In today’s NHL rumors rundown, there are multiple updates on the Toronto Maple Leafs. Did Ondrej Kase just hint he was leaving? Will there be room for Rasmus Sandin? Have the Leafs talked to Jack Campbell about an extension yet?
Meanwhile, what is the latest on the Calgary Flames and the status of Matthew Tkachuk? Finally, are the Edmonton Oilers hoping the league will look at a slightly controversial hit from Game 2?
Ondrej Kase Says ”Thank You”
NHL insider Elliotte Friedman suggests in his recent 32 Thoughts column not to read too much into an Instagram post. Saying that fans were surprised when Ondrej Kase seemed to hint he might be leaving the team, Friedman says that might not necessarily be the case.
“Toronto followers were confused by an Ondrej Kase Instagram post where he thanked Maple Leafs fans, taking it as an indication that he might be leaving. That’s premature, I think there are talks underway, but it’s not wrong to think the team would be spooked by an arbitration award in a tight cap situation.”
Questions About Where Rasmus Sandin Fits
Friedman also notes: ”There’s no doubt Toronto’s Rasmus Sandin is getting a qualifying offer, but what’s less certain is how things will play out for him.” He talked about Sandin playing well until an injury sidelined things and then how Jake Muzzin wound up proving he still could still contribute during the postseason. There’s a logjam with Muzzin, Sandin, Morgan Rielly, Mark Giordano and TJ Brodie all on the same side, and “Toronto’s cap situation doesn’t afford Sandin contract room,” he explains.
The Maple Leafs might need to decide which player (Muzzin or Sandin) is more important for them or offers the best return in a pending trade.
No Contract Talks With Campbell
As for netminder Jack Campbell, Friedman reports there hadn’t been any contract conversations for months and the two sides were far apart. Campbell’s agent, Kurt Overhardt, says “there’s been no material contract conversation” since the end of the season.
What exactly does that mean? Are the Maple Leafs just waiting? Do they have someone else in mind? Are they trying to make Campbell feel as though they are in absolutely no rush to sign him and that he needs to make the first move to signal he wants to stay? There aren’t a lot of options out there for the Leafs on the goaltending market if they’ve chosen to move away from a Campbell extension.
Latest on Flames and Tkachuk
Eric Francis of Sportsnet took another look at the situation in Calgary involving Matthew Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau and when it came to Tkachuk said it’s almost a certainty that the Flames and the forward do a one-year deal this summer. Even though Tkachuk said he was open to a long-term contract extension, Francis argued, “The only way I see this happening is if the Flames lose Gaudreau and need to up the ante to ensure Tkachuk doesn’t walk for nothing as well.”
Francis believes Tkachuk will take his $9 million qualifying offer and become an unrestricted free agent after next season. Saying Tkachuk comes from a long line of savvy negotiators and that the Flames might be prioritizing Gaudreau, it’s not realistic to think both long-term deals happen this summer.
Oilers Looking to Get Landeskog Suspended?
The Edmonton Oilers want the league to take a closer look at a hit that took Kailer Yamamoto out of Game 2. Head coach Jay Woodcroft said in his post-game media scrum following a 4-0 loss to the Avalanche: “I thought the angle of the check, the principal point of contact was the head. It’s not my call. I don’t referee the games.” He added, “My job is to coach and not to make the calls. I’m sure the necessary people at the league will look at that hit.”
The hit wasn’t necessarily late as Yamamoto had just touched the puck, but if the Oilers’ forward was in a vulnerable position and Landeskog did hit him in the head, the league won’t like that. Could he sit for a game? If so, it would be helpful for the Oilers who absolutely need to win Game 3 at home on Saturday.
The chances the league looks at it aren’t high.
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.”