In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is speculation that Swedish free agent Joakim Nygard has his choice of destination down to two teams, there is an update on the status of Ryan Callahan in Tampa, news out of Washington and the Coyotes are being creative in their search for talent.
Oilers or Flames for Nygard?
Editor in chief/chefredaktör, Uffe Bodin is reporting that it sounds like the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames are the final two teams in contention for Swedish free agent forward Joakim Nygard. It is expected he will a make a decision soon.
Nygard is a speedy forward with decent skill and would likely play as a third or fourth line player on most NHL clubs. He’s a bit older at age 26, but he’s capable and competes well.
Sticking with the Oilers, The Edmonton Journal’sJim Matheson thinks the Oilers might be interested in Vegas Golden Knights unrestricted free agent AHL winger Daniel Carr.
Update on Ryan Callahan
Knowing he’s likely a trade candidate out of Tampa Bay, there are a couple of updates on the status of Ryan Callahan.
Callahan’s agent said early this week that he hasn’t spoken with the Lightning about any potential plans. His agent, Stephen Bartlett added that they’ll need to submit their 15-team trade list by next month.
Speculation is that a sweetener might need to be added to any Callahan trade but it shouldn’t have to be a top prospect. Someone like Mitchell Stephens, Boris Katchouk or Taylor Raddysh. Others options could be Carter Verhaeghe, Alex-Barre Boulet or Connor Ingram.
We previously listed the New Jersey Devils, Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, and New York Rangers as possible landing spots and that hasn’t really changed.
Coyotes Looking to Europe?
The Arizona Coyotes are hoping to add scoring help this off-season, but have limited room to work with. With $74.4 million committed to 20 players for next season, that leaves about $8.6 million in cap space.
Marian Hossa coming off the books will help but they still need to sign RFA’s Nick Cousins, Lawson Crouse, and Josh Archibald. Potentially, add UFA Richard Panik to that list.
TSN reports that GM John Chayka is very interested in the European free agent market right now. The Coyotes GM has been in Slovakia scouting the World Championships and appears to have his eye on a few of the participants. The Coyotes are hoping to secure a talented import forward with an entry-level contract, and see if they can’t hit a home run on a cheap contract.
Some Talk About the Washington Capitals
NBC Sports Washington writes in two recent mailbag segments, J.J. Regan doesn’t expect Capitals GM Brian MacLellan will make an extreme move like trading goalie Braden Holtby to free up salary-cap space. Instead, he sees defenseman Matt Niskanen as a possible cost-cutting trade candidate. The idea would be to free up space to pursue forward depth in July via free agency.
Regan also doesn’t see the Capitals pursuing big-ticket UFAs like Artemi Panarin or Erik Karlsson. He thinks forward Carl Hagelin is likely to leave the organization in free agency but thinks Brett Connolly might consider re-signing with the team for less than market value.
We had earlier reported that the Capitals were going to decline qualifying RFA winger Andre Burakovsky’s to see if he’ll sign for less and Regan agrees that’s likely what will happen.
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.”