In today’s Rumor Rundown we continue to look at two teams who are struggling and a couple teams who are on the bubble. The Edmonton Oilers lost again on Tuesday in a stomping by the St. Louis Blues and it’s clear from that loss, among others, the Oilers require a defenseman. Meanwhile, the Canadiens have lost four games in a row and almost everyone seems to be up for discussion as a trade option.
Also, the New York Rangers have some decisions to make come the first part of 2018 but are looking at what that means now. Meanwhile, the Florida Panthers appear to be seeking ways to reacquire Erik Gudbranson.
Oilers Kicking Tires
Chris Nichols of FanRag Sports is reporting that Darren Dreger said during a Tuesday spot on TSN 1050 that he’s not sure if any major trades would be coming soon but that people are talking. Dreger explained, “Well, Brad Treliving and Peter Chiarelli watched the Buffalo game last night and I know that Jason Botterill at least spent some of that game talking with his two fellow general managers.”
The way the Oilers have had major collapses and breakdowns in their own zone, Peter Chiarelli is known to be looking for a defenseman to help alleviate the issues. Because the Sabres are also looking for a blueliner, there’s likely not much of a fit there. The Sabres have two defenders returning so they aren’t in as dire a need as perhaps the Oilers are. Chiarelli might have other options though.
A lot of people swirling around the Columbus Blue Jackets and Ryan Murray. We seem to want to talk about Ryan Murray almost on an annual basis now, from a trade perspective. No question the Blue Jackets and Colorado Avalanche had multiple conversations about Duchene because that’s what Columbus is looking for. Columbus is looking for a centerman and it’s believed that Ryan Murray would have been part of that deal.
Dreger says if the Blue Jackets were to trade Murray, they’d likely be looking to receive a useful player back and that would include a player like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. The Oilers might not consider trading Nugent-Hopkins right now as he’s been one of the few productive forwards on the team.
Would Montreal Move Brendan Gallagher?
Dreger also discussed the Montreal Canadiens who employ a number of players that could be considered trade options. The latest questions revolved around Brendan Gallagher. Are the Habs in such a dire strait that they would consider moving one of their few leaders?
Dreger explained that the staff at TSN often look at “what if” scenarios for the Canadiens and while Max Pacioretty has been high on that list for some time, Gallagher’s name came up. Dreger didn’t think a Gallagher trade was likely unless a big stud defender was coming back the other way. If the Canadiens trade Gallagher, they’d need to find a leader to replace him as he’s one of the few Canadiens who embody the “Canadiens” culture and style of play.
Panthers Haven’t Closed Door on Gudbranson
Jason Brough of TSN tweeted that the Florida Panthers still might be interested in reacquiring Erik Gudbranson. The Panthers had earlier tried to acquire Gudbranson via trade with Vancouver for Jason Demers but Demers used his no-trade clause to nix the move. There might be other teams besides the Panthers interested in the big defender.
Heard from a source (not w/ the Canucks) that the Panthers still like Gudbranson. A few other teams interested too, per the source.
— Jason Brough (@JasonBroughTSN) November 21, 2017
Rangers in a Holding Pattern
Larry Brooks of the New York Post is reporting the New York Rangers are contemplating some big decisions but that right now no moves are imminent because the Rangers aren’t sure if they’re a playoff contender or not.
Brooks explained the Rangers dilemma:
So you watch the Rangers every night, pick apart every flaw, and inevitably reach the no-brainer conclusion that a Cup is out of the question and that pending free agents Rick Nash, Michael Grabner and Nick Holden must be bartered for futures while potential 2019 UFA’s Ryan McDonagh and Mats Zuccarello should be aggressively marketed as well.
But, Brooks went on to add that you simply can’t count out the Rangers if a few pieces turn in a positive direction. As a bubble team, the Rangers will have to decide if they could get a first-rounder-plus for Rick Nash, or if they could collect a first (or a high second) for Michael Grabner?
Come the new year, the Rangers will be a team to watch closely.
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.”