NHL Rumors: Wild, Rangers, Flames, Oilers, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is talk about who the Minnesota Wild might hire as their next general manager, the Calgary Flames might be looking at trading Michael Frolik, the New York Rangers probably aren’t done despite buying out Kevin Shattenkirk and there is news on the Edmonton Oilers search for young talent.

Wild on the Hunt for a GM

There is plenty of chatter surrounding the Minnesota Wild these days. After firing Paul Fenton, they’ll be on the lookout for a new GM. Dave Schwartz tweets that some of the initial candidates include Tom Fitzgerald, Dean Lombardi, Dave Nonis, Bill Zito, and Peter Chiarelli. It’s not known who has been contacted yet.

Philadelphia Flyers general manager Ron Hextall
FILE – Former Flyers GM Ron Hextall is a candidate for the Minnesota Wild GM opening. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, FIle)

The early favorite is Ron Hextall. Michael Russo of The Athletic tweets that the Minnesota Wild didn’t end up meeting with Hextall yesterday but sources did say that they are close to setting up an initial interview.

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Flames Might Trade Frolik

Kent Wilson of The Athletic writes that in their search to try and clear up cap space, the Calgary Flames might try to move forward Michael Frolik.

Michael Frolik Flames
Michael Frolik Calgary Flames (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Frolik not only has some skill as a top-six/nine forward but he might be attractive to some teams who will look for additional salary cap but less money actually being paid out. He has one year left on his deal with a cap hit of $4.3 million but a salary of $3 million.

Wilson writes:

With the forward UFA pool dwindling to older, riskier players like Patrick Marleau and Jason Pominville, or uninspiring bottom-sixers like Brock McGinn and Tobias Rieder, any team looking to buff up their top-six or third line may be tempted by Frolik’s high utility and low-risk deal. Especially because the Flames won’t be asking for much in return.

source – ‘Possible trade destinations for Michael Frolik’ -Kent Wilson – The Athletic – 07/30/2019

Wilson then goes into detail on a few teams that might have some interest. Among them are the Ottawa Senators, New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia Flyers, and Columbus Blue Jackets.

Still with Calgary, it appears with their second buyout window opening up, the Flames will buy out Michael Stone. Stone has been placed on unconditional waivers according to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, which and if a buyout follows, his $3.5 million cap hit will become a $1.166 ding against the cap for the next two seasons.

Related: NHL Rumors: Blue Jackets, Lightning, Bruins, Maple Leafs, More

Shattenkirk Gone Doesn’t Eliminate a Possible Trade

The New York Rangers did buy out the contract of Kevin Shattenkirk yesterday and there is news he’s already received interest from other teams. There should be a number of options for the former Rangers’ defenseman because Shattenkirk doesn’t need to make much money from his new team on a one-year deal to earn more than he would have been paid by the Rangers. He’ll be a low-cost option for someone.

Kevin Shattenkirk
NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 01: Kevin Shattenkirk #22 of the New York Rangers (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

As for New York, simply buying out Shattenkirk doesn’t mean they won’t still have to conduct a cost-saving trade. Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post believes there’s still some trade possibilities on the table. Winger Chris Kreider or forwards Vladislav Namestnikov and Ryan Strome are out there as potential trade candidates. All three we’ve talked about at great length.

Related: NHL Rumors: Oilers Youngsters, Blues Hits, More

Oilers News and Notes

According to Kurt Leavins of the Edmonton Journal, the Edmonton Oilers are expected to invite undrafted prospect Jaxon Bellamy to their upcoming rookie camp.

Leavins writes:

The 6’4, 18-year old D-man plied his trade in CHL Sherbrooke last season (5-11-16 in 60 GP). His ice time went way up after a trade from Moncton the year previous.

source – ‘Now is a good time for Jesse Puljujarvi’s player agent to capitulate: 9 Things’ – The Edmonton Journal – Kurt Leavins – 07/28/2019

Leavins also notes that when it comes to Jesse Puljujarvi, one of the reasons it appears the player and the agent are re-thinking their strategy to threaten a move to Europe was because Ken Holland has tried to rebuild this team under the assumption Puljujarvi won’t be a part of it. The optics of Puljujarvi not having a spot anywhere on the team has made it more real for the player and he’s changing his tone a bit.