It’s time to start your work week with a dose of NHL rumours. However, it’s Victoria Day in Canada, but you can still partake in a mostly Canadian edition of our rumours. Today we have items on the Calgary Flames, Ottawa Senators and a change in the AHL Calder Cup Playoffs.
All NHL rumours come from the original source and are subject to change.
Matthew Tkachuk, eligible to re-sign this summer, says he hasn’t spoken to the team about an extension as of yet. #Flames
— Pat Steinberg (@Fan960Steinberg) May 20, 2021
Analysis: The Flames star finishes out his three-year deal with a $7 million cap hit at the end of next season. He would become arbitration-eligible at the end of the 2021-22 season if doesn’t ink an extension. However, Flames general manager Brad Treliving will want to lock down the American winger before that can happen.
Tkachuk did have a somewhat of a down year with 16 goals and 43 points in 56 games. However, the initial cap number will be around $9 million for the 23-year-old. Calgary can try to qualify him, but initial projections are at that $9 million number.
He’s had a down year, but Tkachuk is the team’s spark plug and likely future captain if the team moves on from Mark Giordano. Calgary does face uncertainty, but the forward should be part of the team’s plans for at least the next few years.
Rumour: Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun said the team will qualify Logan Brown.
— Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) May 22, 2021
Analysis: Brown has struggled so far in his career, but the Senators don’t want to walk away from him at this time. The Raleigh, North Carolina native is a restricted free agent at the start of free agency and makes $863,333.
He’s a former first-round pick that went 11th overall, but Brown had health issues this season. Brown will likely sign his qualifying offer or something close to it due to his lack of leverage. He will probably be exposed in the Seattle Kraken expansion draft. The 6-foot-6-inch forward could do well with a change of scenery if taken by Seattle.
Brown has shown glimpses in AHL Belleville, but has to now keep up with Shane Pinto and Josh Norris. Those prospects are passing Brown by and this is a pivotal off-season for him.
Rumour: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman said the AHL is toying with adding a play-in round for next year’s Calder Cup playoffs. Friedman mentioned this in Saturday night’s Headlines segment.
Analysis: Some of the teams are owned by their parent club, but others like the Utica Comets and Syracuse Crunch are independently owned. The potential from extra games would be a good chance at extra revenue for some teams that couldn’t host fans this season.
The format could be like last season’s qualifying round format that was in the bubbles of Edmonton and Toronto. Teams like the New York Rangers and Dallas Stars could have been given new life had last year’s format carried over into this season. Friedman said he hopes the NHL eventually adopts this format.
The success of the NBA’s play-in round could also prompt the NHL into looking at copying their basketball brethren. This year’s play-in round had some delicious matchups as LeBron James and Los Angeles Lakers took on Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors in one game.
The NHL could go best-of-three or best-of-five with the play-in round, but it could allow more teams to be in the mix. NHL officials will follow the AHL to see how the format goes.