NHL Rumors: Flames, Oilers, Blackhawks, Babcock News

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Calgary Flames could be looking at moving a defenseman to land another top-six forward. Who could be moved in order to round out the offense? The Edmonton Oilers have engaged in talks with the Chicago Blackhawks about Patrick Kane but one scribe thinks they should go after a specific defenseman.

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Why does that not really work? Speaking of Kane, when is he willing to make a move? Finally, Mike Babcock has resigned as coach of the Huskies. Is he headed back to the NHL?

Flames Likely to Make Another Move?

Steve Macfarlane of Calgary Hockey Now writes that because the Flames have 10 defensemen on one-way contracts, it’s likely the team makes a move to send one out and try to land a forward in a trade. The speculation is that they want to add a top-nine winger, possibly someone that can play in the top six.

Oliver Kylington Calgary Flames
Oliver Kylington, Calgary Flames (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Of the names mentioned that could be sacrificed from the blue line, 23-year-old defenseman Juuso Valimaki has been discussed. The issue here is that the value in trade for this player isn’t high and moving him might not fetch what the Flames need. There is talk that teams will call about Oliver Kylington and Noah Hanifin, but it’s not likely the Flames would be interested in moving either player.

Mcfarlane threw out a ton of names of forwards the Flames might look at, but salary cap will play a factor in adding a player with a hefty contract.

Oilers and Chychrun Don’t Fit

Allan Mitchell of The Athletic took a look at some potential trade options for the Oilers at this season’s NHL Trade Deadline. He brought up the rumors of Patrick Kane but got the sense Edmonton would be better suited to go after a defenseman. He writes:

The Patrick Kane talk is at fever pitch in Edmonton, out-of-towners might believe it impossible but the sun never sets on the Oilers in this city. Kane would be an attractive addition, but the club may have a more pressing need at the trade deadline.

source – ‘Lowetide: 9 bold Edmonton Oilers predictions for 2022-23’ – Allan Mitchell – The Athletic – 08/24/2022
Jakob Chychrun Arizona Coyotes
Jakob Chychrun, Arizona Coyotes (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

As for what the more pressing need might be, he mentioned a defenseman and said, “Don’t count out Jakob Chychrun.”

The problem with Mitchell’s theory is that the asking price right now for Chychrun is two first-round picks. Since GM Ken Holland came aboard with the Oilers, he’s not traded a single first-rounder. He might be convinced to give up on one this year, but definitely not two. That is not a price Holland would even consider.

Kane Doesn’t Want to Be Traded Until After the Season Starts

Frank Seravalli is reporting that the news on Patrick Kane being willing to waive his no-trade and no-move clause to go to another team hasn’t changed. Seravalli had learned that Kane didn’t want to be moved before the season started and that is still the case. If he’s going to accept a trade, it will be closer to the trade deadline.

Seravalli also notes that the teams who have inquired about Kane’s availability — the New York Rangers, Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs and others — have been told the same thing.

Mike Babcock Resigns As Huskies Coach

Former NHL coach Mike Babcock has announced he’s officially stepped down as the Huskies Head Coach. He spent only one season as their head coach and led the team to a 14-9 record before losing out to the Calgary Dinos in a best-of-three series in the Canada West quarter-finals. The Huskies have announced that Babcock’s Assistant Coach Brandin Cote, will take over coaching duties on an interim basis.

The timing of his resignation is odd which has led some to wonder if he’s intending to make a move back to the NHL. He’ll be in tough trying to land a job over someone like Barry Trotz, and he’s still being paid by the Toronto Maple Leafs. It’s unlikely he makes a move back anytime soon.