NHL Rumors: Flames, Predators, Oilers, Canadiens

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, Matthew Tkachuk reveals his reason for wanting to leave the Calgary Flames. Meanwhile, were the Nashville Predators ever a serious contender to land the forward before he went to the Florida Panthers?

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The Edmonton Oilers are not done shopping in free agency, according to one source and the Montreal Canadiens are still looking to deal Christian Dvorak.

Tkachuk Says, “Time to Look Elsewhere”

In a post-trade interview, Tkachuk gave his reasons for deciding to leave the Calgary Flames and try a new team. He said his decision had nothing to do with Johnny Gaudreau leaving and said, “There’s no single reason why I left. At the end of the day, I wanted to re-evaluate where I’m at, and after talking to a few teams I did that, and kind of came down to that conclusion.”

Matthew Tkachuk Calgary Flames
Matthew Tkachuk, Calgary Flames (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

He added that he intentionally put himself in a position to make this decision at this age with his last contract. He signed a bridge deal so he would have more options and he knew after the RFA period on July 13 that he wouldn’t be staying. He said, “it was time to look elsewhere.” It was the talking period for RFAs that convinced Tkachuk he was making the right decision. He didn’t know before and “It all changed then.”

Predators Were Not Among Teams Pitching For Tkachuk

WSMV Sports Anchor Chris Harris said he talked to Nashville GM David Poile at the Tenessee Sports Hall of Fame banquet and Poile cleared up any questions that the Predators were in on Tkachuk trade talks. He says the team was not on the list of Tkachuk’s potential trade destinations.

Related: Penguins’ GM Hextall Continues to Make Smart Decisions

The Athletic’s Jeremy Rutherford did report Nashville as one of the teams that Tkachuk said he had interest in and is sticking to his report that a source told him they were a franchise Tkachuk looked at. That said, he does confirm that the Preds might not have been on the list Tkachuk ultimately submitted to the Flames. It probably wouldn’t have mattered as Nashville didn’t have the pieces Florida did to make this deal possible.

Oilers Plan to Add Two More Contracts

According to Kurt Leavins of The Edmonton Journal, the Oilers are not done adding pieces to their roster this summer. He writes:

The Oilers are planning to add one or two more NHL contracts to the roster before training camp, not including any possible PTO’s. UFA names that I have mentioned in the past and that I still think 1) Merit consideration and 2) Remain unsigned elsewhere: Wingers Sonny Milano, Evan Rodrigues, and Johan Larsson. And a name I keep hearing come up but who I had originally dismissed: Phil Kessel.

source – ‘In the RFA shuffle can Edmonton Oilers G.M. Ken Holland come up aces?: 9 Things’ – Kurt Leavins – Edmonton Journal – 07/24/2022
Phil Kessel Arizona Coyotes
Phil Kessel, Arizona Coyotes (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

The concern with Kessel is that his drop-off in scoring last year wasn’t a blip on his otherwise consistent NHL resume. If he doesn’t have that goal scoring punch any longer, he’s not good use of the Oilers very limited funds. While he won’t cost a lot, the Oilers want to hit a home run if they are going to add another offensive player in the $1-$1.25 million range.

Canadiens Still Intend to Trade Dvorak

As per Jimmy Murphy of Montreal Hockey Now, Christian Dvorak and the Montreal Canadiens are expected to part ways this offseason. Dvorak’s name has been in the trade rumor mill for some time and while money is tight for teams, there are clubs who see his $4.45 million salary for three more seasons as reasonable.

And, if there is truth to speculation that the Canadiens will ultimately make room for Pierre-Luc Dubois, Dvorak will need to be cleared out to create the cap space required.

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