NHL Rumors: Flames, Maple Leafs, Sharks, Jets

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, a number of players didn’t file for salary arbitration on Sunday. That means their respective teams have some decisions to make. Among the most interesting is Matthew Tkachuk out of Calgary. Meanwhile, one insider believes that another trade coming out of Toronto is inevitable.

Morning Skate newsletter Click To Subscribe

Reports are that it was Brent Burns who asked for a trade out of San Jose and are the Winnipeg Jets hoping Paul Stastny circles back to them in free agency?

Flames Situation With Tkachuk

The Flames have until Friday to make a decision on Matthew Tkachuk’s future. They can extend him long-term, sign him to a one-year deal, hope someone extends an offer sheet to him, sign him at his qualifying offer or trade him. Signing him at his qualifying offer would walk him to unrestricted free agency next summer and the Flames are really hoping to avoid a repeat situation of what happened with Johnny Gaudreau.

Matthew Tkachuk Calgary Flames
Matthew Tkachuk, Calgary Flames (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Tkachuk has all the leverage a restricted free agent could want. He has a high qualifying number ($9 million), is a year from becoming unrestricted, has arbitration rights, and is coming off a career season of 104 points. He knows that the Flames can’t afford to let him leave unless they make a massive trade and the franchise really needs a player who is willing to say, ‘This is my team now’ and become the hero in Calgary.

There is some speculation that the Flames will set a hard deadline on Tkachuk to make a decision. If he signs his long-term deal then things are great. If he doesn’t, the team will start exploring a trade.

A Maple Leafs Trade Is Coming

According to a recent article by James Mirtle of The Athletic, expect the Toronto Maple Leafs to make another trade. He notes that the Rasmus Sandin contract negotiations are complicating matters and that perhaps GM Kyle Dubas moves out one of Justin Holl or Sandin himself. There is also the potential for an Alex Kerfoot deal after the team signed Calle Jarnkrok.

Kyle Dubas Toronto Maple Leafs
Kyle Dubas, Toronto Maple Leafs (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

But it’s clear looking at the Leafs’ cap situation that something now has to give. Whether their next move comes this week or closer to training camp, it is coming. The question for Dubas is just how bold does he want to be in making one more impact decision? 

source – ‘Mirtle: The Maple Leafs need to make a trade after their latest free-agent moves’ – James Mirtle – The Athletic – 07/17/2022

Mirtle wonders if the team will move out a spare piece or someone important and then look for another bargain bin signing in free agency?

Burns Initiated His Trade Out of San Jose

As per Corey Masisak of The Athletic, it was Brent Burns who decided it was time to move on from the Sharks and not the organization that was looking to trade him. Reports are that new GM Mike Grier sat down with Burns to tell him about the plans for the team and Burns suggested it was time to move on.

Related: 3 Canucks That May Not Be Part of the Opening Night Roster

Masisak writes:

The Sharks didn’t have to trade Burns. But Grier said earlier in the week that he would speak to Burns and let him take the lead on that decision. Burns decided he was ready to go, so Grier made it happen.

source – ‘Answering 10 Sharks questions about Brent Burns trade and what comes next’ – Corey Masisak – The Athletic – 07/14/2022

It doesn’t sound like Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Erik Karlsson, or Logan Couture are going to make the same decision. Grier talked to them as well and all seemed committed to staying in San Jose. 

Jets Aren’t Sure About Stastny

Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said he’s not sure what veteran center Paul Stastny intends to do this summer but the team isn’t ruling out a possible return to Winnipeg. There is speculation he is taking his time on a decision and wants to play with a contender.

Cheveldayoff said on Wednesday, “Yeah, we talked to Stas’s group today.” He added, “I don’t think any doors are closed, but whether he has options or choices, that will be up to him, I guess. But I guess you just never say never to him.”