NHL Rumors: Canadiens, Oilers, Flames, Rangers

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, Elliotte Friedman wondered if Carey Price will simply take a year off now that the Olympics are out of the question? Meanwhile, in Edmonton, things have gone from bad to worse and there are calls for immediate change. The Calgary Flames new arena deal is dead and why aren’t the New York Rangers trying harder to res-sign Ryan Strome?

Price to Sit Out the Season or Showcase Himself for a Trade?

Elliotte Friedman wondered during the latest edition of 32 Thoughts The Podcast: “The Olympics are out of the question now so what happens with Price?” He answered his own question and said, that now that the Olympics are out, there are two ways Price might respond.

Carey Price Montreal Canadiens
Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

First, Friedman suggests that with no Olympics and the Canadiens playing for anything, Price might say, “I’m going to take the rest of the year off to get healthy physically and mentally and I’ll see you all next September.” Second, the team might talk to their goalie and see if he’s interested in a move. Friedman noted:

“Would the Canadiens and Price say well maybe another team might want you, but the only way that could work is if you get healthy and play some games this year so other teams can see that you’re alright. I think at some point that conversation is going to have to happen.”

Interestingly, Jeff Marek and Friedman said a similar conversation (without the showcase part) might be had with Brendan Gallagher to see if he’s interested in moving on.

Oilers Have to Make a Change

Before the Oilers lost handily to the New York Rangers on Monday there was a lot of talk of change coming for the organization who was trending downward after a hot start to the season. The team had lost 10 of their last 12 games and that call for change got a lot louder Monday night after head coach Dave Tippett called out goaltender Mikko Koskinen.

Related: 4 Potential Landing Spots For Blackhawks’ Dylan Strome

Outside of the fact that both Marek and Friedman agreed that Edmonton can’t afford to miss the playoffs, the coach throwing the goalie under the bus is not a good sign. Speculation is that Edmonton will immediately recall Stuart Skinner from the AHL. From there, the team will need to decide what to do about their three-goalie situation.

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Jason Gregor of Oilers Nation and TSN recently wrote in that Dave Tippett is going to have to demand more from the rest of the team too. He writes, “Dave Tippett needs to send a message to all of his top players as well. If they don’t play how he wants, then they can take a seat. It doesn’t have to be long term, but he needs to demand more accountability.”

Flames Arena Deal Terminated

After news that the Calgary Flames had intended to pull out of the new arena deal, reports are that the deal is officially dead. CBC reports that the agreement between the city of Calgary and the owners of the Flames has officially been terminated.

The official label being given to the deal falling apart is “unresolved issues” and speculation is that it stems from funding roadblocks, the agreement being amended by the city. The team will continue to play at the Scotia Bank Saddledome in the interim, but this clearly won’t be a long-term solution.

What’s Next for Rangers and Strome?

The talk surrounding Ryan Strome in New York continues to be of interest to other teams as clubs are curious as to where the negotiations between the center and the Rangers are going. Strome currently makes $4.5 million annually, which is low for a second-line center and there’s talk he could earn a similar deal to what former Rangers center Kevin Hayes, got when he signed a seven-year deal for $7.1 million annually with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Ryan Strome New York Rangers
Ryan Strome, New York Rangers (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

There have been reports that the Rangers and Strome have begun talks about an extension and if he’s seeking that kind of money, many believe the Rangers could look for a less expensive option. It’s quite amazing when you consider Strome has done everything the Rangers could have asked since trading for him. As host of Blueshirts Breakaway, Ryan Mead wrote, “Ryan Strome really is the cog that makes the New York Rangers go.” He’s still shocked the team has outwardly tried to trade him for three years and called him the glue that keeps it all together. He adds, “I don’t know how they don’t try and sign him at this point.”

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