The Flames don’t seem to be any closer to a deal with Johnny Gaudreau, but general manager Brad Treliving still believes there is a chance it can be resolved before next Wednesday. Ryan Rishaug is joined by TSN Hockey Insiders Darren Dreger, Pierre LeBrun and Chris Johnston to discuss the latest in Calgary, the chances the Flames target Nazem Kadri if talks fall apart, JT Miller‘s future in Vancouver, and more.
Ryan Rishaug: Alongside Darren Dreger, Chris Johnston and Pierre LeBrun. Full marks to Brad Treliving, who after Day 2 of the draft – a long day – stood in, Pierre, for a whole pile of questions about the future of Johnny Gaudreau in the state of contract negotiations. At one point he actually quipped with all the cellphone outages he wished all of our cellphones in the media had maybe been down for a little bit longer today, but listen, the pressure’s on, what did you make of what he had to say?
The brown: I mean, listen, he’s a positive guy by nature, which he admitted, so I don’t know that his body language meant anything new on the situation with Johnny Gaudreau. The reality is after making a few calls, I know that it’s still status quo, the Flames do not have clarity on Johnny Gaudreau. But the Flames have not given up hope they’re going to use the next four days to try and hammer a deal for Johnny because Brad Treliving believes there’s still a chance – perhaps not a great chance – but a chance he can get it done. And in the meantime, if he (Treliving) has to pivot he’s ready to do that come Wednesday.
Johnston: Well, in a place I wonder if we’ll see him pivot is to Nazem Kadri on the open market. And you know, this is maybe a little bit premature, but remember a couple seasons ago, the Calgary Flames tried to trade for Nazem Kadri at the time. Kadri didn’t wave a no-trade clause for some family reasons, I don’t think there’s anything specific to Calgary that affected that decision. And you know, now this is a time for Nazem Kadri to make some money and to play in a winning environment. I think those are two things that are important to him. Calgary could be that, especially, if they don’t end up being able to sign Gaudreau [to] the kind of money that’s been talked about. And you know, it doesn’t sound like a lot is progressing in Colorado for Kadri. I think in a perfect world he’d like to stay there. Sounds like the Avalanche are making progress on an extension for Valery Nichushkinwho is an unrestricted free agent, but Kadri might be hitting the open market here in a couple of days.
Rishaug: Dregs, coming into this draft a couple of the higher-end players who were being bandied about in trade speculation were Alexander DeBrincat, that deal got done. JT Miller, that deal did not get done. What’s the latest out of Vancouver?
Dreger: Well, obviously the interest didn’t match the ask from the Vancouver Canucks’ perspective. And that’s not to suggest that there isn’t a tremendous amount of interest in JT Miller, especially from teams who maybe didn’t go as deep as they were hoping in the playoffs. I mean, (Miller) provides a well-rounded, gritty, productive game, so Vancouver’s plan moving forward now is to just sit back. Maybe they look at free agency and the guys that are shopping for unrestricted free agents that don’t land the forward that they’re hoping maybe they circle back to the Vancouver Canucks. And if the Canucks do not get the return that they need to move JT Miller, they’re happy to have him back in camp going into next season, the final year of his contract. Now, there’s been some speculation that there’s an offer on the table or that there’s an extension looming, (but) there really hasn’t been any sort of meaningful dialogue between the Bartletts, who represent JT Millerand the Vancouver Canucks.
Johnston: Well, and one guy that might be staying put, we’ll still say “might” is Evgeny Malkin with the Pittsburgh Penguins. And look, here’s what we know in this case: all things being equal, he wants to stay at Penguin. We saw his tweet to Kris Letang when he signed his six-year extension here during the draft. And it sounds like there’s been at least some modest progress towards the deal, but they’re not there yet. And really, it comes down to term. I think if the Penguins go to four years, and something in the neighborhood of $7 million a year that gets his deal done. (I) think they’ve been stuck at three to this point in time. But you know, with a couple of days out until free agency, there’s at least a small glimmer of hope on the horizon that there’s a path or contract to be done.
The brown: Another high-profile negotiation which really had become a stalemate – a pretty public one – but seems to finally getting a little let’s say “thought” is the one Filip Forsberg, his agent JP Barry, meeting not once but twice with Predators management on this day. We’ll see where that goes but finally appears there’s a bit of traction. Clearly, Forsberg does not want to leave Nashville, but it’s going to have to be at a number you can live with.
Rishaug: (A) career-high 42 goals for Forsberg with [the] Predators this season and part of a team that can use all of the offense that it can get.