Another week into August and the training camps for NHL teams approach with many player’s contracts still unresolved. It has been relatively quiet as teams and their general managers attempt to play the waiting game in negotiations of high priced restricted free agents. Will the player give in, or will the team succumb to the pressures of filling their rosters in time for the upcoming season? NHL rumours are still swirling and for this Monday’s edition, we take a look at the Calgary Flames, San Jose Sharks, and Edmonton Oilers.
Rumour: Eric Francis appeared on Pinder & Steinberg’s podcast on Sportsnet 960 stating that the Calgary Flames will have salary cap issues signing Matthew Tkachuk. They need to reduce salary and the name of defenceman T.J. Brodie seems to be coming up as the route to take to accomplish that feat.
Analysis: The Flames may need to package Brodie with another player like Mark Jankowski to get it done. The idea of moving Travis Hamonic is distasteful citing his value on the Flames blueline and his love of playing in Calgary.
Brodie will become a UFA in a year and has an attractive $4.65 million contract. He has an eight-team no-trade clause in his contract which makes it even more difficult to move him. The pinch is on for the Flames to re-sign Tkachuk and teams who may be interested in Brodie could demand a young roster player in addition to sweeten a deal.
On the Tkachuk contract front, Francis mentioned that the Flames have offered up two, five, and seven-year deals. Management is also investigating a two-year bridge deal. Tkachuk could possibly not be signed to start the season. That seems to be the way things are going for top flite RFAs who are still not signed. Francis mentioned that Tkachuk more than likely isn’t interested in a seven-year deal. He wants a similar deal length that Auston Matthews was given and that could be difficult. He may be sitting at the start of the season… and where have we heard that before?
NHL Rumours: San Jose Sharks
Analysis: While Marleau may not be wanted by the Sharks, the Arizona Coyotes did show some interest in him but he may not want to play there. The Sharks have over $4.6 million in cap space. That allows them the necessary room to add Marleau but nothing is happening in that area. They may be considering whether Joe Thornton will need to be signed as well and will be forced to chose between the two aging forwards.
It seems that Marleau’s decline in play could have a lot to do with the Sharks reluctance to bringing him back. His 16 goals, 21 assists last season seem adequate. Yet there is no denying that he will be 40-years old in mid-September. At this point, it appears that Marleau’s plans to be near family in the Bay-area may not come to fruition. If he still wants to play he will need to listen to any offers heading his way.
Rumour: Kurt Leavins of the Edmonton Journal reported that comments made by the manager of Karpat Oulu in Finland, Harri Oho (father of Sebastian Aho of the Carolina Hurricanes) regarding Jesse Puljujarvi wanting a trade from the Edmonton Oilers include that he is “a really interesting player”, and he is following the winger’s situation.
Analysis: Most every NHL fan has more than likely heard their fill of the Puljujarvi drama regarding his future (if any) in the NHL. This could be his last bargaining ploy to get the trade he seeks. Karpat Oulu has not made an offer of a contract to Puljujarvi and considers his latest antics as a bluff to somehow convince the Oilers to trade him.
It seems that sooner or later the Oilers and Puljuarvi will part ways. This never-ending story will then cease to make NHL rumours. But, for now, the end of the story has yet to be written. Puljujarvi could be looked upon as a high-maintenance player whose demands may seem unreasonable. That, in turn, could decrease his value with another team.
For all involved, the best solution is to grant Puljuarvi his wish and move him to another team. So far, that has not happened. In the end, he may end up playing in Finland and may eventually work his way back to the NHL. Let’s all hope it works out for both parties.