The Calgary Flames still need to shed some more salary in order to fit in what is expected to be a big contract for Matthew Tkachuk, and Sportsnet’s Eric Francis suggests on radio that T.J. Brodie might have to be the one to go. The defenseman has been involved in trade speculation for some time and as Francis notes, the team has two up-and-coming options in Rasmus Andersson and Juuso Valimaki (not to mention Oliver Kylington, who is also pushing for an NHL spot.)
The Flames already shed themselves of some money by buying out Michael Stone recently, but project to have just over $7.75MM in cap space to sign both Tkachuk and Andrew Mangiapane. The 29-year old Brodie has just one year left on his current contract with a $4.65MM cap hit and is still an effective offensive option from the blueline. Francis worries that the Flames may have to part with another player to find a fit for Brodie after a deal earlier this offseason fell apart with the Toronto Maple Leafs thanks to Nazem Kadri’s no-trade clause. With just a month left before training camps open, Flames GM Brad Treliving still has plenty of work to do.
- Speaking of the Maple Leafs, they too have an unsigned restricted free agent holding things up. Mitch Marner still doesn’t have a contract for the 2019-20 season, but linemate John Tavares doesn’t seem worried. Speaking with TSN this weekend, Tavares explained that “there’s still some time” for the contract to be worked out and is hopeful that Marner is there on the first day of training camp. The Maple Leafs currently project over the salary cap for the upcoming season but have more than $10MM tied up in Nathan Horton and David Clarkson who will be placed on long-term injured reserve at some point.
- Jared Staal has been hired by the ECHL’s Orlando Solar Bears as an assistant coach, transitioning to a new role in professional hockey. The younger brother of Eric Staal, Jordan Staal and Marc Staal played two games for the Carolina Hurricanes in 2012-13 but had spent most of his career in the minor leagues. His playing days ended after suiting up for the Edinburgh Capitals of the EIHL in 2016-17. The 28-year old was originally drafted in the 2008 second round, but couldn’t quite climb to the same heights as his brothers. Perhaps he’ll get to that level as a coach, something he’s obviously getting an early start on.