NHL Rumors: Flames, Golden Knights, and Hurricanes

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Jan 24, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames forward Elias Lindholm (28) celebrates his first period goal with teammates against the St. Louis Blues at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

The Calgary Flames are playing some solid hockey winning their last three games. They currently hold the final Wild Card spot in the West by three points over the Edmonton Oilers with a game in hand. Furthermore, they are just three points behind the Ducks for third in the division with six games in hand.

As the Flames look to be in good position to make the playoffs, they have a need to fill at the trade deadline in March.

NHL Rumors: Flames looking for a forward

While the Flames will need to work out an extension for Johnny Gaudreau, bringing in some help up front is on their to-do list.

“If there is an area that he is looking at right now it’s secondary scoring, perhaps a dip into that trade market,” Pierre LeBrun reported on TSN’s Insider Trading. “I think he’s got natural trade partners in teams like the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators in terms of looking at the forward market and in general, it’s interesting to me that a lot of the top playoff contenders are looking at defense, which might give the Flames a bit of an edge in terms of going through the forward market.”

The Senators have plenty of players available in the form of UFA’s, but Montreal is by far the more intriguing team. Forward Tyler Toffoli makes the most sense for me. He is a Darryl Sutter type player that scores hard-working goals with a dash of flash.

Toffoli, 29, has 25 points in 34 games this season. He also has two years remaining on his deal with a $4.25M cap hit.

Golden Knights may need to make room for Jack Eichel soon

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Nov 13, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Vegas Golden Knights right wing Reilly Smith (19) celebrates after scoring a second period goal against the Vancouver Canucks at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Trade acquisition Jack Eichel practiced in full with the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday.

“He’s been cleared for contact,” head coach Peter DeBoer said. “That’s the first day of full contact he’s had, is it 17 or 18 months or something like that? So now it’s a matter of, how does he respond? Do a little bit more the next day, a little bit more the next day. Hope for no setbacks.”

While there is no timetable for his return, speculation suggest he could debut in the next two weeks. So how will Vegas fit in his $10M cap hit?

“He could be back within the next couple of weeks, according to a source that I talked to on this day,” LeBrun said. “Then of course if that’s the case, there is some cap ramifications as we know with Vegas needing to make room for Jack Eichel with a trade or two, so keep an eye on that.”

Players earmarked to be traded to fit Eichel in are forwards Reilly Smith (UFA $5M), Mattias Janmark (UFA $2M) and Evgenii Dadonov (1 year remaining at $5M).

Hurricanes approaching the deadline with caution

The Carolina Hurricanes came into the season as one of the top Stanley Cup contenders. They are right up there with the Colorado Avalanche, Vegas Golden Knights, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Florida Panthers.

While the Golden Knights already made the biggest trade of the season by acquiring Jack Eichel, the Hurricanes have been shopping in preparation for the deadline.

“The Hurricanes are all over the market,” TFP’s David Pagnotta said. “Donny Waddell and his staff are looking around to see exactly who’s available, what are the price tags, and how this might be a fit for their particular team.”

However, in a recent interview with The Athletic, Waddell said he is no rush to make a trade.

Two players that the Hurricanes have confirmed interest in are defenseman Jakob Chychrun and John Klingberg. The latter is the more likely target.

Carolina has very little cap space, which will be helped by doing trades closer to the deadline. However, any move of significance will likely mean money going out the other way and possible salary retention by the trading team.

Two potential Canes’ contracts that could be moved are pending UFA’s, Nino Niederreiter and Vincent Trocheck.