NHL Rumors: Huberdeau; Weegar open to staying with Flames, and Kirill Kaprizov update

Jonathan Huberdeau
Nov 20, 2021; Sunrise, Florida, USA; Florida Panthers left wing Jonathan Huberdeau (11) reacts before having his goal against the Minnesota Wild disallowed by game officials during the third period at FLA Live Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Today’s NHL Rumors starts off in Calgary. It’s been a rough offseason for the Flames after being the first team to lose two 100 point players in the same summer.

First, they watched stunned as Johnny Gaudreau left more money on the table to sign with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Then they were told by Matthew Tkachuk that he wouldn’t sign long-term forcing a trade.

While trading Tkachuk hurt, they at least got back valuable pieces to keep them competitive. In exchange, the Flames received forward Jonathan Huberdeau, defenseman MacKenzie Weegar, prospect Cole Schwindt and a conditional first-round pick in the 2025 NHL Draft.

However, the best news came from both Huberdeau and Weegar themselves.

NHL Rumors: Huberdeau and Weegar open to signing with Flames

Huberdeau, 29, scored a career-best 115 points in 80 games last season while matching his career high of 30 goals. He has 613 points (198 goals, 415 assists) in 10 NHL seasons, all with the Panthers. The skilled forward is entering the last season of a contract that comes with an AAV of $5.9 million.

“I still have one more year left on my contract,” Huberdeau said Monday. “I’m open to staying with the Flames, but at the end of the day, it’s not my decision. It’s my general manager (Brad Treliving) and agent who work this out. It would be something I’m open about, and obviously they’re the ones that traded for me. That means they want me. … You want to play for a team that wants you, and that’s all I want.”

NHL.com

During his introductory zoom presser, Huberdeau also noted that talks have already begun on a possible extension.

Weegar, 28, established career bests with eight goals, 36 assists and 44 points in 80 games last season. He has 121 points (27 goals, 94 assists) in five-plus seasons, all with Florida. This is the defenseman’s last year on a deal that has a $3.25 million cap hit.

“I’m open to [a long-term deal],” Weegar said after the trade. “I guess it’s just getting down there and experiencing [Calgary] myself and Brad and my agent talking negotiation talks and seeing if it works for both sides.”

It’s been a really difficult time for the Flames and their fans. The fact that these two new acquisitions are open to staying has to feel real good for everyone involved.

Kirill Kaprizov update

Kirill Kaprizov
May 4, 2022; Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Wild left wing Kirill Kaprizov (97) celebrates his hat trick against the St. Louis Blues in the third period in game two of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The situation regarding Kirill Kaprizov and reports he allegedly bought a falsified military ID card in 2017 came out prior to the NHL Draft. While he is still being held in Russia, GM Bill Guerin feels that he should be here for training camp.

Michael Russo tweeted this earlier today:

GM Bill Guerin remains confident the Kirill Kaprizov situation is in the process of being rectified in Russia and that he’ll be back in Minnesota before the season: “He should be OK and we should be OK. But it’s delicate and I’d rather not comment on it.”

In a previous report, Russo stated Kaprizov was denied entry back into the U.S. twice but noted that it could be visa related.

Kaprizov, 25, recorded 108 points in 81 games to follow up a Calder winning rookie season. He’s entering the second year of a 5-year deal with an AAV of $9 million.