NHL Rumor Mill – September 6, 2023
Could Patrick Kane sign with the Red Wings? Could they pursue William Nylander or Tomas Tatar? What’s the latest on the Flames’ Elias Lindholm and the Ducks’ Trevor Zegras? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.
LATEST RED WINGS SPECULATION
The 34-year-old former Blackhawks winger is currently rehabbing from a hip resurfacing procedure in June. An unrestricted free agent, he’s indicated he could be ready to return to action earlier than expected.
Dietz cited a source close to Kane claiming the winger told him that he’d like to follow former Blackhawks linemate Alex DeBrincat to Detroit if he’s able. There would have to be mutual interest from the Red Wings.
Allen is skeptical that Kane will sign with the Red Wings. He doesn’t dismiss the possibility, noting that they’re among the few teams with more than $5 million in salary-cap space this season. However, he pointed out that Kane might prefer signing with a Stanley Cup contender.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane’s preference may be joining a contender but the priority is to return to action. If the clubs he’s interested in can’t afford him, he’ll have to consider signing with a team like the rebuilding Red Wings. That would give him the opportunity to prove that he’s returned to form with no lingering effects from his hip procedure.
That would also make Kane a valuable bargaining chip near the trade deadline for the Wings. They could retain part of his salary to send him to a contender for a decent return.
MLIVE.COM: In a recent mailbag segment, Ansar Khan was asked if there was a possibility the Wings could pursue a trade for William Nylander if the Toronto Maple Leafs decide to shop the 27-year-old winger.
Khan doubted the Wings would release the assets necessary to acquire Nylander unless the winger agreed to re-sign with them. He noted that the Leafs will have plenty of potential trade partners outside the Atlantic Division for Nylander. Khan also pointed out that the Wings no longer have the urgency to acquire a sniper since landing Alex DeBrincat in July.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Nylander were interested in joining the Red Wings, he’d only have to wait until next summer when he could sign with them as an unrestricted free agent. He will be an expensive signing for any club as he’s reportedly seeking an average annual value of $10 million on a long-term contract.
Asked if the Wings might have a reunion with winger Tomas Tatar, Kahn didn’t rule it out. However, he thinks general manager Steve Yzerman might prefer someone who can play center and wing. Khan also believes the club is comfortable with its current group of wingers.
UPDATE ON ELIAS LINDHOLM’S CONTRACT TALKS
SPORTSNET: In his Sept. 4 “32 Thoughts” podcast, Elliotte Friedman acknowledged Elias Lindholm’s recent interview with a Swedish reporter indicating his willingness to remain with the Calgary Flames. However, Friedman said that it’s his understanding that contract discussions have been quiet between the two sides.
Friedman believes it’s good news for the Flames and their fans that Lindholm wants to stay. Nevertheless, the two sides have to reach a place in negotiations where they’re comfortable. He anticipates discussions could pick up as the season gets closer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lindholm said he was leaving it up to his agent and Flames management to work out a suitable new contract. This could occur before the season opens in October or those talks could continue during the season. For now, it appears there is a low possibility of the Flames trading him.
A BRIDGE DEAL FOR TREVOR ZEGRAS?
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman also weighed in on Trevor Zegras’ contract talks with the Anaheim Ducks. The 22-year-old center is a restricted free agent after completing his entry-level contract last season.
Friedman doesn’t see the two sides reaching an agreement on a long-term contract. Instead, it sounds like Zegras will be getting a bridge deal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Friedman didn’t indicate how much of an annual cap hit the young center will receive. Bridge deals tend to be two or three years in length. Zegras will get a significant raise following back-to-back 60-plus point seasons.