NHL Rumors: Flames, Oilers, Maple Leafs, Capitals

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, Craig Conroy hints that the Calgary Flames will be trying to trade one of their three goaltenders. Meanwhile, will the Edmonton Oilers revisit a few things they looked at ahead of last season’s NHL Trade Deadline?

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Auston Matthews may be the target of a few teams who want to copycat the Matthew Tkachuk trade and the Washington Capitals might have their sights set on a few offseason free-agent targets.

Are Flames Shopping Daniel Vladar?

According to the Flames’ new GM, the team is in a bit of a sticky situation with their three-headed goalie monster as all of Jacob Markstrom, Dustin Wolf, and Daniel Vladar want and need playing time. Conroy spoke with Frank Seravalli about the issue and hinted that the team will move Wolf up and down to get him as much playing time as possible while shopping one of the other two netminders.

Dan Vladar Calgary Flames
Dan Vladar, Calgary Flames (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Markstrom has a no-move clause and three seasons remaining on a contract that pays him $6 million per season. It will be difficult to trade him. That means Vladar is likely to be shopped around the trade market to see if there is someone willing to take on his two more seasons at $2.2 million per season.

Oilers May Revisit Longshot Additions

Pointing out a couple of moves the Oilers tried to make before this past season’s NHL Trade Deadline, Daniel Nugent-Bowman of The Athletic believes the team could revisit a few things, even if they are long shots to happen over the summer. Among them are the additions of Erik Karlsson and Jonathan Toews.

Related: Oilers’ Upcoming Offseason One of the Most Vital in Team History

The reports of Edmonton’s interest in Karlsson were everywhere and he writes, “It’s time to do that again over the next few weeks.” He notes that the Oilers would have to move a contract, get San Jose to retain salary, and take another back. He then notes:

It might not even be feasible. But can you imagine a top four of Karlsson and Darnell Nurse to go along with Bouchard and Mattias Ekholm? That third pair could be some combination of cheap options like Niemelainen, Vincent Desharnais, Philip Broberg and a Ryan Murray-type veteran.

source – ‘Oilers offseason priorities: A 10-step plan for ensuring success next season’ – Daniel Nugent-Bowman – The Athletic – 05/24/2023

Nugent-Bowman also notes the Oilers had discussions internally about Toews, discussions which stopped when he was shut down for the season due to injury. He writes that the team should check in again to see how he’s feeling. “There are some major red flags here, so signing Toews, 35, isn’t a must,” he notes. “Anything more than one year and $2 million should be a non-starter.”

Is Auston Matthews Being Targeted by Other Teams?

ESPN.com’s Greg Wyshynski recently speculated that there are NHL teams that could by trying to recreate the big win for Florida that was last summer’s blockbuster trade for Matthew Tkachuk. They’ll be going after Auston Matthews in an attempt to be the next Panthers.

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Before Kyle Dubas departed the Maple Leafs, he did reference that trade specifically, so it’s no surprise to hear other GMs might be thinking about it too. Wyshynski believes Matthews wants to stay in Toronto and the Maple Leafs have told him the intention is to keep him, but things are constantly shifting with Dubas’ firing. Wyshynski writes, “The NHL is a copycat league. Physical team plays for the Cup? Gotta muscle up. Fast team plays for the Cup? Gotta get some burners in the lineup. Panthers play for the Cup? Gotta make our Matthew Tkachuk trade.”

Capitals Offseason Targets

The Athletic’s Tarik El-Bashir looked at some possible free-agent targets for the Washington Capitals and noted with the roughly $6.5 million in cap space they have, they could try to up the salary they have to spend by trading, burying, or buying out a contract.

Michael Bunting Toronto Maple Leafs
Michael Bunting, Toronto Maple Leafs (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

If and when that happens, he names a handful of players the team might go after. Among them, Chicago’s Andreas Athanasiou, Vegas’ Ivan Barbashev, Boston’s Tyler Bertuzzi, Toronto’s Michael Bunting, Colorado’s J.T. Compher, Dallas’ Max Domi, the New York Islanders’ Pierre Engvall, and Colorado’s Evan Rodrigues. He also suggested re-signing Connor Brown, who missed this season with a knee injury.

Bashir writes:

MacLellan’s focus this offseason figures to be on adding one and, perhaps, a couple of top-six-caliber forwards. It’s probably safe to assume MacLellan isn’t going to pursue over-30 stars like Patrick Kane, Ryan O’Reilly and Vladimir Tarasenko and that it’s much more likely that he’ll be on the hunt for younger players, preferably ones who won’t break the bank.

source – ‘Capitals free-agent targets: Nine forwards who’d fit in Washington’ – Tarik El-Bashir – The Athletic – 05/25-2023