In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news that former Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis would like to return to the NHL, the Calgary Flames may have been looking elsewhere before going with Milan Lucic and the New York Rangers now have no choice but to start shedding salary after signing Jacob Trouba. Finally, will Andrei Markov make it back to the NHL? He certainly wants to come back.
Mike Gillis Looking for Work?
Former Canucks general manager Mike Gillis told Sportsnet’s Luke Fox that he’d like to return to the NHL and be involved a big-picture type of role. Whether that be in general organizational development or analytics and much more, it remains to be seen if there’s a job out there for him.
During that interview, Gillis shot down any rumors he was in line to replace Trevor Linden when Linden left the Canucks. He said he was never approached about taking that job.
Flames Looked At Reaves Before Lucic
The Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers made a trade yesterday when the Oilers sent Milan Lucic to Calgary for James Neal. There’s been a ton of talk about the swap but Sportsnet’s Eric Francis reports that Calgary had been looking for toughness long before acquiring Lucic.
The Flames thought they had a deal in place with winger Ryan Reaves last summer before he re-signed with Vegas. It’s unclear if the Flames and Golden Knights struck up a conversation about Reaves before finalizing the trade with the Oilers but there is some assumption they did and that because Vegas needed to move salary, there was no way James Neal was going to be part of the package going the other way.
Francis believes it’s unlikely now that Calgary revisits the idea of adding Reaves with Lucic in the fold.
That said, on the trade that did happen, Nick Kypreos was on with Tim & Sid and said both Lucic and Neal are ecstatic to be getting fresh starts. Neal has been training with Connor McDavid this summer and feels like he hit the jackpot getting an opportunity to play alongside him and Lucic feels he’s got a lot to prove and doesn’t believe he’s even close to done contributing in the NHL.
Rangers Signing Trouba Means Money Must Go Out
Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post reports the New York Rangers now need to move salary out after re-signing Jacob Trouba yesterday to a seven-year, $56-million contract. They are over the $81.5-million salary cap for 2019-20.
The dilemma is trying to get under the cap ceiling but leaving room to sign restricted free agents like Pavel Buchnevich, Brendan Lemieux, and Anthony DeAngelo. The immediate options to alleviate the financial stress appears to be trading winger Chris Kreider, shopping center Vladislav Namestnikov or buying out defensemen Kevin Shattenkirk and waiving Brendan Smith. If Smith clears waivers and is sent to the minors, the Rangers would save $1.25 million.
The Latest on Andrei Markov
TVA Sports is reporting that former Montreal Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov still searching for a new contract and would like to return to the NHL. After two seasons with KHL’s Kazan Ak-Bars, his $2.5 million US asking price has apparently priced him out of the KHL.
Markov has reached out to NHL teams, among them, the Canadiens, but has not gotten a response. The only likely way he gets a job in the NHL at this point is if he comes in on a professional tryout and wins a spot on an NHL roster.
Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”