NHL Rumors: Flames, Predators, Maple Leafs, Senators, Oilers…

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, insiders answer the question as to why the Calgary Flames do much at this season’s NHL Trade Deadline Meanwhile, was goaltender Juuse Saros actually available at this season’s deadline? What happened between the Ottawa Senators and Arizona Coyotes with the Jakob Chychrun deal?

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And, were the San Jose Sharks ever close to trading James Reimer? Finally, the Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs looked at some unexpected names ahead of the deadline.

Flames Punted Their Decisions to the Offseason

During this weekend’s 32 Thoughts podcast, Elliotte Friedman said of the Flames’ lack of moves at this season’s deadline that he believes they punted their big decisions to the offseason. He noted that there are some really big names on the Flames’ roster that they’ll need to make some huge decisions on next summer. He said the contract calendar could determine their future.

Milan Lucic Calgary Flames
Milan Lucic, Calgary Flames (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Friedman doesn’t have reason to believe they considered any big deals on Friday. He wonders if the Flames made a list of teams that called GM Brad Treliving about certain players and wonders if he’ll return to those teams if some players choose not to want to extend their contracts in the summer. A wild rumor Friedman heard was Milan Lucic going to the Bruins to have one last ride in Boston. He’s not sure how much truth there was to that rumor.

There’s some belief that Calgary doesn’t believe they are as bad a team as they have shown so far in the 2022-23 season.

Fallout From Senators Deal for Chychrun

There was a lot of talk about the Arizona Coyotes taking less than they should have to move Jakob Chychrun to the Senators and Friedman reports that GM Bill Armstrong misplayed his hand on dealing the defenseman. Friedman noted that Armstrong chose Ottawa because there’s a chance they don’t make the playoffs and he gets a higher first-round pick in the deal. He said, “I had a few people who did say to me, that yes, Bill Armstrong has a point, a higher draft pick is better than two late first-round draft picks.” The counter argument is that Armstrong increased the percentage that the pick decreases in value because Ottawa will be better.

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Friedman says he is convinced the Senators didn’t think they would get Chychrun based on the offer they’d made. That the Senators were able to keep their best prospects is being seen as a huge win by those who like what Ottawa did. In other news, it doesn’t sound like there was any desire by the Senators to move players that could help them win, including Cam Talbot or Derick Brassard.

Saros Was Untouchable Out of Nashville

Paul Skrbina of The Tennessean reports that Predators’ GM David Poile said defenseman Roman Josi and goaltender Juuse Saros were considered off-limits during trade discussions leading up to Friday’s deadline. There was a rumor floating around that maybe Saros was available. That’s not true.

Skrbina quoted Poile who said:

“I don’t think we’re a bad team, regardless of what has been done. We’re going to be a competitive team because we have Saros, who gives us a chance in every game. You still have one of the best defensemen in the league (Josi). I’m far from saying we’re not competitive.”

source – ‘David Poile says Nashville Predators ‘taking step backward’ in the name of the future’ – Paul Skribina – Tennessean – 03/03/2023

Sharks Didn’t Get Much Trade Action on Reimer

Max Miller of San Jose Hockey Now reports Sharks goaltender James Reimer was disappointed he wasn’t traded at this season’s deadline. The Sharks were open to dealing him, but Sharks GM Mike Grier reported a trade was never close. He notes that once Jonathan Quick and Joonas Korpisalo got traded, Grier said there wasn’t a big market for goalies.

Oilers Made a Pitch For Timo Meier

Friedman reported during the Saturday night 32 Thoughts segment of Hockey Night in Canada that the Oilers made a serious pitch for Timo Meier.

Timo Meier San Jose Sharks
Timo Meier, San Jose Sharks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

He noted:

“To me, one of the most facinating things is the Edmonton Oilers made a legitimate pitch for Timo Meier. Now obviously, it didn’t happen. He was traded to the New Jersey Devils, but the Oilers did take a long look into it. From what I understand, they made an offer. They were looking at it like ‘we’ll bring him in and figure everything out in the summer after the season.’ But they wanted him for the playoffs. I thought it was a really interesting idea.

I think Calgary looked at it too, but they were more interested in it too if they could sign him. But Edmonton, Jeff, was willing to do it and just let this play out down the road.”

It’s not clear if Edmonton’s pitch meant trying to sign him or flipping him in the offseason and trying to recoup some of the picks it would have cost to acquire him at the deadline.

Maple Leafs Considered Karlsson and Ekholm

Friedman also notes that the Maple Leafs looked at both Mattias Ekholm and Erik Karlsson after all of the moves they made leading to the deadline. He notes the math simply didn’t work out for GM Kyle Dubas and there was no way to make the deal work.