Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, Edmonton Oilers, Mattias Ekholm, Mikael Backlund, NHL Rumors, Oliver Kylington, Patrick Kane, Tyler Myers, Vancouver Canucks

NHL Rumors: Sabres, Avalanche, Canucks, Flames, Oilers

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Buffalo Sabres have reportedly reached out to Patrick Kane about signing with the team. The Colorado Avalanche kicked tires on Mikael Backlund before making other moves. The Vancouver Canucks made their trade and as such, are holding onto Tyler Myers. The Calgary Flames have released a statement regarding Oliver Kylington not being at camp. Finally, the Edmonton Oilers are in the news for a few reasons on Thursday.

Oliver Kylington Will Miss the Start of Camp

The Calgary Flames have released a statement regarding defenseman Oliver Kylington, which has some fans concerned considering why he missed all of last season. The statement read, “Following yesterday’s medical and fitness testing, it was determined that Oliver is unable to participate in the opening of training camp today. As this is a private personal matter, no further information will be provided.”

Oliver Kylington Calgary Flames
Oliver Kylington, Calgary Flames (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

This update comes after Kylington made his personal mental health issues known during a recent interview with Swedish publication HockeyNews.se. Throughout this period, the Flames organization consistently expressed their unwavering support for Kylington’s leave of absence and pledged to honor his privacy until he felt prepared to make a return. They will continue to do so.

There’s really no way to put a timeline on his return.

Sabres Showing Interest in Patrick Kane

The Buffalo Sabres have formally indicated their interest in acquiring the services of seasoned forward Patrick Kane, as reported by TSN’s Darren Dreger. Kane, presently in the midst of rehabilitation following hip surgery in the Toronto vicinity, is anticipated to necessitate at least another month of recovery before he can make his comeback on the ice.

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Dreger writes, “Patrick Kane continues to rehab from his hip surgery. He’s been doing so in the Toronto area since July and requires at least another month. We know Buffalo has interest. He could help a lot of teams when healthy.” This development is hardly unexpected, given the persistent speculations connecting Kane with the Sabres throughout the summer, varying in intensity but consistently present.

Avalanche Tried to Trade For Mikael Backlund

In their pursuit of strengthening their center depth during the early stages of the summer, the Colorado Avalanche explored the prospect of acquiring seasoned two-way center Mikael Backlund from the Calgary Flames. According to the latest installment of Sportsnet’s “32 Thoughts” column by Elliotte Friedman, the Avalanche initiated discussions with the Flames before ultimately securing the services of Ross Colton and Ryan Johansen.

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The primary objective was to reinforce their center position, particularly in light of the apparent departure of J.T. Compher. Compher eventually inked a significant five-year contract with the Detroit Red Wings on July 1. Concurrently, while he says he’ll wait to see how the season unfolds, it was widely known that Backlund had expressed dissatisfaction with the state of affairs in Calgary under the leadership of Darryl Sutter.

Canucks Not Trading Tyler Myers

Per Thomas Drance of The Athletic, the Canucks have elected not to trade Tyler Myers. Following a move that sent Tanner Pearson to the Montreal Canadiens, the Canucks are going to cap compliant without the need to move the defenseman, and GM of the Vancouver Canucks, Patrik Allvin said:

Regarding Tyler Myers, we have no intention of moving him. He was good for us, especially after Sergei Gonchar and Adam Foote came in. He had a really strong World Championship and I was happy for him that he won the gold there. I know he’s excited to be back here, and working with Foote and training camp will dictate our opening night roster.

source: ‘Canucks GM Patrik Allvin 1-on-1: On Elias Pettersson, Tyler Myers and camp competition’ – Thomas Drance – The Athletic – 09/20/2023

These comments come as Myers and the Canucks open training camp and get ready for the 2023-24 NHL season. All summer, speculation has surrounded Myers, who was paid a bonus in September and now becomes an affordable contract for a team looking for a player with a higher cap hit, but not much actual money owing on the deal.

Oilers Dealing With Injuries, Make Huge Analytics Hire

Mattias Ekholm is contending with a minor hip injury that may require some time to recover from before he can participate in the commencement of training camp. While the injury is not deemed severe and is considered more of a maintenance issue, any lingering issues would be problematic for the Oilers.

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On another note, Sam Gagner, who underwent surgery on both hips, is slated to partake in practices during the camp but will not participate in games. Currently at camp on a professional tryout (PTO) contract, Gagner’s progress will be assessed over the course of a month, with the possibility of being assigned to the Bakersfield Condors.

Ryan McLeod was also not in camp on the first day.

The Oilers also made a huge hire on Thursday. They appointed Michael Parkatti as the Senior Director of Data & Analytics. This announcement comes as part of the team’s efforts to revamp their approach to analytics under the leadership of CEO of Hockey Operations, Jeff Jackson.

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