NHL Rumours: Calgary Flames, Winnipeg Jets, New York Rangers

NHL rumours
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It’s time for a Hump Day edition of our NHL rumours. We’re 68 days away from the March trade deadline and teams are getting in position to make moves. Teams are also trying to navigate the world of COVID and squeeze in games when and where they can. Today’s rumours focus on the Calgary Flames, Winnipeg Jets and New York Rangers.

All NHL rumours come from the original source and are subject to change.

NHL Rumours

Calgary Flames

Rumour: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman gave an update on the Calgary Flames re-acquiring Seattle Kraken captain Mark Giordano in his latest 32 Thoughts column.

Analysis: Friedman spoke with Giordano’s agent Ritch Winter about his client returning back to Alberta. Winter explained that it’s possible, but it’s up to the Flames. Winter also represents current Calgary player Andrew Mangiapane, who is seeking a big payday at the end of the season.

Seattle general manager Ron Francis has also discussed Giordano possibly staying beyond this season. The 2019 Norris Trophy winner is in the last year of a contract that pays his $6.75 million per season. A deal would likely come closer to the deadline according to Friedman thanks to that cap number.

Winter added that Mangiapane might sign a short-term deal to stay in Calgary before he becomes an unrestricted free agent in July 2023. This will give the Flames time to find the money to lock up the young forward to a long-term deal.

Winnipeg Jets

Rumour: We stick with Friedman and 32 Thoughts as the Jets have looked at playing games in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Analysis: Winnipeg was discussing the idea of scheduling three alternate-site games, but those ideas were quickly snuffed out. Saskatchewan’s chief medical officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab, also shot down these rumours as soon as they broke. He made a point about it not being the time to have mass gatherings.

One can’t blame the Jets for trying to recover some money after postponements and attendance limits. Canadian teams are worried about the financial hit that they may take and the league is worried about it, too. This could alter the timeline of the players paying back the escrow payments. The salary cap will start going up once the players pay that off. However, the recent COVID variants can hamper that.

The holidays are a big-time for crowds and for teams to make money to go to Hockey Related Revenue. Officials also shot down talk of Canadian clubs relocating to the United States. One thinks the families would not be a fan of this move.

New York Rangers

Rumour: Arthur Staple of The Athletic speculated on if the Rangers will make a move to shore up their right wing depth.

Analysis: The organization does have an imbalance of left wing versus right wing prospects. New York has six natural left wingers on the roster, but a glut of players at that position in their system. Players like Brennan Othmann, William Cuylle and Tim Gettinger come to mind.

General manager Chris Drury did deal talented right winger Pavel Buchnevich to the St. Louis Blues for Sammy Blais and some think he may regret the move. However, the Rangers were able to use that money elsewhere.

Kaapo Kakko did look solid when pressed into the top right wing slot after Artemi Panarin was in COVID protocol. Staple suggested that maybe Alexis Lafreniere some time at the second right wing spot.

However, the idea might be to try to get Reilly Smith from Vegas on a rental deal. Phil Kessel is a right wing that could be had on a rental from the Arizona Coyotes, but one wonders what the asking price will be.

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