NHL News & Rumors: Oilers, Wild, Coyotes, Maple Leafs, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, the Edmonton Oilers have re-signed a depth forward and their GM has said they’ll be sticking with a goaltending tandem next season. In Minnesota, could the Wild buy out Devan Dubnyk? Could the Arizona Coyotes test the market on some players to recoup lost draft picks? Finally, are the Toronto Maple Leafs getting interest in Frederik Andersen?

Oilers Re-Sign Russell, Holland Talks Goaltending

The Edmonton Oilers took care of a little business on Monday as they re-signed forward Patrick Russell to a one-year extension. Financial terms of the contract were not released but it is believed to be for league minimum.

Mark Spector of Sportsnet writes, “Russell gets a one-way deal at the NHL minimum of $750,000.”

In other Oilers news, general manager Ken Holland told The Athletic’s Daniel Nugent-Bowman that the team plans to stick with a tandem of goalies for next season.

Holland said of the decision:

Yeah. If you look around the league, it’s really a two-goaltender league. We were almost 50-50 (in terms of starts percentage between Koskinen and Smith). It’s a small list of guys who were on pace to play over 60 games. It looks like it’s gonna be a condensed schedule. You’re gonna have more back-to-backs. You factor the travel that we do in Edmonton, the road trips that we go on, I anticipate that we’re gonna have a two-goalie system.

source – ‘Q&A: Oilers GM Ken Holland on improving internally, the flat cap and goaltending’ Daniel Nugent Bowman – The Athletic – 08/29/2020

The first thing that comes to mind when you hear this is that the Oilers will retain Mike Smith. But, Holland may also choose to look for a 1B to Mikko Koskinen on the free agent market. There are a number of goaltenders available and many could come in around the $2 million mark Smith made this past season.

Could the Wild Buy Out Dubnyk?

The Athletic’s Michael Russo writes that goaltender Devan Dubnyk has become a buy out candidate out of Minnesota. Should they do so, Russo notes it would be to open up a roster space and not necessarily to save cap space.

Minnesota Wild's Devan Dubnyk
Minnesota Wild’s Devan Dubnyk (AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)

For years, Dubnyk was the starter and saw a resurgence as a goaltender with the Wild. Before joining them and becoming a Vezina candidate, he moved in and out of teams, making stops in places like Edmonton, Nashville, and Montreal. But, he struggled mightily last season with a 3.35 GAA and a .890 save percentage. Alex Stalock took over the starting role.

Russo added:

…if the Wild plan to promote Kahkonen to the NHL roster but also sign a free agent like Braden Holtby or trade for a goalie like Matt Murray or somebody else to get the majority of the starts, Guerin would probably have to buy Dubnyk out (unless Guerin can trade him).

source – ‘Ask Russo, Part I: We’ve only just begun to answer your Wild offseason questions’ – Michael Russo – The Athletic – 08/28/2020

Dubnyk has one year remaining with a $4.3 million cap hit.

Related: Canadiens News & Rumors: Domi, Danault, Julien & More

Coyotes to Try and Recoup Draft Picks

Elliotte Friedman noted on his latest 31 Thoughts podcast that the Arizona Coyotes might look at moving a couple of attractive pieces to restock their cupboards with draft picks.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson Arizona Coyotes
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Arizona Coyotes (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Among the names mentioned were Darcy Kuemper, who has two years left at $4.5 million and Friedman suggests the Coyotes could test the trade market for defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

Ekman-Larsson has seven-years left at $8.5 million and a no-movement clause but he might be open to a move if he likes where he’s going. Finally, Friedman says Jason Demers, Alex Goligoski, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Jordan Oesterle all have a year left and could be moved.

Hurricanes Interested in Frederik Andersen

Friedman also noted that the Carolina Hurricanes have shown some interest in Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen. There has been plenty of speculation the Leafs are open to moving Andersen but may want to see how the goalie market unfolds before making a move.

Andersen’s agent came out this past week and said the goalie has not asked for a trade, wanting to make it clear that his client was not necessarily looking to move on.


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