere around the fact that there were some players that felt violated probably some (no offense) may be the ones of a much younger generation and Biz going with it because of the bombshell it is… but what if he is right? What’s that saying? “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Or better yet said by Twain, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”

  4. St. Louis got a little handcuffed when Krug invoked his ntc.

    If you’re going to hand them out like candy, don’t be surprise when a player decided to use it.

    The blues ntc clause:

    32yr old Brayden Schenn 5yrs @ $6.5
    31yr old Justin Faulk 4yrs @ $6.5
    32yr old Torey Krug 4yrs @ $6.5
    30yr old Colton Parayko 7yrs @ $6.5
    32yr old Nick Leddy 3yrs @ $4

    Defense maybe in place for a while in St. Louis.

    It would appear that $6.5 was the magic number. The new number with the Robert Thomas and Jordan Kyrou is $8,125,000

  5. Flames: “I’m open to signing with Calgary.” That’s as good as no answer at all. It’s the same as “I might sign, I might not.”

    It’s possible they’re “open” (whatever that means) but it’s equally possible Conroy can’t get value for them until the deadline because they’re UFAs this summer.

    Watch for a interesting season in Calgary. Could go either way for them. Pending UFAs have a tendency to play above their norms.

    • “Flames: “I’m open to signing with Calgary.” That’s as good as no answer at all. It’s the same as “I might sign, I might not.”

      Yes, correct. And the players are under no obligation to commit any more than that.

  6. I am thinking Treliving will sign Nylander
    If need be , it will be much easier to trade him with a contract in place , but Treliving probably prefers to keep him , but maybe a blockbuster , with multiple players might be in the works .
    I am still zooming in on Calgary ?!?!)
    We all know Leaf’s need a top 4 defenseman
    I really think Treliving is the “guy”
    1st time I have been optimistic , enthusiastic in years .
    I know I used to be “negative” as per the Leaf’s …, Past tense !!!

    Dear George , Pengy and company – a most joyous hockey season to you !

    Stanley Cup fever in Leafland !

    Ps.. there is a handle I am forgetting – “Hammer of the Gods ‘on here – ,, please correct my train of thinking , also a passionate , knowledgeable Leaf supporter !!

    • Give it time Tre managed to screw Calgary for years, then just walked.

  7. The Nylander for Parayko deal IS fair as at right NOW


    No if ands or buts…. If WW was under contract past this year, then that deal is in Blues favour (the more years WW under contract; the more lopsided)

    BUT…. he is NOT under contract past 30/6/24….. and for sure if Leafs trade him now….. he’ll market himself out to have all 32 teams bid on him come 1/7/24

    He’s already holding out for a contract now

    With only 1 year that St L would get of Nylander….. the Parayko for WW deal IS fair

    Let’s set aside my well documented bromance of Parayko

    Leafs get 7 years of a very solid top pairing RHD (definitely far better than Brodie, Liljegren; Timmins; and I would argue, better than Klinger (as he is now)…. And certainly towering… 6’6”; 230

    And Leafs save some Cap space in the swap

    Leafs can’t continue with 1/2 Cap on 4 Fwds

    Leafs can’t let WW walk for zilch

    Leafs can’t afford him at what he is worth…. His value will have top 4 Fwds at least at 52% of Cap (worse than now) for start of 24/25

    Leafs already Fwd heavy , still waiting to win past 1st round…. Deep Playoffs and cup is the goal (not reg season)…. So strength on the backend is paramount

    Leafs do NOT need the distraction of a pro-longed contract negotiations…. Been there, done that

    Leafs still over Cap even allowing for LTIR

    WW for *Parayko…… Gedderdone !!

    *Note—- Parayko might have to agree to come (15 team NTC…. Not sure if Leafs are currently blocked?…. Canadian taxes…. Means big drop in takehome pay)

    • So, Pengy, could you add a one paragraph summary to speed things up a bit?

