NHL Rumours: Detroit Red Wings, Calgary Flames, Los Angeles Kings

NHL Rumours
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Hello and welcome to a Sunday edition of NHL Rumours! The postseason is upon us and things are very busy between extensions and trades. Teams are preparing for what should be a classic offseason full of surprises and chaos thanks to expansion. Today’s NHL rumours feature the Detroit Red Wings, Calgary Flames, and Los Angeles Kings.

NHL Rumours

Detroit Red Wings

Rumour: Elliotte Friedman’s 31 Thoughts recently revealed that Detroit could be among the teams pursuing Zach Hyman this summer.

Analysis: This looks like an absolutely perfect move for a team like the Red Wings. Hyman fulfills a similar role as Tyler Bertuzzi and is the sort of gritty secondary piece that can often help a team push forward to the next level. The Toronto Maple Leafs would love to keep Hyman, but their salary situation probably eliminates that possibility.

Hyman would be an ideal fit somewhere in Detroit’s top six. They have three true core pieces in Bertuzzi, Dylan Larkin and Filip Zadina, but they need more. The Wings could deploy on him on either the first or second line with little worry. It won’t be enough to get them to the postseason on its own, but adding 15 goals, 33 points and 69 hits in 43 games is something they could desperately use.

There shouldn’t be much preventing them from signing Hyman either. Most of Detroit’s roster is about to hit free agency, but they have just over $48 million in cap space. That is more than enough to sign Hyman, extend Bertuzzi despite his injury-plagued 2020-21, and sign basically anyone else of interest. The Red Wings are still far away from being a true championship threat. That doesn’t mean they can’t be aggressive this offseason in an effort to move forward in their rebuild.

Calgary Flames

Rumour: Hailey Salvian recently provided some news surrounding Johnny Gaudreau‘s contract talks.

Analysis: Gaudreau still has one more year on his deal through 2021-22, but there isn’t a good reason not to talk about an extension now. The player would love the extra security going into the next phase of his career. The team would also benefit from some clarity around what they need to build a serious contender.

Calgary might have stumbled badly in 2020-21, but that wasn’t Gaudreau’s fault at all. His 19 goals tied for the team lead and his 49 points led all Flames skaters. He also missed no games. That isn’t something they can easily replace in a trade unless a partner wildly overpays for his services. The team’s front office might not love the idea of paying Gaudreau more than Matthew Tkachuk, but there is very little reason to not pay their best performer from the past season what he worth.

However, Salvian’s piece makes a good point and that is that Gaudreau’s contract has a modified no-trade clause that activates when free agency begins. That means Calgary would have less flexibility to flip him if negotiations sour. They may weight until the expansion draft is done to see how much money they can put towards an extension, but they have only a week from expansion until that clause activates. It could mean a very busy week where Johnny Hockey’s future in Calgary is concerned.

Los Angeles Kings

Rumour: David Pagnotta recently indicated that the Kings are among the teams interested in Seth Jones.

Analysis: LA might be two years away from being a true contender again, but there isn’t a good reason why they shouldn’t look at Jones. They could use a new defender as the centrepiece of the blueline as Drew Doughty ages. They are also one of the few teams with enough assets available to use in a trade without fear of hamstringing the rebuild.

Pagnotta makes a point to mention a right-shot defender as part of the asking price and that is something LA definitely has with Helge Grans. The Swedish defender was a second-round pick for the Kings last year and had a fine season a secondary defender with the Malmo Redhawks in the SHL. Three goals and 12 points in 43 games isn’t outwardly impressive, but he is just just 19 years old. That is acceptable for someone playing in one of the world’s best leagues outside of North America. Grans could easily be one of the main trade chips along with one of LA’s numerous draft selections.

The only that that might derail Jones to Los Angeles is Jones’ interest. He has a modified no-trade clause and can veto a trade to a team like LA if he doesn’t want to help a rebuilding project. The 26-year-old former fourth overall selection also might not want to sign an extension. A lack of assurance he is around beyond 2021-22 only hurts his value for the Columbus Blue Jackets. That certainly doesn’t mean LA won’t get Jones, but it does add a layer of complexity and uncertainty. A team might want him to guarantee an extension before they acquire him at all.

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

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