NHL Rumors: Canadiens, Maple Leafs, Flames, Bettman on Hot Seat

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, it appears goaltender Carey Price might be returning to the NHL soon. Have the Toronto Maple Leafs spoken with Jack Campbell about a new contract? If the Calgary Flames are actually in on the Jack Eichel trade discussions, what would be the offer from a Calgary perspective? Finally, is Gary Bettman’s position as the NHL Commissioner in jeopardy after the messy press conference he held on Monday?

Carey Price Returning Soon?

The minimum 30-day period for the program Carey Price is involved with is up at the end of the week. On Tuesday, Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme told reporters including Eric Engels of Sportsnet that they expect him to be back with the team soon.

Ducharme added, however, that there is no exact date for Price’s return to the Canadiens. Price underwent knee surgery this offseason and reported for training camp in September. On October 7th, it was reported he would be entering the player assistance program.

Campbell and Maple Leafs to Talk After the Season

According to The Fourth Period, Kyle Dubas will be working with goaltender Jack Campbell after preliminary talks before the season started. David Pagnotta said on NHL Tonight:

“I can tell you, they had very, very loose preliminary discussions right before the start of the season – between the Leafs and Campbell’s agent – and there hasn’t been much since; there’s been really no discussions to this point. My understanding, my scope of this scenario, is that they’re going to wait. I think both sides are going to be comfortable waiting to see how the season plays out before ultimately determining the date of Jack Campbell.”

Speculation is that Campbell will be looking for $5 million per season if he performs well. That will be problematic for the Maple Leafs who are sitting at around $75.28 million for next season. With about $7 million in space, the team needs to find deals for Campbell, Ilya Mikheyev, and Jason Spezza, along with RFA Rasmus Sandin.

What Would the Flames Offer the Sabres for Eichel?

A few reporters have noted not to sleep on the Calgary Flames as a potential landing spot for Eichel. Hailey Salvian noted in a recent mailbag segment for The Athletic, there are a few players who would be untouchable and a few players who the Sabres wouldn’t want.

Matthew Tkachuk Calgary Flames
Matthew Tkachuk, Calgary Flames (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Noting that Matthew Tkachuk and Andrew Mangiapane are likely untouchable, Salvian adds:

Players like Gaudreau, Noah Hanifin, or Rasmus Andersson are likely aged out for the Sabres, or in Gaudreau’s case, a pending UFA. With that in mind, a lot of the roster is pretty safe. The assets I’d offer to Buffalo include Matthew Coronato, Connor Zary, Jakob Pelletier, Dillon Dube, Juuso Valimaki, and future first-round draft selections.

source – ‘Flames mailbag: What assets would you trade for Jack Eichel? Can the Flames keep Gaudreau, Mangiapane and Tkachuk next season?’ – Hailey Salvian – 11/1/2021

Related: Bruins News & Rumors: Hall, Hayes & Edwards

Her proposed offer would be Sean Monahan, Connor Zary, Jakob Pelletier, a 2022 first-round pick and perhaps a prospect as a sweetener for accepting Monahan in the deal.

Fallout From Gary Bettman Press Conference

There’s a lot of talk after Gary Bettman and Bill Daley held a press conference on Monday. The talk is that perhaps it’s time the NHL move on from the Commissioner considering how poorly everything surrounding this investigation into the Chicago Blackhawks and Kyle Beach situation has been handled.

Player agent Allan Walsh tweeted on Tuesday:

I’m hearing this morning that several NHL owners are “very concerned and unhappy” with Gary Bettman’s leadership. I think even the owners realize it’s time for a change in the NHL and culture only changes from the top down.

Walsh spoke about how badly Bettman mismanaged the events in Chicago, along with a number of missteps related to other issues such as links between traumatic brain injury and CTE, not helping retired players, an inconsistent Dept. of Player Safety, poor marketing of the league, three lockouts under his watch and more.

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Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman spoke about Bettman perhaps needing to call another press conference after Monday’s disaster to try and save his job. Frank Seravalli, the President of the Professional Hockey Writers Association released a statement regarding the NHL’s unwillingness to call upon Rick Westhead during the media avail until other reporters urged them to do so. Suggesting it was the league trying to silence a reporter who was instrumental in uncovering many of the facts about the Kyle Beach case, the PWHA said, “We will not be silenced. We will not be deterred. We will not stop asking questions — for the good of the game and for the good of all involved.