NHL Rumours: Calgary Flames, Nashville Predators and Vancouver Canucks

NHL Rumours

With the excitement of the NHL draft and free agent frenzy now behind us, NHL rumours are starting to slow down. But don’t worry, there is still lots to talk about. Let’s dive in!

NHL Rumours

Calgary Flames

Rumour: Matt Larkin of the Hockey News speculated that a Sean Monahan trade would be best suited as a one-for-one hockey trade. 

Analysis:  Larkin’s rationale for thinking a hockey trade makes the most sense is two-fold. If the Flames want to trade Monahan, they probably can’t trade him to a bad team because Monahan has a ten-team no-trade list. So they can’t make a package around Monahan for Jack Eichel for example. Another avenue will have to be explored for Flames fans who are all over the Eichel to Calgary NHL rumours. The Flames are also unlikely to trade Monahan for the sake of it because Calgary is in a win-now mode. They won’t sell him off to a contending team for futures. If Monahan gets moved, it’s probably for another significant piece.

I agree with Larkin’s reasoning. He brought up a Monahan for Vladimir Tarasenko deal, two goal-scoring players with beat-up bodies. The St. Louis Blues don’t need a top-six centre, so it probably won’t happen unless they plan to move Brayden Schenn to left-wing. A Monahan to Vegas deal for Reilly Smith deal would make more sense. The Vegas Golden Knights need a top-six centre, and Calgary could use some more help on the right-wing. Monahan makes $1.3 million more than Smith, so Calgary may have to retain some salary to make it work for the cap-strapped Golden Knights.

Nashville Predators

Rumour: Adam Vingan of The Athletic reports that Juuse Saros is looking for a long-term contract while the Predators are looking in the three to four-year range. 

Analysis: Vingan writes that Saros is worth at minimum $5 million per season, which is comparable to starting goalies in his age group like Igor Shesterkin, Thatcher Demko and Connor Hellebuyck. Saros had the fourth-best save percentage in the league last year and hasn’t had a bad season over his five-year career. That puts him on par or in a better situation with the other strong young netminders named above. Vingan reports the Predators are looking for $3-4 million per season. The reasoning being that Saros hasn’t been a bonafide starter yet with Pekka Rinne being around.

Nashville would probably like a one-year deal to see how he does before committing a lot of money to him. However, they don’t have that luxury because Saros can be an unrestricted free agent next season. This is why I think both sides work this out before going to arbitration, where a one or two-year deal will be awarded. Nashville should give in a little on the salary. Saros has more experience than Demko and Shersterkin, and they both have salaries in the low $5 million. However, Saros may not get the long-term deal he’s looking for if the Predators want to test him as a starter. I see a three-year deal with $5.5 million per season as the best solution.

Vancouver Canucks

Rumour: Elias Pettersson spoke to Swedish journalist Uffe Bodin about his contract situation. He said he thinks both sides will come to an agreement. He said he wants to play for the Canucks, but longer-term he wants to play for a team that’s winning. 

Analysis: The newsiest bit that came out of that quote is we may have insight into what type of term Pettersson is looking for in his deal. He says,” I want to stay there (Vancouver) now, but I also want to play for a team that’s winning…if we have that chance when my next deal expires…I don’t know. I just want to play where there is a chance of winning.” We can infer he is saying he will want to go somewhere with a chance to win when his deal expires. The only way he can pick where he plays is if he’s an unrestricted free agent by the time his next deal expires. That means Pettersson is probably looking at a five or six-year contract.

Canuck fans shouldn’t be worried about Pettersson’s comments. He seems level-headed about the negotiation process and is confident a deal will be worked out. There is nothing to suggest he has an appetite to sign an offer sheet. The Canucks are in a good position to have a long-term winning team with a young number one centre in Pettersson, a number one defenseman in Quinn Hughes, and a starting goalie in Thatcher Demko. They should be in a position to win in the present and five years from now.

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