In today’s NHL rumors rundown, chatter has increased when it comes to Evander Kane and how likely it is that the Edmonton Oilers find a way to keep him after this season. Meanwhile, can the Calgary Flames find a way to sign both Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk?
There are rumors coming out of Detroit pertaining to what the Red Wings summer plans might be, and who will the San Jose Sharks hire as their next GM?
Oilers to Find a Way to Keep Kane?
With four points and a hat trick on Friday night against the Colorado Avalanche, Evander Kane hit the 20-goal mark in 39 games for the Oilers this season. He is now one of seven players with at least 20 goals for seven consecutive seasons. As former TSN host Paul Almeida wrote on Twitter, “Something tells me Connor is going to sit down with Ken Holland at the end of the season and strongly suggest they find a way to resign Evander Kane.”
At the same time, Kane scoring 20 means his future contract got a lot more expensive. The fact that he’s on pace for over 40 goals in an 82-game season means he’ll be expecting a sizeable raise and there will be teams looking at him in free agency. Mark Spector wrote before Kane scored his 20th on Friday evening, “At 19 goals in a half a season, the pending UFA Kane is going to get paid like a 35-40 goal scorer this summer. Sorry, but there is no chance EDM can fit him under their cap.”
In other Oilers news, Darnell Nurse was injured during the second period of Friday’s game and did not return for the third. Head coach Jay Woodcroft said it was a lower body injury but could not provide an update, saying only that Nurse would be reevaluated on Saturday.
Flames Want to Find a Way to Sign Tkachuk and Gaudreau
According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, he believes there is “almost an insatiable appetite” to get extensions done for both Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk. He says, “They’re just, they’re that important to the organization moving forward.”
He says the issue is that these guys are likely to command over $20 million and in an honest negotiation, the Flames will find out very quickly how much these two players are going to cost. He assumes both players might consider hometown discounts, but these won’t be the kinds of savings fans think will come with such a gesture. He adds, “…there’s going to have to be some magical maneuvering but again I know there’s an appetite from both sides to try and get something done.”
Some Updates Out Of the Red Wings Organization
As per Kevin Allen and Bob Duff of Detroit Hockey Now, neither thinks that head coach Jeff Blashill will be returning as bench boss for the Red Wings next season. Allen noted that sources suggest GM Steve Yzerman could look at some tough, demanding coaching candidates if he replaces Blashill.
They also note that Yzerman’s priority this summer is to bring in a second-line center and an experienced second-pairing defenseman. Among the targets Detroit might look at are Andrew Copp of the New York Rangers and Vincent Trocheck of the Carolina Hurricanes. Duff said he’s also hearing Yzerman could target left-winger Filip Forsberg if he hits the open market.
As for possible trades, both Tyler Bertuzzi and Filip Zadina could be dangled for the right return. Bertuzzi is a year away from UFA status, and Zadina is an RFA this offseason.
Sharks GM Search News
The San Jose Sharks have started reaching out to teams to ask permission to interview candidates to fill their GM vacancy. TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reported during a recent Insider Trading segment that the initial list is long, with nearly 25 names on it. He says they will narrow it down before phone interviews begin which could be as soon as next week.
One name to watch might be ESPN’s Kevin Weekes, reports Lisa Dillman of The Athletic. She noted that he’s someone teams have been keeping an eye on and the former goaltender has interviewed for several GM openings recently. Someone is eventually going to give him an opportunity.
Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”