NHL Notebook: Flames put all contract talks on hold, Canucks working the phones to reward team for hot start
Photo credit:© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
By Cam Lewis26 days ago
When the Edmonton Oilers beat the Calgary Flames at the Heritage Classic on Sunday, they pushed the losing streak of their provincial rivals to five games.
The Flames opened up the 2023-24 season with a win over the Winnipeg Jets and they’ve won once in eight games since. Calgary has a 2-6-1 record for the season and they’ll look to snap their skid on Wednesday when they host the 5-1-1 Dallas Stars.
The team’s terrible start has the front office reconsidering their long-term plans. According to Sportsnet’s Eric Francis, the Flames have paused all contract negotiations for the time being.
“Twenty games in, this season could be a complete write-off.Thus, a pause on contract talks.No sense in continuing to lock up a core that hasn’t been able to get it done.You can bet the feeling is mutual, as [Elias] Lindholm and [Noah] Hanifin must be second-guessing the mere thought of signing on long-term with a team that is spinning its wheels just like it did last year.The frustration Lindholm showed last spring is back, as evidenced by his, ‘I would have booed too if I saw the way we played,” followed by, “We’ve played like s— three games in a row.'”
The Flames are nicely positioned for some kind of retool or rebuild if that’s the direction they ultimately decide to take. Lindholm, Hanifin, Chris Tanev, and Nikita Zadorov are all impending free agents who would help contending teams and could net Calgary a handful of assets for the future.
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The Vancouver Canucks are looking to improve their roster to reward the team for their strong start to the season
Meanwhile, in Vancouver, the Canucks are off to a flying start and want to capitalize on that momentum. They opened up their season with an 8-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers and have gone 5-2-1 in their first eight games.
According to Rick Dhaliwal of The Team, the Canucks are actively working the phones to find additions to reward the team for their strong start.
The Canucks have already made a couple of trades in October. They acquired forward Sam Lafferty from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for a fifth-round draft pick and they added depth defender Mark Friedman in a multi-player deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
They only have $162,500 in open salary cap room, so Vancouver will need to either be looking for a minor addition or a salary in, salary out trade.
An interesting possibility considering the situation in Calgary would be Chris Tanev, who was a long-time fixture on Vancouver’s blueline before the team’s previous front office let him walk in free agency. Would they be willing to attach a significant sweetener to Tyler Myers to execute a swap for Tanev, a better shutdown defender? Both players are unrestricted free agents this summer.
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