Welcome to another edition of Full Press Hockey’s NHL Rumors! The 2022-23 season is over, and players and front offices will be evaluated. Now, the focus shifts toward the new season. Training camps will begin shortly, and rosters will be finalized. Teams are always looking to improve, and the excitement of a new NHL season is upon us.
In this Wednesday edition of NHL Rumors, we’ll examine the Montreal Canadiens, Calgary Flames, and the Edmonton Oilers.
NHL rumors in this edition include:
Will Christian Dvorak be traded once he’s healthy? What is the latest on Elias Lindholm’s status? What trade bait will the Oilers have coming this new season?
Montreal Canadiens – Christian Dvorak
Rumor: Per – David Kirouac – yardbarker.com. Likely Christian Dvorak trade looms amid medical clearance wait. When he does make his comeback, trade rumors are likely to swirl around the talented player.
Dvorak injured his knee in March and had surgery to repair the issue. That ruled him out for the rest of the 2022-23 season. It could lead to a disruption to the start of the upcoming season as well. But it is possible he can return soon. If he does return, expect the Habs to evaluate his trade value. He had 10 goals and 18 assists before his injury. Dvorak has been plagued by injuries in his NHL career. Still, he has 88 goals and 119 assists in 422 NHL games.
Dvorak has a $4.45 million contract good through the 2024-25 season. There could be some concentrated interest in teams needing a good two-way center like Dvorak. He possesses excellent defensive skills and is a top contributor on the penalty kill. Once he gets healthy, expect to see his name pop up regularly in NHL rumors. He does have a modified no-trade clause in his contract, which allows him to overrule a trade to a list of eight teams. Dvorak also is adept in the faceoff circle, with a 52.4 percent success rate. He is an accurate shooter, with a career 13.2 percent accuracy rate.
We will need to wait to see if Dvorak gets traded and where. He would be an asset for a team needing a forward for the postseason.
Calgary Flames – Elias Lindholm
Rumor: Per – Julian McKenzie – theathletic.com. The Calgary Flames could be facing a no-win situation with Elias Lindholm.
While the 28-year-old center has said he’s open to a contract extension, he could have the Flames right where he wants them. If the Flames try to trade Lindholm now, only five clubs (Detroit, Nashville, Buffalo, Chicago and Anaheim) have enough cap space to take on his $4.85 million cap hit for this season. Teams like Colorado, Pittsburgh and St. Louis have already added centers this summer, further shrinking the number of possible trade partners.
The timeline for a possible Lindholm trade may come more towards the March 8th trade deadline. Reports over the summer suggest GM Craig Conroy is keen to re-sign Lindholm. He might be hesitant about investing between $8.5 million and $9 million annually for eight seasons on a player who’ll turn 30 in the first season of that new contract. However, with the salary cap projected to leap to over $92 million by 2025-26, it’s a gamble that Conroy could take to keep Lindholm in the fold.
It should be interesting to see how this turns out, as it has been in NHL rumors for a bit now. A lot could depend on how well the Flames fare this upcoming season. If they falter, Lindholm will be more open to going after a Cup elsewhere. If they are in the hunt, then Conroy has more of a chance of re-signing the gifted forward. One thing that Conoy may have to his advantage in negotiating a new deal for Lindholm was his drop off from 42 goals and 40 assists in the 2021-22 season to his stats from last season when he dipped to 22 goals and 42 assists.
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Edmonton Oilers – Trade bait for the upcoming season
Rumor: Per – Alan Mitchell – theathletic.com. Five Oilers’ assets that could get moved early or late in 2023-24.
As impressive as the Oilers are at the top end, there are questions in goal, on right defense and on right wing. Here are five possibilities that could work for GM Ken Holland.
- 2024 first-round pick – The Oilers acquired Mattias Ekholm using their 2023 first-round pick. If they can get that kind of return, there will be teams interested. Targets, according to Mitchell, could be Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck and defenseman Dylan DeMelo and Seattle Kraken right winger Jordan Eberle. Now, that’s good use of a first-round selection.
- Philip Broberg – It would seem that the Oilers will want to see what Broberg can do with additional ice time. That may be to showcase him for a trade or just to keep him on the roster for now. He has plenty of potential. But, NHL teams looking for talent want to see results from a player before they make a commitment. For that reason, Broberg’s name may appear in NHL rumors for the first time since he was drafted by the Oilers in 2019.
- Dylan Holloway – He has less of a chance of being dealt than Broberg, but he needs to show more offense to remain on the roster. He could improve if he’s placed on the same line as Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl, but then who couldn’t? The team can’t afford to be extra patient with Holloway since they are vying for a Cup this season.
- Raphael Lavoie – Even though he scored 25 goals in the AHL, whether he can duplicate that effort in the NHL is questionable. If he gets squeezed out of a spot on the roster, Holland may see what he could get for him in a trade. If an offer arrives for Holland that involves a non-waiver eligible player or a roster player making the minimum who plays a position of need, Holland could move quickly toward a deal.
- Brett Kulak – Moving Kulak would allow Broberg to slide in on the third pair left side, behind Darnell Nurse and Ekholm on the depth chart. Kulak is a good skater and has a veteran presence that another team may covet.
To round things up, Mitchell feels there’s a good chance several of the players noted here are entering their final months as members of the organization.
That concludes this edition of NHL rumors. Be sure to catch our next article, and thanks for reading!