NHL Rumors: Flames, Maple Leafs, Bruins, Oilers, Sharks

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Toronto Maple Leafs and defenseman Rasmus Sandin are at a contract standstill. What will the team do to get over the lack of progress in negotiations? Meanwhile, the Boston Bruins have been holding trade talks with teams about Craig Smith.

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The Edmonton Oilers may not really be in the running for Phil Kessel or P.K. Subban. Who are they likely to add? Finally, could the San Jose Sharks have an interest in Subban?

Flames Signing Nazem Kadri

*Update: According to multiple reports, the Calgary Flames are signing Nazem Kadri and Chris Johnston reports, “Hearing that Sean Monahan is being dealt to the #habs to help clear space for Nazem Kadri’s signing in Calgary.” Darren Dreger of TSN writes, “Kadri deal to the Flames is being finalized. 7-year deal is believed to be the term.” Elliotte Friedman was the first to report the deal was seven years times $7 million per season.

Maple Leafs Stuck in Talks With Sandin

Luke Fox of Sportsnet is reporting that the Maple Leafs and defenseman Rasmus Sandin aren’t further along when it comes to negotiations over a new contract. Fox reports that Lewis Gross, the agent for Toronto Maple Leafs RFA defenseman Rasmus Sandin said, “Negotiations are going nowhere.” When asked why Gross wasn’t able to give a clear answer. All he would say is that he wouldn’t say much, even if he did know, and reiterated, “But they’re just going nowhere right now.”

Rasmus Sandin Toronto Maple Leafs
Rasmus Sandin, Toronto Maple Leafs (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Speculation is that Sandin was offered a deal similar to Timothy Liljegren’s a two-year, $2.8-million bridge contract. The belief is that if the Maple Leafs are going to try and find money to give him more than that, they’ll need to make another move on the roster first. There’s a real debate in Toronto about what to do here. Some believe Sandin hasn’t shown enough to be given more than a bridge deal. Others suggest he’s already shown he can play as a top-four defenseman and that he’ll only get better.

Craig Smith Trade Almost Finalized

Jimmy Murphy of Boston Hockey Now notes that teams are showing interest in Boston Bruins forward Craig Smith and the organization has held trade talks with at least one team about moving Smith recently. It sounds like things got pretty far in terms of a potential deal but are now on hold.

Craig Smith Boston Bruins
Craig Smith, Boston Bruins (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Murphy writes, “I can confirm an actual trade offer was made but after trying to find common ground for a while, the talks were put on hold. This team really wanted Smith and wanted this to happen.”

Smith has a year left at a $3.1 million salary cap hit and the Bruins are trying to move salary seeing as they are $2.2 million over the salary cap ceiling. Both Smith and fellow Bruins winger Nick Foligno have been mentioned in trade rumors throughout the summer.

Realistic Signings for the Oilers

Allan Mitchell of The Athletic took a look at the actual cap space the Edmonton Oilers have to make another move. He notes that the rumors of Phil Kessel and P.K. Subban being interested (or the Oilers being interested in them) are fun but not terribly realistic based on the fact that both players would have been signed already if they were available for $750K.

Related: NHL Rumors: Canadiens, Coyotes, Senators, Oilers

As for what GM Ken Holland will actually do before the season starts, Mitchell writes:

Holland will sign McLeod, make a move that allows more cap room and then sign one or two of the free agents willing to spend a year in Edmonton playing with the Oilers.

Kessel, Subban and Rodrigues would be a dream but the reality of cap pressures suggests they are destined to play elsewhere. [Sam] Gagner, [Sam] Steel, [Daniel] Sprong and even [Ryan] Murray are more reasonable bets.

source: ‘Lowetide: Oilers have room for UFA contract or PTO. Is there a match?’ – Allan Mitchell – The Athletic – 08/17/2022

Could Sharks Go After P.K. Subban?

Sheng Peng of San Jose Hockey Now writes that the San Jose Sharks might be taking a look at P.K. Subban as a potential UFA signing. He notes that San Jose’s only surefire top-four defenders right now are Erik Karlsson and Mario Ferraro and wonders if Subban could be a fit.

The scout he spoke to didn’t think so and noted that Subban can’t be trusted to make the right decisions with the puck. He said he also isn’t a very good power play quarterback and that while his shot is heavy, he’s not in control of it which scares his net-front forwards to death. All that said, Peng adds, “One interesting wrinkle: San Jose Sharks GM Mike Grier knows Subban well. Grier was a Devils assistant coach during Subban’s first season in New Jersey in 2019-20.”