Summer 2022 — The fourth period
In this week’s Bitbuy Hot Take of the Week, I discussed Gaudreau’s future in Calgary. He may very well stay, but after postponing negotiations all season (or so they kept telling us) and now sitting four weeks away from the opening of the FA doors, he makes sense for him to see what’s going on.
Steven Stamkos went that route when he was UFA in 2016. He spoke with other clubs during the then-allowed talk period and eventually decided to re-sign with the Bolts – and it worked out pretty well for him.
The Flames obviously want to keep him and if he stays he will be making a case for being the greatest Flame ever, but given the chatter that has followed him about his future, weighing his options isn’t the worst thing for him. him.
But aside from Gaudreau, the Flames need to lock up Matthew Tkachuk for the long term and that will be another topic to watch over the next month.
The Nashville Predators and Filip Forsberg’s camp have resumed contract negotiations with a month left and things remain fluid. It was also the mid-season expectation – that contract talks wouldn’t resume until about a month before free agency started, which is why I was so confident that a deal wouldn’t be not concluded mid-season.
Like Calgary with Gaudreau, Nashville wants to keep Forsberg. And he really wants to stay, but the money has to work.
Both sides seem obsessed with a long-term deal, but dollars and structure remain the sticking point and that’s what both sides hope to figure out over the next few weeks.
The Chicago Blackhawks are open for business minus Jonathan Toews, Seth Jones and Patrick Kane. They’re going into a full rebuild and that’s why Alex DeBrincat’s name is all over the place and why many in the league expect him to be dealt with at some point.
And while teams like New Jersey, Los Angeles, Anaheim, Philadelphia and the New York Islanders are among the teams (there are others) who drool at the thought of landing a sniper from 24 years old who has already scored 40 goals twice in one season, there are other assets at stake for the Hawks.
Forwards Dylan Strome and Dominik Kubalik were nauseously discussed ahead of the trade deadline. Both can become restricted free agents next month.
Considering the roller coaster of a season, Strome managed to register 22 goals and 48 points in 69 games and caught the eye of a few teams. If eventually moved, the return will likely result in a combination of draft picks/prospects. And he will also find relief in not having to worry about business chatter for a while.
There was talk before the trade deadline that the Kings were trying to land Kubalik. I’m curious if they revisit this option if they don’t do the pony for DeBrincat.
In March, we came across reports that John Gibson’s name had come out. The Anaheim Ducks were taking calls, but nothing materialized. Until last week when Nick Alberga and I found more information about it.
Gibson, who has five years left on his contract and comes with a salary cap of $6.4 million, is open to the idea of being moved and the team is aware of it. This was reported on Monday.
No, he didn’t ask for a trade – things can get lost in translation on social media and people love to jump to conclusions (or misread), so I want to make that clear. He does not want to move, but understands that it is a possibility. He also has a 10-team no-trade clause, so he’ll have a say. And despite a denial from his agent, four separate sources, including two within the Ducks organization, told us the same thing.
The goalkeeper market this summer is too deep. Jack Campbell, Ville Husso, Darcy Kuemper, Marc-Andre Fleury and Braden Holtby top the list of the best UFA goalies. Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek will explore his options this summer, but could sit back and wait to see a team offer a bounty for Gibson – and that may be the only way he can pull the trigger .
Either way, you’ll hear the Gibson name a little more frequently over the coming weeks.
Do you remember Chychrun?
Jakob Chychrun was the center of attention on the trade deadline for two months until March 21, and then things fell apart.
Well, the Arizona Coyotes are still willing to trade him and those talks should get bigger.
The asking price hasn’t changed, with three or four assets remaining, including a first-round pick, a top prospect and current NHL talent. The presence of a four piece in the mix depends on the value of the previous three. But it’s loot. Still.
The usual suspects are still interested, but it will be interesting to see if other teams step up for his services. At 24 with a cap of $4.6 million for the next three seasons, he’s one of the hottest plays in the commercial market.
Cup Cap Success
Not to spoil things, but the Lightning and Avalanche have pretty big UFAs to worry about in a few weeks.
Ondrej Palat, Nick Paul and Jan Rutta all need new deals with Tampa.
The Bolts have $4,891,667 in excess cap space when you factor in Brent Seabrook’s LTIR space, meaning they can top the $82.5 million cap by that amount. That might be enough to keep Paul and Rutta, but they’ll have to get creative if they want to keep Palat.
As for Colorado, Nazem Kadri, Valeri Nichushkin, Andrei Burakovsky, Josh Manson and Kuemper top their UFA roster. In addition, Artturi Lehkonen and Nico Aube-Kubel will be RFA.
The Avs have a salary cap of $25.685 million. It’s probably not enough to keep this group together. But they will care about it in a few weeks.