NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs, Wild, Flames, Bruins

Boston Bruins, Brandon Carlo, Calgary Flames, Jason Spezza, Kevin Fiala, Matthew Tkachuk, Minnesota Wild, NHL Rumors, Toronto Maple Leafs

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, Jason Spezza has retired from the NHL after 19 seasons. He’ll join the front office of the Toronto Maple Leafs in a very specific role. What is the latest on a possible Kevin Fiala trade? It doesn’t sound like Bill Guerin is all that sold on him as a player. Matthew Tkachuk said he’s very open to a long-term extension with the Calgary Flames and how far are the Boston Bruins willing to do to get a top-six center?

Spezza Retires, Becomes Dubas’ Assistant

After 19 seasons where he was easily one of the most graceful, respectful and passionate hockey players in the NHL, Jason Spezza is retiring. Just five points shy of 1000, he played 1248 regular-season games and another 97 playoff games over the course of his career. He’ll immediately jump into a front-office role with the Maple Leafs, becoming the Special Assistant to GM Kyle Dubas.

Jason Spezza announced today his retirement from the NHL after 19 seasons. He will be joining the Maple Leafs’ front office effective immediately. #LeafsForever

Spezza released a statement saying how much he loved hockey and he thanked everyone involved in his 19-year career. Dubas followed up with his own press release saying, “Though today marks the end of his tenure with us as a player, it is a pleasure to have him join our front office to impart all that he has to offer.” Pierre LeBrun of TSN writes, “Spezza has a chance to be a difference-maker in NHL management once he learns the ropes. This was always in the back of his mind playing career. Could see him as a GM somewhere one day.”

Kevin Fiala Trade Talk

Michael Russo and Harman Dayal of The Athletic took a closer look at where things stand between the Minnesota Wild and forward Kevin Fiala. Fiala will command a high price and it’s likely the Wild can’t afford to pay it. Fiala has changed his Instagram profile picture to remove the Minnesota Wild and he said “We’ll see” when asked about returning next season. A trade is the most likely outcome and they write that he can potentially fetch two prime assets, the top one being a first-round pick.

Kevin Fiala Minnesota Wild
Kevin Fiala, Minnesota Wild (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

One of the things that is leading people to believe that GM Bill Guerin will trade Fiala is because he sort of dumped on the player when he was defending Matt Dumba. He noted:

“Why is it always Dumba? Dumba plays a lot of minutes for us. There are a lot of things that Matt Dumba does really well. Everybody has their shortcomings. Kevin didn’t do well in the playoffs, but we’re all dying to keep him”… “I like Matt Dumba. I think he’s a damn good defenseman, and people want to write him out of town just because Kevin had three good months.”

source – ‘What could the Wild get for Kevin Fiala? A look at his trade value and potential suitors’ – Michael Russo and Harman Dayal – The Athletic – 05/25/2022

Among the teams they believe will have an interest in trading for Fiala, they include the Ottawa Senators, New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia Flyers, New York Islanders, Anaheim Ducks, and Los Angeles Kings.

Matthew Tkachuk Says He’d Love To Return To Flames

During an interview with Bob Stauffer on Oilers Now, ESPN analyst and respected hockey insider Kevin Weekes suggested that the Flames wouldn’t be getting both Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk back next season. His comments came following a similar sentiment from Sportsnet’s Eric Francis that suggested the Flames would have to choose one.

Matthew Tkachuk Calgary Flames
Matthew Tkachuk, Calgary Flames (Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Both Tkachuk and Gaudreau spoke to the media and made it sound like they would like to work things out with the Flames. Tkachuk said when asked if he would like to come back, “Absolutely. I’d love to. I love it here. I love the people here. I would be very open to that.”

Related: Blockbuster Flames Trade Could Hugely Benefit the Oilers

Calgary has over $26 million in cap space available this summer, but they currently only have 12 players on the roster. If the Flames sign both players, there’s not much money left for someone like Andrew Mangiapane or Oliver Kylington. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman believes the Flames won’t waste time starting contract talks both players to see where their heads are at.

Will Bruins Make Moves To Land Top-Line Center?

If Patrice Bergeron chooses to retire, what are the Bruins prepared to do to ice a competitive team? Boston Hockey Now’s Jimmy Murphy wondered if the Bruins will consider moving blueliner Brandon Carlo in a deal for a top-six center. There’s also the chance the Bruins could shop Matt Grzelcyk and is reporting that Connor Clifton was “out there in the trade market” at various points this season.

If the Bruins do trade a defenseman, there is some thought the Bruins might look into John Klingberg and see if he’s interested in signing with the team as a free agent.

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