It’s Thursday and we’ve got another edition of NHL rumours. It’s a Western Conference-bias edition of these rumours and all three clubs have hard questions to answer. Two teams have to answer questions about European forwards while another is trying to fill their ranks. We have items on the Nashville Predators, Vancouver Canucks and Minnesota Wild in this edition of NHL rumours.
All NHL rumours come from the original source and are subject to change.
Rumour: St. Louis Blues reporter Andy Strickland of Bally Sports Midwest reports the Predators are shopping Filip Forsberg.
Hearing the #Preds are actively shopping superstar Filip Forsberg.
— Andy Strickland (@andystrickland) February 24, 2022
Analysis: This would be a big game-changer at the March 21 if the reports are true. Forsberg is one of the faces of a surprising Nashville franchise. The Swede has 26 goals, but is in the final year of his contract that brings in $6 million. He’ll likely get a well-deserved raise and the Predators do have $10 million in cap space.
However, there’s a fear that longtime General Manager David Poile won’t be able to re-sign the star centre. Poile definitely wants to get something for Forsberg if he doesn’t want to stay in the Music City. The Hall of Fame GM is also not afraid to make a trade if he needs to. Blockbuster deals like trading former captain Shea Weber for P.K. Subban prove that.
There’s still time to get a deal done and keeping Forsberg would be huge for the Predators. However, Poile may be working the phones to get a blockbuster return if he can’t get a long-term deal for his star forward.
Rumour: TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that the club is looking at college and European free agents in the latest Insider Trading.
ICYMI, INSIDER TRADING: #TSNHockey Insiders discuss…
— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) February 23, 2022
Analysis: New General Manager Patrik Allvin is trying to shore up the team’s organizational depth. The team is a little thin in spots and getting players out of college and other leagues would help fill those holes. Undrafted college free agents can serve a purpose and play in AHL Abbottsford or be used as trade chips.
There’s one KHL player Allvin has an eye on and it’s 26-year-old Andrei Kuzmenko. The SKA St. Petersburg winger netted 20 goals in 45 games this season. Kuzmenko is at the top of many team’s wish lists.
However, there will likely be many suitors for the young forward’s services. He’s had double-digit goals in every season since the 2017-18 season. Allvin is hoping to land the left wing to help with the team’s scoring needs.
Rumour: The Athletic’s Michael Russo takes a look at what it will take for the team to re-sign Kevin Fiala.
Can the Wild afford to re-sign Kevin Fiala, or will he become their next cap casualty?@hayyyshayyy and @RussoHockey break down the forward's potential contract cost as he heads into restricted free agency this summer ⤵️https://t.co/g9WpVVB5Kn
— The Athletic NHL (@TheAthleticNHL) February 23, 2022
Analysis: Fiala signed a one-year deal worth $5.1 million in the last off-season after the Wild filed for arbitration. It seemed like Fiala wasn’t in the team’s plans, but his 2021-22 season has made him one of the more important players on the team.
He’s formed some solid chemistry with young Matthew Boldy, who is another one of Minnesota’s exciting core. The future looks great on the offensive end with Kirill Kaprizov and others putting up goals.
However, the Wild have the headache of the buyout penalties for Ryan Suter and Zach Parise‘s contracts. Next season’s penalty will $12.74 million and it gets worse in 203-24 with $14.7 million. This is a painful reality for General Manger Bill Guerin that he has to deal with over the next couple of years.
The Athletic’s salary model has Fiala making $8.7 million, which the Wild could not afford. Fiala is still a restricted free agent and that gives Minnesota some leverage. However, the Wild may have to let some players walk and replace them with low-cost options. This also means Mathew Dumba gets pushed back into the trade spotlight to offload his $6 million cap hit.
Russo said Fiala could bet on himself and take a $6 million deal to set up a future big payday.