Agent: Gaudreau has no intention of asking Flames for trade


As the NHL exhibition season rolls along there are still a number of big name restricted free agents that remain without a contract, including Calgary Flames star forward Johnny Gaudreau.

Unlike a couple of other unsigned players, including Winnipeg’s Jacob Trouba and Arizona’s Tobias Rieder, Gaudreau has no intention of asking the Flames for a trade, according to his agent.

“We have no intention of asking for a trade at this time,” his agent Lewis Gross said on Sunday, via Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman. “He wants to stay in Calgary.”

His agent also said the two sides have not had any conversations since September 9.

Gaudreau is coming off of a monster season for the Flames that saw him finish as the NHL’s sixth-leading scorer with 78 points, including 30 goals.

During the ongoing negotiations reports have surfaced that Gaudreau had been seeking a contract in the $8 million per year range, while the Flames were hoping to get him for a deal similar to the one signed by Sean Monahan.

Monahan signed a seven-year contract with the Flames in August that pays him an average of $6.3 million per season.

A fourth-round pick by the Flames in 2011 and one of the smallest players in the NHL, Gaudreau has quickly become one of the NHL’s most exciting and explosive players and has already proven to be a prolific top-line scorer, topping 64 points in each of his first two seasons in the league. He is one of only 17 players in the league over the past two years to top the 64-point mark each season. He is still only 23 years old, meaning he is probably just now entering what should be his peak years in the league.

Even though negotiations seem slow at this point and the reported gap in numbers is fairly large, this still seems like something that is going to get completed before the regular season begins. Gaudreau is too important to the Flames for them to risk entering the season without him. They certainly realize that.

Along with Gaudreau and the aforementioned Trouba and Rieder, Nikita Kucherov (Tampa Bay), Hampus Lindholm (Anaheim), Rickard Rakell (Anaheim), and Rasmus Ristolainen (Buffalo) all still remain unsigned as restricted free agents.

Canucks’ Ilya Mikheyev to have season-ending knee surgery

Ilya Mikheyev
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Vancouver Canucks right wing Ilya Mikheyev is set to have season-ending surgery on his left knee.

Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin said Friday night the 28-year-old Russian forward tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the team’s first preseason game Sept. 25. Mikheyev will undergo surgery next week and is expected to be ready for training camp in the fall.

Mikheyev was originally listed as week-to-week with the injury and played 45 regular-season games, finishing with 13 goals and 15 assists. He scored in his final appearance Friday night, a 5-2 home victory over Columbus.

Mikheyev signed a four-year, $19 million contract as a free agent last summer.

Maple Leafs’ Matthews out at least 3 weeks with knee injury

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Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews will miss at least three weeks with a sprained knee.

The team announced the reigning MVP’s anticipated absence Friday, two days after Matthews was injured in Toronto’s victory against the New York Rangers.

Matthews is expected to miss at least six games and could be out for a few more. The timing of the injury coinciding with the NHL All-Star break and the Maple Leafs bye week prevents this from costing Matthews more time out of the lineup.

After being voted an All-Star by fans, Matthews is now out of the event scheduled for Feb. 3-4 in Sunrise, Florida. The league announced Aleskander Barkov from the host Florida Panthers will take Matthews’ place on the Atlantic Division All-Star roster.

Matthews, who won the Hart Trophy last season after leading the NHL with 60 goals, has 53 points in 47 games this season.

Caufield opted for surgery with Habs out of playoff race

caufield surgery
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MONTREAL — Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield said Friday he wouldn’t be having season-ending surgery on his right shoulder if the team were in playoff contention.

But with the Canadiens near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, the 22-year-old Caufield said he decided to have the surgery to protect his long-term health. The procedure is scheduled to be performed by Dr. Peter Millett on Wednesday.

“I didn’t want to stop playing,” Caufield said. “I had a couple tests done to look at it more clearly but, in the end, like it could’ve been one more fall and it could have been even worse.”

Caufield, who leads the Canadiens with 26 goals in 46 games, had three different medical opinions on his shoulder before concluding that his season was over.

“I think they’ve seen a lot more than I have and they know the differences and what they like or don’t like about it,” he said about the medical opinions. “Long term, I think this is what’s best but for sure it was tough to sit out that game against Toronto on Saturday night.”

Caufield initially felt the injury in an awkward fall during Montreal’s 4-2 loss at Dallas on Dec. 23. He said his right shoulder popped, and he replaced it himself.

Caufield felt it again in the Habs’ 4-3 loss at Nashville on Jan. 12. The club announced on Jan. 21 that Caufield would miss the rest of the season.

Caufield is nearing the end of his three-year, entry-level contract and will be a restricted free agent this summer.

All-Star Matty Beniers to miss next 2 games for Kraken

matty beniers
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SEATTLE — Seattle Kraken rookie All-Star Matty Beniers will miss the team’s final two games before the All-Star break after taking a big hit from Vancouver’s Tyler Myers earlier this week.

Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said after morning skate Friday that Beniers would not play Friday night against Calgary or Saturday against Columbus. Hakstol did not speculate on Beniers’ availability for next weekend’s All-Star Game in Florida.

The team has not specified what kind of injury Beniers sustained from the hit. He was barreled over by Myers away from the play early in the second period in Wednesday’s 6-1 victory over Vancouver. Myers was penalized for interference on the play. Beniers returned briefly for one shift later in the period but did not play in the third period.

Beniers is Seattle’s lone All-Star selection this season. He leads all rookies in goals (17) and points (36), and is fifth in total ice time for rookies.

Seattle also placed defenseman Justin Schultz on injured reserve and recalled forward Max McCormick from Coachella Valley of the AHL. Hakstol said Schultz is improving but there’s no timeline on his return.