In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news on Johnny Gaudreau and the Calgary Flames, plus Robin Lehner wants to stay with the Golden Knights. The Chicago Blackhawks have signed three players, and there is speculation Taylor Hall might surprise a few people in free agency. In Boston, there are questions about David Pastrnak, and is there a chance some coaches won’t be joining their NHL rosters?
Issues in Calgary with Johnny Gaudreau?
TSN hockey insider Darren Dreger said during a recent report that there is some question in Calgary as to how happy Johnny Gaudreau is with his specific situation. People were quick to notice when Gaudreau wasn’t on the top line with Sean Monahan or Elias Lindholm.
Dreger said, “They’re doing their best to downplay it and I don’t have a firm answer.”
Of course, this could simply be that the coaching staff simply opted to split top players onto different lines. Still, there is a sense around Calgary that a message is being sent right out of the gate and at the start of camp. He says, “If that’s the case, then maybe Johnny didn’t spend enough time in the home gym, but that’s just speculation.”
There’s talk that Gaudreau may let the Flames know he’s unhappy and going to want to go back east. Dreger said, “If Johnny Guadreau doesn’t like playing in Calgary, good for him. He can make that decision. It’s 100% up to him, he’s a grown a– man” and he added, “There seems to be some sort of galvanizing pieces or pieces in Calgary that just don’t seem to go away.”
Related: Calgary Flames Best All-Time
Lehner Looking to Stay With Golden Knights
Danny Webster of NHL.com writes that despite the fact Robin Lehner has not been with the team long and there’s talk of him looking to do well in free agency — and Vegas Golden Knights having Marc-Andre Fleury on the books — the talented goaltender is hopeful that he’ll have talks about remaining with the team beyond this season.
“I’m sure we’ll have some discussions after the season and see what happens,” Lehner said Wednesday. “I really like it here. Great team, great organization, great group of players. We’ll see what happens. You never know, but it’s a very good impression here so far.”
The problem for the Golden Knights is obviously how much money they are willing to invest in a goaltending tandem. That said, Lehner could get the nod as a starter over Fleury which might signal the thought process about keeping him.
Blackhawks Sign Three
The Chicago Blackhawks have officially announced three signings. Ian Mitchell has signed a three-year entry-level contract, Wyatt Kalynuk has signed a two-year entry-level contract and Pius Suter has signed a one-year entry-level contract.
All three deals will start in 2020-21.
Where is David Pastrnak?
Matt Porter of the Boston Globe notes that Bruins star David Pastrnak is not at practice and Bruins PR said he would not Zoom with reporters as scheduled.
Bruce Cassidy confirmed that Pastrnak and Ondrej Kase were “unfit to participate” in today’s practice: “Hopefully that changes in the near future.”
Tryamkin Signs With the KHL
There was talk the Vancouver Canucks might work out contract details with Nikita Tryamkin and that he could possibly return to the team, but that’s not happening. The defenseman has signed a new one-year contract with Yekaterinburg of the KHL. According to Thomas Drance of The Athletic felt there was “too much risk” in waiting given he hasn’t played since February.
While the Canucks will be able to retain his rights until next summer, Tryamkin will become an unrestricted free agent on his 27th birthday—August 30, 2021.
Taylor Hall Could Surprise With His Free Agency Decision
Elliotte Friedman said on Writers Bloc:
… if anyone goes off the board to put themselves in a winning situation, it’ll be Taylor Hall. He’s been in a lot of losing situations & he’s tried of it, he’s made a lot of money in his career, winning is his #1 priority now.
The idea here is that Hall hasn’t won anything in his NHL career and knowing that this offseason’s free agency might not be the best time to hit a financial home run, he could pick the team with the best odds of helping him win. Does that mean we could see him in a Colorado uniform for one year?
Coaches Working to Get Full Pay Back
According to a recent report by TSN, not all team employees are back to full pay in the NHL and that could pose a problem. Many teams had to cut the salary of coaches and staff during the pause and Darren Dreger noted, “The NHL Coaches’ Association is trying to get all head coaches and assistant coaches back up to full salary.”
There’s an issue with this because the NHL doesn’t govern over this and can’t force teams to reinstate full salaries. Some contracts also include a force majeure clause (right to not performed employed services when certain circumstances beyond their control arise) which, in this case, was triggered by the NHL going into pause.
The good news is most of the NHL teams that were forced to cut back salaries have returned to full pay.
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Jim Parsons is a freelance writer who covers the Edmonton Oilers and news and rumors posts here at The Hockey Writers.
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