NHL Rumors: Flames, Blues, Maple Leafs, Oilers, More

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, a rumor has surfaced about a potential trade being discussed between the St. Louis Blues and Calgary Flames. Interestingly, it’s one that would involve Matthew Tkachuk. Meanwhile, updates on what Zach Hyman might be looking for in free agency have insiders taking a look at some contract comparables. Finally, Oscar Klefbom was not included by the NHL in a list of 18 players exempt from the NHL Expansion Draft. What now for the Edmonton Oilers?

Matthew Tkachuk Wants Out of Calgary?

According to Shane O’Brien, who is a co-host on the Steve Kouleas Powerplay podcast, Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk might want out of Calgary. O’Brien is not really known for breaking news and trade stories, but he seemed confident in the talk he’d heard from friends and people who know Tkachuk. He noted the player wants to go and play in St. Louis.

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

O’Brien didn’t offer much in the way of details about whether or not Tkachuk was unhappy in Calgary or if the trade was actually being discussed between the two teams. He could only say that he’d heard there was a real chance Tkachuk going to the Blues was a possibility.

Tkachuk for Tarasenko?

The player O’Brien mentioned would be coming back to the Flames was Vladimir Tarasenko. He said specifically that was the deal being thrown around and that more would be coming from the Blues side to make the trade more even. The reason is that everyone believes Tarasenko’s time in St. Louis is done. He adds, “Tarasenko’s time’s up there. I think that’s a trade that could happen.”

There’s a rumored feeling that Tarasenko has worn out his welcome with the Blues and that they’d like to shed his $7.5 million salary off the books for the next two seasons. Whether it’s a result of injuries or a lack of desire to play for the Blues, there’s a buzz that the two sides feel like maybe it’s time to move on.

Kouleas then wondered what the trade might look like in full and said, “I’d ask for Jordan Kyrou, right. Of course they could ask for Parayko. I guess Parayko and Vladdy gets it done. I don’t know if that’s fair for not. Given a choice I’d want Tkachuk to be my captain and everything else.”

Zach Hyman Comparables

Any time you want to try and predict what a player might get in free agency, the first thing you do is look at what similar players have gotten in the past. While there aren’t a ton of players who offer the skill set or intangibles Hyman does, Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star has a few players he believes give a decent indication about where offers might lead to.

Toronto Maple Leafs Zach Hyman
Toronto Maple Leafs left wing Zach Hyman (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn)

He notes:

For me, Brendan Gallagher is a comparable player, both 29, though Gallagher scores more. His cap hit is $6.5 million. Kevin Hayes, another 29-year-old in the Hyman mold, for some reason gets $7.1 million and doesn’t score like Hyman… Hyman deserves whatever it is he can get. And yes, as a 29-year-old who plays a hard-nosed game, he might be hard to replace. Let’s also remember he now has a history of injury trouble, particularly the knee.

source – ‘Mailbag: Should the Leafs be thinking beyond Zach Hyman?’ – Kevin McGran – Toronto Star – 06/18/2021

Klefbom Not Exempt From NHL Expansion Draft

A list of 18 players who would not require protection from their respective NHL teams was release yesterday. All of the players on this list are exempt because of their injury status. Oilers defenseman Oscar Klefbom was not on it.

This will obviously factor into what the Oilers decide to do with their protection plans. Will they protect Klefbom? Will they leave him exposed? There’s a decent argument for both sides based on the status of his health.

The big names worth noting here are Brent Seabrook from Chicago, Michael Ferland from Vancouver, Bryan Little from Winnipeg and Corey Crawford from New Jersey. In some of these players cases, there was some uncertainty as it pertained to their respective futures in the league.