In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is buzz from a former player that the Edmonton Oilers have signed one of the more prominent unrestricted free agents on the market. In addition, the team’s new goaltender may have confirmed the design of the new jerseys and the Bakersfield Condors are bringing in the brother of their current netminder. Finally, one Oilers analyst takes a look at the constant chatter from Jesse Puljujarvi’s agent and thinks he knows why Puljujarvi’s camp keeps talking.
Oilers to Sign Derick Brassard?
How much stock anyone should put into this rumor is questionable but former Oilers forward and tough guy, George Laraque tweeted on Tuesday that the Edmonton Oilers are getting set to announce a one-year deal with unrestricted free agent Derick Brassard.
Laraque hosts his own radio show in Montreal and he’s still very much an Oilers’ follower. He’s not always right on these announcements but he sounds fairly certain there’s a deal here.
If true, Brassard will fill the Oilers third-line center role where the team has a fairly sizable hole. It will be interesting to see what the terms of the deal are as Edmonton has said they want a faceoff-winning player who can kill penalties and Brassard isn’t exactly those things.
** Update: It proved to be that Laraque had the wrong information as Brassard has signed a one-year deal with the New York Islanders. Laraque claims Brassard changed his mind.
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Mike Smith Confirms Third Jersey Rumors?
In off-ice news, it appears new goaltender Mike Smith has confirmed the design of the new third jerseys for the Oilers this season. InGoal Magazine posted a photo of Smith’s new goalie gear on Instagram and it looks an awful lot like the new third jersey colors.
It is possible Smith uses this gear with the original white and the blue and orange jerseys as well, but most people who have seen this photo are talking about the new darker jerseys circulating the Internet but haven’t been officially announced yet.
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Condors Sign Beau Starrett
The Edmonton Oilers AHL affiliate team, the Bakersfield Condors, have announced the signing of Beau Starrett to an AHL contract on Monday. Beau is the younger brother of Condors goaltender Shane Starrett.
Beau is a 23-year-old forward who played with Cornell University the past four seasons. He registered 16 goals and 40 points over 118 games including 8 goals and 15 points in 36 games last season.
Originally drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the third round of the 2014 NHL Draft, Beau Starrett hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire but it is a relatively risk-free signing that will make their goaltender pleased.
With this new deal, [Beau] Starrett could sign with an NHL team if they came knocking, but the Oilers have the right of first refusal.
Is There a Trade Offer on the Table for Puljujarvi?
Allan Mitchell of The Athletic wrote a series of tweets trying to make sense of why Jesse Puljuarvi’s agent would constantly be talking about the issues between Puljujarvi and the Oilers when the Oilers aren’t saying much of anything and the player really doesn’t have a lot of leverage?
Over a total of five tweets, Mitchell (Lowetide) effectively says he believes there’s an offer on the table from a team like Carolina, Puljujarvi’s agent knows it and he’s trying to put pressure on to force the Oilers hand to accept the offer.
Lowetide figures if people in Edmonton hate Puljujarvi just enough not to want him back, perhaps the team will take a trade they don’t like just to move the player out. Mitchell writes, “The player side has little to no power, contract writes itself, all these updates do is poison the water hole for JP.” He adds, “this pressure is designed to pressure Edmonton by poisoning JP’s situation in the city.”
This is all extremely unfortunate if true and since the agent is a veteran and knows what he’s doing, Mitchell figures there has to be a reason behind all this talk. One has to wonder how keen Puljujarvi is on all this or if he is just letting his agent, Markus Lehto try and control the narrative.
Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”