NHL Rumors: Ducks, Canucks, Bruins, Flames, Blues

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Anaheim Ducks are looking for a defenseman. How much are they willing to pay to get one? Meanwhile, the Boston Bruins are seeing negotiations with David Pastrnak drag out. The Vancouver Canucks have been told by J.T Miller’s camp that there’s a pathway to getting an extension done and a Matthew Tkachuk trade could happen this week.

The Ducks Looking for a Defenseman

As per John Hoven, Anaheim Ducks GM Pat Verbeek confirmed he is interested in adding a defenseman, even if he wouldn’t go as far as calling it a priority for the organization. “I don’t know if that’s a priority… I’ll want to find somebody who can take up some minutes, but not sure that guy is out there right now.”

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The Ducks were rumored to be interested in bringing Josh Manson back as a free agent. Manson re-signed in Colorado, forcing the Ducks to look elsewhere. Of the free agents who are still out there, he says they are looking for too much term on a new deal.

Is There a Path to Keeping Miller in Vancouver?

As part of a recent article by Harman Dayal of The Athletic, he quotes agent Brian Bartlett who says he sees a pathway for J.T. Miller to stick with the Vancouver Canucks.

J.T. Miller Vancouver Canucks
J.T. Miller, Vancouver Canucks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Dayal quotes Bartlett when he writes:

I do think there’s a realistic path for an extension with the Canucks. J.T. loves it in Vancouver. He feels like the team is improving, he loved his role there, his family likes the city. He would be on board with an extension. The part that we can’t answer is at what value or level the team places on him. From our end, from J.T’s end, there’s a path forward on an extension but it takes two to tango, I guess.”

source – ‘J.T. Miller’s agent discusses Canucks future: ‘There’s a realistic path for an extension’ – Harman Dayal – The Athletic – 07/20/2022

It appears less and less like there is a rush from the Canucks end to get this deal done. The market has really dried up in terms of teams spending big money on players, which means the market for Miller in a trade has likely slowed too. The Canucks also have Miller locked in for this coming season and the value in trade won’t be much less, especially if Miller has a strong campaign.

Bruins Want to Get Pastrnak Deal Done

According to Jimmy Murphy of Boston Hockey Now, it could take some time for the Bruins and David Pastrnak to come to terms on a new contract extension. GM Don Sweeney is interested in making Pastrnak a Bruin for life, but talks are said to be dragging on, according to an NHL executive source.

Related: Kraken Cap Space Could Help Canadiens with Salary Cap Issues

Part of the delay, according to this same source:

“I think Pastrnak and his camp are probably interested to see where things are headed in Boston. There could be some lean years ahead soon. Does he want to be part of that? This could drag on or maybe it gets done this week. Who knows? But I don’t think it’s as much a certainty it gets done before camp as some may believe.”

Could Tkachuk Trade Happen Within the Week?

Eric Francis continued to do interviews with radio and television stations on Tuesday and noted that he believes a trade to send Matthew Tkachuk out of Calgary could, and likely will, happen within the week. He doesn’t see how this arbitration filing by the Flames turns out to be anything other than a sign the player has already let Calgary know he’s not interested in signing long-term.

The Flames couldn’t match an offer sheet because doing so means you can’t trade the player for a year. That walks Tkachuk into free agency. They can’t accept an arbitration award because the same will happen as an arbitrator’s decision can’t run into a player’s UFA years. It’s a long-term deal or a trade.

As for the team that is most talked about when it comes to Tkachuk going elsewhere, the St. Louis Blues are the favorite and on Oilers Now, Francis acknowledged that Jordan Kyrou is the likely piece that gets asked about by the Flames. The Blues would have to move out salary as they only have $600K in which to work with and Kyrou off the books doesn’t give St. Louis enough room. A Vladimir Tarasenko trade then becomes critical, either to Calgary as part of that package or to another team as a potential salary cap dump.