NHL Rumors: Oilers, Flames, Hurricanes, Avalanche

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Edmonton Oilers are still being linked to a couple of veteran free agents. Will either wind up with the organization? The Calgary Flames are working with MacKenzie Weegar on an extension and it is believed things could be close.

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The Carolina Hurricanes are also close on an extension with one of their players and could the Colorado Avalanche be looking at backup options to replace Nazem Kadri?

Oilers Linked to Kessel and Subban

As per Kurt Leavins of the Edmonton Journal, the Oilers are still being connected in free agency talks to P.K. Subban and Phil Kessel. Leavins has mentioned Kessel’s name in the past and considering the Oilers’ lack of depth and competition for top-six spots at right wing, it would make sense. The Oilers might like to have another defenseman on the roster in the event one of their rookies struggles, but they are deeper on the right side.

P.K. Subban, New Jersey Devils
P.K. Subban, New Jersey Devils (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Leavins writes:

Subban has made over $80m in his career, Kessel $93m. At this point in their careers, they have made most of the money they will probably ever need. What they will still want to do is win, especially after seasons in New Jersey and Arizona. So, why would their agents (Don Meehan and Wayne Arnott, respectively) not put a call in to a Final 4 team to see if there is a fit?

source -‘The best thing Ken Holland could do for the Edmonton Oilers is “slow it down”: 9 Things’ – Kurt Leavins – Edmonton Journal – 08/07/2022

The Oilers don’t have the cap space to add anyone else and they need to get Ryan McLeod signed to an extension. If Subban or Kessel are on their radar, it will have to wait until other business is sorted out and a move is made to clear space.

Talks Between Flames and Weegar Picking Up

With Jonathan Huberdeau now signed to a long-term extension, the Flames will be focused a on new deal for MacKenzie Weegar and David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period writes that the two sides were already talking and things could pick up even further. The Flames are viewing getting both players signed as an organizational win after having to trade two huge pieces off the roster and GM Brad Treliving is trying to lock up both players as quickly as possible to get the fan base excited about the new acquisitions and how players feel about the team and the city.

Related: Flames News & Rumors: Huberdeau, Mangiapane, Kylington & More

If Huberdeau and Weegar both come in and immediately elect to stay — Huberdeau choosing to end his NHL career as a member of the Flames — the feeling is that the narrative around Calgary shifts a bit to the positive.

Hurricanes and Necas Close to Agreeing on an Extension

Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer writes that will the Carolina Hurricanes don’t have a lot of salary cap space with which to add more contracts, they are close to re-signing forward Martin Necas according to GM Don Waddel. The GM noted, “We’re speaking on almost a daily basis and it’s getting close. I can only speak for my side of it, but it’s going to get done.”

Martin Necas Carolina Hurricanes
Martin Necas, Carolina Hurricanes (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Speculation is that Necas will sign a two–year bridge contract for around $3 million a season. Signing Necas will open up a buyout window for the team for players who make over $4 million per season. Defenseman Jake Gardiner makes $4.05 million and was just medically cleared to return. Waddell wouldn’t commit to whether he’d use a buyout but if he did, Gardiner would be a strong candidate and it would save the Hurricanes close to $3 million next season.

Possible Replacements For Kadri In Colorado

While Nazem Kadri remains officially unsigned, the Colorado Avalanche will be a team that remains in the conversation until Kadri does or doesn’t go back there. A couple of scribes are suggesting the Avalanche move on and not overpay to bring him back, instead focusing on replacement forwards that will come in at a lower cap hit.

Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post suggests Avalanche center Paul Stastny is a good fit and he remains available via free agency. Kiszla also suggested attempting to acquire Jonathan Toews from the Chicago Blackhawks sometime before next year’s trade deadline, with the Blackhawks retaining salary in the deal.

Paul Stastny Winnipeg Jets
Paul Stastny, Winnipeg Jets (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

He writes:

Our old buddy Paul Stastny is patiently watching how the market shakes out, looking to sign with a contender to make one more run at the Cup… On a one-year deal with the Avalanche somewhere between $1 million-$2 million, he could adapt to any role to compliment Compher and Newhook.

He adds that Toews is on the decline but would Chicago be willing to swallow half of Toews’ salary? If so, the Avs could find a way to acquire a proven leader and winner.

Sonny Milano and Evan Rodrigues remain on the open market and either might be a nice addition if the price is right.