NHL Rumors: Flames, Oilers, Maple Leafs, Senators

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, there are some candidates emerging for the vacant GM position in Calgary. Meanwhile, what will the Edmonton Oilers do after their disappointing end to their 2023 playoffs? Some members of the Toronto Maple Leafs hint at their future, while, there are bids coming in for the Ottawa Senators.

Flames GM Candidates Becoming Clearer

As per Elliotte Friedman on the 32 Thoughts podcast, “Someone said to me a couple of weeks ago that they would not be surprised if Sean Burke was on Don Maloney’s radar for the Calgary Flames, as a General Manager”. Meanwhile, Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff reports, “Hearing Flames plan to pursue permission to interview Leafs’ assistant GM Brandon Pridham for their GM vacancy.”

Oilers Plans Following Playoff Elimination

Seravalli noted on Monday, “Lots to pick through with Edmonton, but I expect #Oilers to be both very proactive and protective with regards to potential GM Steve Staios in next days and weeks.” Seravalli outlined the idea that Ken Holland would hold the President of Hockey Operations while Staios would take the GM title. It is believed the Ottawa Senators could have an interest in Staois and the Oilers want to get out ahead of that.

Ken Holland Edmonton Oilers
Ken Holland, Edmonton Oilers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

That’s just on the management side of things. As far as what happens with players on the ice, there is plenty of speculation. But, the only moves the team might make will be moves that free up cap space to sign important players on their roster that need new contracts. Seravalli suggested they need to improve the right-wingers and Evan Bouchard’s contract negotiation will impact how the roster is constructed. Depending on how much money can be moved will dictate the kind of deal — a bridge deal or a long-term contract — that Bouchard gets.

Maple Leafs Players Talk About Their Future

Chris Johnston of TSN tweeted a number of quotes from Monday morning’s media avail with some of the players in Toronto and noted that some stressed how much they want to remain with the Maple Leafs, while others hinted at testing free agency.

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Auston Matthews said: “My intention is to be here” and added he’d like the extension done before next season. That will be important for the Maple Leafs as his no-trade kicks in on July 1. Ryan O’Reilly said he “hasn’t given much thought to his pending unrestricted free agency, but he certainly sounded more inclined to test the open market on July 1 than try and work out an extension …”

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When Noel Acciari was asked if he would want to re-sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs, he responded, “I’d love to.”

According to Luke Fox of Sportsnet, Michael Bunting says he had no extension talks with Leafs this season and will focus on free agency after taking some time to relax and unwind. “It’s been special every day, and I haven’t taken it for granted.”

Related: Maple Leafs Risk Losing Matthews if They Let Dubas Depart

John Tavares was also asked if he would waive his no-trade clause to go elsewhere and noted he loves being here and would be open to trying new positions. Kevin McGran quoted Tavares in a recent Toronto Star article:

“I made a commitment here for seven years to be a Leaf and I want to be here. That’s how I feel. I love being captain, and take that responsibility very seriously. I feel really fortunate. And I still think there’s a tremendous opportunity for our team in the near future and the long run.”

source – ‘‘I want to be here.’ Maple Leafs captain John Tavares says he’s committed to staying, and willing to move to wing’ – Kevin McGran – Toronto Star – 05/15/2023

Bids Coming for Senators

Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun tweeted on Monday, “Postmedia has confirmed Toronto billionaire Michael Andlauer, Jeffrey and Michael Kimel of the Harlo Financial Group and Los Angeles producer Neko Sparks will make non-binding bids for the #Sens before Monday deadline. Still waiting on word of the three other groups in Stage 2.”