A big week is ahead of us and that means plenty of NHL rumours. The expansion and NHL Entry Drafts are ahead of this week, but let’s not forget the start of free agency. Teams are making their pitches for players to sign on the dotted line with their respective clubs. Today’s NHL rumours focus on the Minnesota Wild, Calgary Flames and Dallas Stars.
All NHL rumours come from the original source and are subject to change.
— Andy Strickland (@andystrickland) July 18, 2021
Analysis: This would be a big blow to the Toronto Maple Leafs, who gave up a first-round pick to acquire the Columbus Blue Jackets captain. The lure of playing at home is strong, but is it as strong as playing with your brother?
Foligno loved playing for his hometown club, where his dad Mike Foligno was renowned. However, his short stint with the Leafs did not go so well. He only got four assists and didn’t score a goal for his favourite boyhood team. The elder Foligno brother is still one of the better two-way wingers in the league at 33 years old.
Wild general manager Bill Guerin still has some concerns this offseason. He still needs to find money to pay Calder Trophy winner Kirill Kaprizov and Kevin Fiala to new deals. Both restricted free agents will likely command a nice raise. Guerin will also have to plug the hole of who the Seattle Kraken take in the expansion draft. Landing Foligno to a low-cost deal would soften that blow a bit.
Rumour: The Athletic’s Hailey Salvian reports there’s mutual interest between the Flames and Zach Hyman.
So, what might he cost? And what would be the fit?
Some news and analysis here as free agency looms: https://t.co/ezmDBSginU
— Hailey Salvian (@hailey_salvian) July 16, 2021
Analysis: A source close to the website confirmed that both sides want to talk. It would be another huge loss for the Leafs lineup, but it seems that general manager Kyle Dubas has been preparing for that eventuality. TSN’s Darren Dreger did say that Toronto granted Hyman permission to talk to other teams now.
The 29-goal scorer could slot in next to Johnny Gaudreau and form a solid top line for Calgary. However, there’s an issue involving what general manager Brad Treliving will have to pay. Hyman could command up to $6 million per season and has 86 career goals.
Calgary does have more cap flexibility than Toronto, but the Flames don’t like committing themselves to anything long-term. Hyman is also 29 and Calgary probably doesn’t want to pay for diminishing returns if he regresses. That space could be eased if the Kraken take Mark Giordano, which could be possible.
Rumour: Saad Yousuf of The Athletic delved into trying to re-sign Joel Kiviranta to a new deal.
Miro Heiskanen’s contract extension was a top priority this off-season for the Stars. Now, that’s done.
Why a long-term deal for Miro and what lies ahead for the Stars https://t.co/6Qs7HCxQ4V
— Saad Yousuf (@SaadYousuf126) July 18, 2021
Kiviranta burst onto the scene in the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs bubble, but only got six goals in an injury-shortened 26 games this year. The 25-year-old is looking for a raise from his $925,000 contract and is arbitration-eligible. Nill would probably like to make sure it doesn’t get that far with the restricted free agent.
The Stars do have $5.8 million left in cap space and hope the Kraken take Ben Bishop‘s nearly $5 million salary off the books. However, that seems unlikely and a much smaller salary comes off the books. Dallas will also have to fill some other roster holes, but Kiviranta should be a priority. Yousuf projected a $2 million short-term deal for the younger forward.