With a few big players still left on the board, there are plenty of intriguing NHL Rumours to discuss! Training camps are moving along, but have talks between General managers and top players stalled? Last Word On Hockey has your back, bringing you the freshest NHL Rumours from every corner of the league. Grab your morning coffee and dive into the latest gossip surrounding the Calgary Flames, Winnipeg Jets, and Patrick Marleau.
All NHL Rumours are taken from their original sources and subject to change.
Rumour: Eric Francis of Sportsnet explored what the Flames need to do in order to re-sign Matthew Tkachuk and Andrew Mangiapane. He mentions that Mangiapane has dropped his asking price in hopes of getting a new deal done.
Analysis: The NHL Rumour mill has given plenty of attention to the Flames significant impending moves. The season is just around the corner, and the club still needs to lock down Tkachuk and Mangiapane. General manager Brad Treliving immediately acknowledged the two players absences during a training camp press conference. The team has a hair above $7 million in cap space. Tkachuk’s entry-level deal is complete, which raked him in $5.3 million. Mangiapane is in the same boat, earning $2.4 million.
The cheaper of the two to re-sign will be Mangiapane. With such a critical offseason, he really should drag himself to training camp even if it’s just to show the Flames his loyalty. Mangiapane needs to improve if he wants to make a splash in the NHL. Last season he was but a drop in the pond, with eight goals and five assists. The team is reportedly considering a one-year deal in the neighbourhood of $1 million. Showing up to training camp could help show he’s worth the deal.
If Calgary fails to bring Tkachuk back, Mangiapane could find himself with a golden opportunity. Taking Tkachuk’s place on the teams’ second line would bring him more scoring chances. Losing Tkachuk is not exactly in the teams’ best interest, though. He is an elite talent and cornerstone of the roster. If the worst possible scenario does occur, Mangiapane will have some competition. The Flames placed promising forward Sam Bennett in Tkachuk’s empty spot.
The most common name associated with Calgary’s offseason woes is Michael Frolik. If anyone is getting moved, it’ll likely be him. Frolik attended Friday’s training camp, so maybe there is still hope? He’s in the final year of his $21.5 million contract.
After a reported trade to the Minnesota Wild fell through in February, Froliks future with the Flames seems shaky. Shipping him out would undoubtedly give them some breathing room. Most fans figured the organization would have made a move already. For now, we’ll all just have to wait in limbo together.
Analysis: Connor feels like he’s earned a long term contract. After two seasons of 30 plus goals, he’s not sounding crazy. With just north of $15 million worth of cap space left, and Patrik Laine training in Switzerland without an NHL contract, Connors payday is up in the air.
Teams have been circling Connor with their offer sheets, and the conversations seem to be ongoing. Winnipeg handed him a qualifying offer back in June, but we’ve heard crickets since then. The Jets could consider offering a bridge deal, and Connor should consider taking it.
With Laine and Connor missing from training camp, and Dustin Byfuglien absent with a “leave of absence”, the Jets are between a rock and a hard place. The Central Division is looking pretty tight these days, and any of those players missing come October could be a disaster for Winnipeg.
Rumour: Frank Sevarvalli of TSN says Patrick Marleau is considering every avenue for next season. This comes after reports that San Jose likely will not have him back like previously thought.
Analysis: Marleau has been connected to the Edmonton Oilers and former team San Jose Sharks throughout this offseason. The Carolina Hurricanes bought him out last June, and everyone assumed he’d make his way back to San Jose. Those rumours caught fire when the Marleau clan moved back into town.
Much to the disappointment of fans, the Sharks front office dashed those hopes when they declared that they would not be bringing back Marleau this season. The nearly 40-year old center is living his own version of “No Country For Old Men” right now.
Combine his declining production and his status of what the league considers “over the hill,” and it’s looking like Marleau’s landing places are limited. There’s been some chatter linking him to the Arizona Coyotes, but nothing credible has come about.
It’s not unrealistic to think Marleau could find himself taking a bit of a pay cut and coming into a team that’s on the rebuild. His veteran status would easily boost any locker room full of rookies confidence. Another position he could consider is taking on a role in someone’s front office.
Considering Marleau is considering all potential offers, anythings possible. Realistically, he probably has at least one more NHL season in him. The pay won’t be what he is used to, however, he could still help most teams out.