Both the Seattle Kraken expansion and NHL Drafts have passed, but the NHL Rumours are still coming. We’re just days away from the start of free agency, so we’ve got a lot on our plate. Teams are trying re-sign players or decide whether to move on from them. Today’s NHL rumours focus on the Calgary Flames, St. Louis Blues and Carolina Hurricanes.
All NHL rumours come from the original source and are subject to change.
Rumour: Hailey Salvian of The Athletic gave an update on Johnny Gaudreau getting an extension.
On a non-draft related note: Brad Treliving says that talks are ongoing with Johnny Gaudreau's camp on a possible extension.
Ultimately says "nothing new to report."
— Hailey Salvian (@hailey_salvian) July 24, 2021
Analysis: Salvian went onto add that there “was nothing new to report” from the talks. The former Boston College standout is making $6.75 million this season in the final year of his deal. His current contract also has a modified no-trade clause.
Gaudreau just missed out on a 20-goal season as he tallied 19 in 56 games. However, the main concerns have been his Stanley Cup Playoff production. He did net four goals in the playoff bubble of 2020, but has been held scoreless in two other postseasons. This all followed his solid contribution (four goals and nine points in 11 games) in his first playoff campaign in 2014-15 with the Flames.
The Pacific Division is wide open with the Vegas Golden Knights and Edmonton Oilers likely snagging the top two spots as things stand. Calgary could get it together and challenge for the third automatic spot in the Pacific. But right now, there are a lot of unknowns, especially after Mark Giordano was taken by Seattle. Calgary should do its best to get a deal done with Gaudreau to avoid further setbacks.
St. Louis Blues
Rumour: Andy Strickland of Bally Sports Midwest said the team would like to bring back Mike Hoffman. However, other deals could be a factor.
While the #stlblues have expressed interest in re-signing Mike Hoffman, bringing him back will be difficult as long the team is carrying Tarasenko's $7.5 million cap. Now adding Buchnevich to the fold.
— Andy Strickland (@andystrickland) July 24, 2021
Analysis: Hoffman gambled on himself and got off to a slow start, but he closed well and ultimately scored 17 goals in a shortened season. The 31-year-old is hoping for a bump from his $4 million deal from the previous year. However, there are other deals that may prevent that from happening.
The Blues still have the Vladimir Tarasenko contract of $7.5 million on their books for now. A trade could alleviate some of that cap crunch, but a new issue has emerged. The Blues recently acquired the rights to restricted free agent Pavel Buchnevich from the New York Rangers for Sammy Blais and a pick.
Buchnevich was a very productive player with the Blueshirts and should get a decent contract offer. This will likely make things harder for Hoffman to get that big-money deal that he missed out on last offseason. He’ll likely get offers, but they may not be in the ballpark he was hoping for.
Rumour: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman gave an update on unrestricted free agent defenceman Dougie Hamilton.
CAR GM Don Waddell said during his post-draft media address that the Hurricanes' number-one objective is to re-sign free-agent D Dougie Hamilton, but added team needs a resolution by the start of free agency.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 24, 2021
Analysis: Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell did say that he would like to bring Hamilton back if at all possible. Hamilton did get permission to talk to other clubs, but there is still a chance he comes back to Raleigh.
Waddell stressed that a deal would have to be worked out by the start of free agency. After all, the chances that Hamilton comes back are slim if he does get to the open market, considering the deals that’ll be thrown his way. The Toronto native is looking for a raise from his $5.75 million salary he earned over the last few seasons.
Carolina made some puzzling moves as they dealt RFA goalie Alex Nedeljkovic to the Detroit Red Wings and defenseman Jake Bean to the Columbus Blue Jackets during the draft weekend. The Canes have over $29 million in cap space, but still need to pay Andrei Svechnikov, all three goalies and Warren Foegele. All things considered, it’s going to be hard to find the cash to keep Hamilton unless he wants to take a discount or a stay at a similar number.