Calgary Flames defenseman Dougie Hamilton popped up earlier this week in the NHL rumor mill. TSN's Pierre LeBrun reports there's talk the 23-year-old blueliner could be available.
LeBrun said he doesn't think the Flames are shopping Hamilton. While at least one team inquired into the defenseman's availability, LeBrun said talks didn't get far.
The Flames acquired Hamilton from the Boston Bruins prior to the 2015 NHL draft, re-signing him to a six-year, $34.5-million contract. Since joining the Flames, his performance at times was inconsistent. However, they appear committed to keeping him on their blueline.
A more likely Flames trade candidate is veteran defenseman Dennis Wideman. The 33-year-old is eligible for unrestricted free agency next July and doesn't have a long-term future in Calgary. He has a full no-movement clause, but the Flames could ask him to waive it if they're out of playoff contention by the March 1 trade deadline.
WITH LINDHOLM SIGNED, WHAT HAPPENS TO FOWLER?
Prior to the Anaheim Ducks re-signing defenseman Hampus Lindholm, there was a report linking him to a deal with the Colorado Avalanche and captain Gabriel Landeskog. As noted by Chris Nichols of Today's Slapshot, TSN's Darren Dreger said the Ducks and Avalanche had a conversation involving the two players, though Ducks GM Bob Murray wanted nothing to do with trading the 22-year-old blueliner.
With Lindholm finally under contract, any talk of swapping him for Landekog is put to rest. However, this isn't the first time Dreger's mentioned Landeskog as a possible trade candidate this year. On June 30, he reported the Ducks and Avs had discussed a Landeskog-for-Lindholm swap.
Landeskog surfaced again in the rumor mill later in the summer. On July 30, Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Sun included the 23-year-old left winger among five players the Canucks should pursue in the off-season.
So far, however, there's no indication out of Denver the Avs are willing to put their captain on the trade block. He's in the third season of a seven-year, $39-million contract and his $5.5-million cap hit isn't easy to move, especially this early in the season.
Landeskog's no-trade clause doesn't kick in until 2018-19, so he can be dealt anywhere this season without his permission. His performance through 2016-17, and that of the Avs, could determine if he becomes a trade chip.
It'll be interesting to see if the Lindholm signing puts an end to the Cam Fowler trade rumors that were flying around since late-June.
The Ducks freed up some cap space for Lindholm's new contract by placing concussed defenseman Simon Despres and his $3.7-million annual cap hit on long-term injury reserve. However, they must find cap room for Despres when he's ready to return to the lineup.
Throughout the off-season and into October, trade chatter linked the 24-year-old Fowler ($4 million cap hit) to the Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres and Detroit Red Wings. That talk could be muted for now, but will likely flare up again when Despres is ready to return to the lineup.
Rumor Roundup appears regularly only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News and The Guardian (P.E.I.).
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