NHL Rumors: Oilers, Flames, Sabres, Maple Leafs

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, there is chatter about the situation in Edmonton when it pertains to coaches Jay Woodcroft and Dave Manson. There is also talk about Evander Kane’s arbitration hearing today and how much of the outstanding money the San Jose Sharks owed him when they terminated his contract he might get.

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More details about the contract negotiation plans for Johnny Gaudreau are coming to light, the Buffalo Sabres might be willing to spend big on a goalie and could Auston Matthews cost the Toronto Maple Leafs $15 million per season to keep around.

Oilers Waiting on Woodcroft and Manson

As per TSN’s Ryan Rishaug, while the Edmonton Oilers are impressed with the results Woodcroft has gotten since taking over as coach, the reports notes, “My sense on the Woodcroft contract situation is, team will take a wait and see approach for now. More likely to get done after playoffs are finished and the full body of work is in.” Rishaug suggests there will certainly be other teams interested in the summer but adds, “I believe the organization has to be happy with what they’ve seen. Top players flourishing, team meeting its potential, much improved 5v5 play. A deal feels likely to me, it’s just a matter of when.”

Evander Kane In Arbitration Hearing Today

As per Jason Gregor of TSN 1260, “I’m told [Evander] Kane is in New York for a meeting. And it is in regards to San Jose termination of his contract.” Kane was owed around $22 million when the Sharks terminated his contract and he’s filed a grievance. Oilers fans are hoping he gets some of that money because it would likely mean he won’t need to ask for as much in free agency when his deal ends this season.

Evander Kane Edmonton Oilers
Evander Kane, Edmonton Oilers (Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Gregor adds, that this arbitration hearing Kane is currently meant to determine how much, if any, he gets of that $22 million. There is a precedence that he will get something. Mike Richards was owed $21 million by the Los Angeles Kings and he got half, $10.5 million, spread out over 15 years.

Insiders Weigh in On Flames “Heaven and Earth” Comments Regarding Gaudreau

When asked about what he thought it might mean that GM Brad Trelving said the Flames would move heaven and earth to get a Johnny Gaudreau extension done, TSN’s Pierre LeBrun responded, “”‘you better move heaven and earth’ because that is what it’s going to take to re-sign this guy.”

Johnny Gaudreau Calgary Flames
Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

LeBrun added that the plan all along was for Treliving and Johnny Gaudreau’s agent Louis Gross, to talk contract after the season and when the two sides didn’t get something done this past offseason, there was always potential that the value of his next deal could dramatically change. His season this year has seen Calgary’s biggest fear become a reality. It’s great that Gaudreau is playing so well, but the Flames will now have to sign the most expensive version of him to keep him around.

Related: Calgary Flames: Breaking Down Gaudreau’s Shot at the Art Ross Trophy

Last summer, it might have cost the Flames $8 or $9 million annually. Now, it could be closer to $10 million on a long-term deal.

Sabres Prepared to Overspend on Goaltender?

According to The Buffalo News’ Lance Lysowski, the Sabres might be a team to watch as the goaltending market takes shape this summer. If 40-year-old netminder Craig Anderson decides not to return next season, the Sabres could be willing to overspend to acquire a goalie and that could have a domino effect on other teams looking to secure someone at that position.

There are only so many goalies available and if the Sabres are willing to throw a big chunk of their $40 million in cap space at someone (they’ll need to get to the salary cap floor), could someone like Darcy Kuemper, Jack Campbell, Mikko Koskinen or Ville Husso take the money?

Lysowski writes:

The more likely acquisition route, as always, is through the trade market. The Sabres previously had interest in Alexandar Georgiev of the New York Rangers. Georgiev, 26, is a pending restricted free agent whom CapFriendly projects will receive a $2.65 million qualifying offer this summer. But he’s performed poorly this season and could cost more than Buffalo is willing to pay.

source – ‘Inside the Sabres: Questions in goal loom large with prospects going back to school’- Lance Lysowski – The Buffalo News – 04/18/2022

If Georgiev is not the Sabres’ target, Semyon Varlamov, John Gibson, and Jonathan Quick could be of interest.

Could Auston Matthews Cost $15 Million?

Maple Leafs’ center Auston Matthews is still out with an unspecified injury, but a recent column by Chris Johnston of The Toronto Star has people talking about another Matthews issue altogether. Johnston writes that Matthews is a couple of years away from hitting the open market and that his next contract is already a discussion point in Toronto.

Auston Matthews Toronto Maple Leafs
Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Johnston suggests that Matthews’ next deal could reach the $15 million mark per season, a good $2.5 million per season more than Connor McDavid’s record-setting $12.5 million AAV.  How could the Maple Leafs possibly afford the jump and keep any semblance of their current roster together?

As for his current health, Matthews won’t play tonight but will go on the Leafs’ upcoming road trip.

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