Could there be some closure for big-name free agents on the horizon? Is there a team that is “officially” done for the summer? Where are the kids from college going to sign?
No Ducks, No Oilers, But Maybe the Flames?
Elliotte Friedman took a look at some of the key remaining free agents and near the top of his list was Jaromir Jagr. It’s still a mystery to many that Jagr hasn’t landed anywhere yet, but there may be a reason.
When speculating on what’s happening with Jagr, Friedman said:
I know some teams that have kind of talked and taken a look at it. I think Calgary has been one that has kind of looked at it. One of his former coaches, Glen Gulutzan, is coaching up there… I can tell you that there were a couple of teams that said to me today that they’d heard that maybe Anaheim might be interested, but I checked with that and I was told that’s not the case.
But, the fact that Calgary seems interested might not be enough. I had a chance to sit down one-on-one with The Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson, and he believes Jagr is being particular about where he plays. Matheson was surprised the Montreal Canadiens haven’t made a pitch and he believes if they did, it might be a match. He also believes Jagr doesn’t want to come out west and that rules out Anaheim, Calgary and Edmonton. In fact, Matheson has it on good authority the Edmonton Oilers aren’t interested in the sure-fire Hall of Famer.
Chiarelli has seen first hand what Jagr offers having worked with him in Boston. The belief is Jagr is too slow for an Oilers team that wants to play a speedy game and too often Jagr drops the pace of the game to play his style. Chiarelli feels Jagr’s game is not suited for the Oilers.
Friedman agrees that Anaheim would have been a better fit because the Ducks are a bit of a grinding team and Jagr could fit into that, but again Friedman was told the Ducks are not involved.
Oilers Finished for the Summer
Matheson also said he believes the Oilers are done making moves for the summer. There are no big acquisitions on the horizon but he believes Chiarelli is well aware that he’ll likely have to add during the season and “will position his team to make a move at the trade deadline.”
If this is true, professional tryouts seem to be the next logical step for the Oilers who see their biggest weakness at right twing.
College Free Agent Decisions Imminent
Rick Dhaliwal from NEWS 1130 Sports believes college free agent Alex Kerfoot is about to make a decision on his NHL future. The Harvard University center has narrowed down the field to potentially three teams. The Vancouver Canucks and New York Rangers are two of three teams still believed to be in the mix.
Hearing UFA forward Alex Kerfoot will decide soon on a team and yes the #Canucks are still in the mix.
— Rick Dhaliwal (@DhaliwalSports) August 21, 2017
Speaking of the Canucks, the word is they showed no interest in Will Butcher, another college free agent who has garnered interest by various NHL teams. The Pittsburgh Penguins also seem to be out of the mix. The front-runners appear to be the Buffalo Sabres.
It appears a major factor for both players is the ability to play sooner in the NHL. Kerfoot has earned interest from as many as 10 NHL teams but the New York Rangers appear to be a favorite who are relatively thin at his position.
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.”