In today’s NHL rumor rundown there is news on a few free agents now that Mitch Marner is signed, including Matthew Tkachuk and the Calgary Flames, and Brayden Point and the Tampa Bay Lightning. Plus, Kevin Fiala is not at Minnesota’s training camp, while two Anaheim Ducks will miss the entire season. Finally, where will defenseman Ben Hutton sign?
Flames Holding Comments Until RFAs Signed
Following the lead of Kyle Dubas, it appears the Calgary Flames aren’t going to say much regarding the status of negotiations with free agents who have yet to sign. Pat Steinberg of the Fan960 writes that Flames GM Brad Treliving said they want to focus who is at camp rather than who is not – Matthew Tkachuk and Andrew Mangiapane.
Treliving said he wasn’t waiting for someone else to sign first but things just aren’t where they need to be yet. Eric Francis of Sportsnet says negotiations with Mangiapane are close and he’s come down $200,000 in his ask to try and get a deal done. He is now asking for $850,000 on a one-way deal, and a little more on a two-way deal.
Talks Between Point and Tampa Not Going Well
TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that there has been very little progress in contract talks between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Brayden Point. While many believed this may be one of the first big RFA contracts signed in the offseason, LeBrun notes negotiations “might be even more stalled than people think.”
Elliotte Friedman noted during a talk with Bob Stauffer on OilersNow that Montreal had actually reached out to Point’s people before tendering an offer sheet to Sebastian Aho and Point said, ‘no, I’d like to work things out with Tampa.’ That’s a good sign in that he wants to say with the Lightning but the two sides have a lot of work to do to find common ground on a new deal.
LeBrun says he still believes a deal will get done but “right now not remotely close as far as I can tell.”
Why is Fiala Not at Minnesota Wild Training Camp?
Kevin Fiala of the Minnesota Wild is not holding out, he’s signed his bridge deal and he should be ready to go, yet he’s not at camp. He’s yet to join the team.
Sarah McLellan of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune notes that Fiala isn’t rocking the boat or causing problems, he’s simply awaiting his work visa. The team is hopeful that he’ll be joining them early next week but he may miss the first couple of preseason games due to the delay.
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Kesler and Eaves Out Entire Season
The Anaheim Ducks officially announced (via Twitter) that both center Ryan Kesler and winger Patrick Eaves will not be suiting up for the Ducks this season.
Kesler’s diagnosis isn’t surprising considering the coverage his issues have received. There was, however, a chance that Patrick Eaves might be able to play some of the 2019-20 season. That is no longer the case.
Both players will be placed on LTIR and this will free up some space for the Ducks, who were already well under the Upper Limit of the NHL salary cap. This injury will take Eaves to the end of his contract with the Ducks.
Where is Ben Hutton?
TSN’s Frank Seravalli reports that Ben Hutton is weighing his options as he has a number of interested parties vying for his services. The Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers, and Detroit Red Wings are all listed among the teams to have shown interest.
The Canucks decided not to qualify Hutton at $2.8 million despite the increased playing time and responsibility given to him last season. He’s not likely to make that kind of money with whatever team he signs with, but it sounds like he’ll have a chance to prove his worth and take the pick of a few options with the hopes he can up his value again.
Jim Parsons is a freelance writer who covers the Edmonton Oilers and news and rumors posts here at The Hockey Writers.
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