      • Come on! You don’t read it. Ohhhh scrolling. 😂

    • A Nylander for Parayko trade is ridiculous from a Leafs perspective.
      Parayko has not been good since Petrangelo left the Blues for St Louis..
      Parayko has never been a top pairing defenseman and his play last season was barely at replacement player level.
      Parayko is already 30 years old and signed for another 7 years taking him to 37 years of age.
      We all know how defensemen begin to deteriorate after their 30th birthday with all of the wear and tear on their bodies.
      A Parayko for Nylander trade would go down as one of the worst trades in Leaf history!

  8. Re; “I’m open to signing with Calgary.”

    I think they will Both Test the UFA market on July 1st
    (Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin🤔

    They probably look at the pacific and go we are going to be hard pushed to make it hear with
    LA, Oilers,Vegas, in the pacific all way better.😳

    Then you have the 3 bubble teams like Canucks, Seattle & Flames…. add in the ducks in 2 years time they are going to be hard pushed to make the playoffs.
    Flames have 6 out of 8 UFA d/men to resign and there Top 1st line Centre…
    maybe they get a couple of the UFA d/men to stay

    They can chose where they go or if they want to stay and Negotiate from a strong point on july 1st
    they play for this right untill they are a UFA
    lots going on in Calgary.

    • Calgary should trade them all or get Tavaresed like my Islanders. Don’t believe anything they say. The Snake (pajama boy) said all the right things and signed with the Leafs.
      With all due respect to Leafs Nation, I hope he NEVER wins the Cup.

      • Here’s some cheese to go with your whine.

        Tell me after how many years he was there, the team do to build a winner around him? Or who were his wingers most of the time he was there? Do you even remember the whole, we don’t have an arena thing?

        So if you do what’s expected from you but you never get rewarded after 10 years you”d stick around, right?

        It wouldn’t be a shock if Matthews would do that if the results were the same…and I wouldn’t blame him. 10 years man, that’s a lot when you might have only 6-8 left after that.

  9. Many things to consider for players and ntc that we ignore. We talk about weather, taxes, contending or rebuilding but there’s more.

    Paul Byron who recently retired due to injuries was interviewed and he made some interesting observations.

    He felt he was treated well in Calgary and expected to pass waivers, shocked he was picked up by Montreal and was asked his first impression. He was surprised on going to a restaurant in his first week, the waiter knew who he was . He was surprised by the fan base.

    While Hockey can be a religion and a star can be a god, it can also bean anchor on a player who can’t take the pressure.

    I’m sure similar things are true in other cities too and have their own impact.

    • I don’t buy that anymore. Like guys have a problem playing for the Yankees or Lakers or Man U. Hockey is the only sport that players say the fan/media attention is overwhelming. Sure.

      • I think that most NBA and NFL players are desensitized to it because the NCAA is a circus for media presence.
        Most NHL players (Canadian born, CHL alumni) didn’t see much action other than the local beat writer, or if he was good enough, dozens of media guys at a team Canada camp.
        Now place those players on Canadian clubs, especially Toronto, with their media and tell me it’s not intimidating or even overwhelming.
        There is a massive discrepancy between NHL players and the other big three when it comes to that.

      • Oh that’s such a good point with NCAA but they also have hockey but maybe in time?

        Also your other point regarding coming from a small town/market playing in Canada would be a bit of a shock.

        So in the playoffs and the pressures of them especially playing against a media frenzy team should have benefits or would they cancel out? LOL

      • Idk, Ron. People are so different in their makeups. Especially nowadays. Kids seem to be bolder and more media friendly than in years past. Some guys love it and can thrive, and others shy away and feel uncomfortable.
        There’s lots to be taken into account, I suppose.
        American kids seem more “camera ready” than the Canadian kids and most European kids as well.
        Some kids just have swagger, and then there’s P.K. Subban, Eddie Shack, Messier, J.R., Zegras, etc.

  10. Hannafin only softened his stance because he realizes that he will probably have t play there at least till the TDL.

  11. Hannafin only softened his stance because he realizes that he will probably have to play there at least till the TDL.

  12. Hey Tommy Boy:
    The Avs need a BU goalie because Fran is not healed yet. What is your choice? Vlader, DeSmith, Elliot, Halak or Allen…..someone else? I think DeSmith but you have to trade for him. A FA would be Halak for less than a $1M.