NHL Rumours: Calgary Flames, San Jose Sharks, and Ottawa Senators

NHL Rumours

Welcome to the Tuesday edition of NHL Rumours! The Stanley Cup Final is approaching quickly. So too is the Seattle expansion draft and NHL Draft. There is lots of news and rumours out there involving playoff and non-playoff teams. Teams will be looking to make moves this offseason to improve their chances of making the playoffs next season. Not to mention some big names could be looking at new homes next season. Keep it locked on the Last Word on Hockey for the latest news surrounding free agency and trades. Today’s NHL Rumours include the Calgary Flames, San Jose Sharks and Ottawa Senators.

NHL Rumours

Calgary Flames

Rumour: According to Sportsnet analyst Shane O”Brien who was on Sirius XM NHL Network, said that Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk might want out of Calgary.

Analysis: This is not the first time Tkachuk’s name is involved in trade rumours. There was some talk of him around the trade deadline as well. With Darryl Sutter taking over as Flames head coach, Tkachuk’s role rose. He is the type of player Sutter wants on his team. In 56 games this season with the Flames, Tkachuk was the third-leading scorer on the team. He recorded 43 points (16 goals and 27 assists). Tkachuk is the heart and soul of the Flames team. He plays with an edge like his brother Brady Tkachuk in Ottawa. Now while the Flames want to make changes this off-season, trading Tkachuk is a bad idea. The Flames do not have a physical presence, to begin with. And Tkachuk is the only one that plays with that edge that is needed to win. Especially in the playoffs.

In addition to Tkachuk’s name being thrown out, so too has Johnny Gaudreau‘s name. But sticking with Tkachuk, any contending team would love to have him on their team. Even some teams who are rebuilding, he would be a good fit for. Tkachuk’s value has never been higher. IF the Flames were to trade him, they could get a huge return for him. But trading him all depends on how they view Tkachuk inside the organization. If the team doesn’t see him as part of the core then he is gone. But if the Flames see him as part of the rebuild then he may end up staying.

San Jose Sharks

Rumour: Sheng Peng of San Jose Hockey Now writes that the Sharks are looking to add a third-line centre and mentions players Nick Foligno, Mikael Granlund and Tyler Bozak could fit the bill. 

Analysis: The Sharks are in a rebuild state after being a dominant team for so long in the NHL. General manager Doug Wilson is looking to add depth down the middle. He wants to add a player similar to Logan Couture that can play centre. There are a lot of centres hitting the free-agent market this off-season. However, there are some that are older than what Wilson would like. Some will cost more than others too. Hence why David Krejci and Ryan-Nugent Hopkins are not options for the Sharks. However, there are cheaper options including Nick Foligno, Mikael Granlund and Tyler Bozak.

All three players are still very effective in the NHL. Especially Bozak and Granlund. Bozak is a very good face-off man and proved his versatility with the St. Louis Blues, especially during their run to the Stanley Cup in 2019. Foligno is an interesting case because there is a belief he will return to Columbus after his brief stint in Toronto. Then there is Mikael Granlund, who has not quite fit in Nashville ever since he came over there in a trade. And if Wilson wants his centre to be defensive-oriented then a player Nick Bonino fits the bill along with Bozak.

Ottawa Senators

Rumour:  Ian Mendes of The Athletic writes that he does not think the Senators will be able to trade for Lightning defenceman Erik Cernak so the Senators should target Cal Foote instead. 

Analysis: While it makes sense for teams to go after the Lightning considering they have salary cap issues, Mendes believes the Lightning will protect eight skaters so they do not expose their top-four defencemen. Cernak is certainly a good add for the Senators considering he improves their defence drastically. But as Mendes notes his cap hit of $2.9 million really does not solve the Lightning’s cap issues. Instead, Mendes believes the Senators should go after another defenceman that will be exposed. That player is Cal Foote.

Foote will bring size to Ottawa’s back end. Foote is a recent first-round draft pick in 2017. And he is having issues fitting into the Lightning’ lineup. Foote has only played in 35 career NHL games for Tampa Bay. There are questions surrounding Foote’s game no doubt. But considering he is a restricted free agent it should not cost Ottawa too much to acquire him. Sometimes as we have seen a change of scenery is all that is needed for a player to catch fire. And considering the Senators are in a rebuilding state, Foote fits in nicely with what Ottawa is doing.

That does it for this edition of NHL Rumours. Stay tuned for another edition on Wednesday.

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