NHL Rumors: Avalanche, Blues, Oilers, Canadiens, Flames, More

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, reports suggest the Colorado Avalanche and Gabriel Landeskog are as much as $5 million apart per season on a contract extension. Is he headed towards free agency and if so, who would be interested? The Montreal Canadiens are likely going to let Phillip Danault walk to free agency and the Edmonton Oilers are slowly working on getting a deal done with goaltender Mike Smith.

Landeskog Worth $3-$5 Million More than Avs Offering

It seems like an incredibly high number, but Andy Strickland is reporting that Landeskog could be asking for a salary that pays in the range of $9-$10 million on the open free agency market. That’s well beyond what the Avalanche have offered, which is rumored to be in the range of $5-$6 million on an eight-year term. Strickland did elaborate on the earlier post saying, “Not suggesting it’ll take $9-$10M to stay in Colorado. He’s not asking for that. Saying price goes up if he hits the market.”

Gabriel Landeskog Colorado Avalanche
Gabriel Landeskog, Colorado Avalanche (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

If this value is accurate it seems unlikely a deal gets done before the market opens. The Avs would need to come by at least $1.5 to $2 million per season otherwise he tests offers from other teams who may dramatically overpay him.

Strickland noted that if Landeskog tests the free agency waters, teams he’s looking at include the Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Vegas Golden Knights, Toronto Maples, New York Islanders, and the St. Louis Blues. The Blues would be the favorites and it would be difficult to see how Tampa, Toronto and Vegas fit him in considering their salary cap concerns.

Blues Getting Offers for Tarasenko

If the Blues can move Vladimir Tarasenko, they’ll certainly be looking to add Landeskog. And, they may be in luck. A few teams have already reached out, including the New York Islanders. There’s also chatter that the Blues and Washington Capitals might be thinking about a deal where the centerpieces would be Evgeny Kuznetsov for Tarasenko.

Strickland is reporting that Boston Bruins are not among the teams interested, which add fuel to the fire that a deal with Taylor Hall might be close.

Oilers to Look at Landeskog?

TSN’s Ryan Rishaug reports, “Landeskog has to be a consideration for the Oilers.” He adds that Landeskog checks a lot of the boxes the Oilers are looking for. He offers leadership and is a proven playoff performer. Rishaug writes, “Wonder if they could do north of 7m for him over 6 or 7 years. Would take some juggling. He’d get either 97 or 29 as a centre which would be enticing.”

The question in Edmonton then becomes how much more you’re willing to give Landeskog than Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who has similar numbers since the two were drafted out of the same class in 2011. The biggest plus for Landeskog is his playoff history as he’s got 45 points in Nugent-Hopkins’ 14.

Would the Oilers value Landeskog over Zach Hyman? The team is rumored to be among the early pitches to Hyman since he was allowed to talk with other teams.

Smith and Oilers Talks Moving Slowly

In other Oilers news, as per TSN’s Darren Dreger: “I’m told that they are negotiating to get things done and it’s a slow moving process but I’m also told that if Mike Smith becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 28th, despite the fact that his best years are likely behind him, there are clubs with interest.”

Mike Smith Edmonton Oilers
Mike Smith, Edmonton Oilers (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Could the Oilers lose Smith if they can’t come to terms. If so, is that a huge concern? The team is rumored to be scouring the trade and free agent market to see if there’s an upgrade available over both Smith and Mikko Koskinen.

Flames Making One Last Push to Keep Giordano?

I reported a couple of days ago that Eric Francis of Sportsnet was reporting the Flames were preparing for life without defenseman Mark Giordano. There may be one last effort to avoid losing him in the expansion draft, according to LeBrun. The TSN insider suggests the Flames are considering side deals with the Seattle Kraken but the asking price may still be too high.

He notes the Flames have looked at other trades involving the defenseman so they could protect him and instead expose forward Mikael Backlund and defenseman Oliver Kylington according to Craig Button.

Canadiens Will Likely Let Danault Test Free Agency

As per Pierre LeBrun of TSN, the Montreal Canadiens have elected not to make an additional contract offer to center Phillip Danault. After he turned down a deal from the team last offseason, it doesn’t sound like GM Marc Bergevin is prepared to renegotiate unless Danault comes back with a more reasonable ask.

LeBrun said, “My sense at this time is that the Habs aren’t planning a new offer.” This is a risk on the Canadiens part but the hope is the market offers only underwhelming deals and Danault comes back to the team and is willing to revisit their original offer or something less.