In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news on the Carolina Hurricanes potentially walking away from defenseman Sami Vatanen. In Edmonton, the Oilers are quickly preparing for the NHL Draft and in Toronto, could Tyson Barrie possibly boost his value enough in a short playoff run to get another contract with the Maple Leafs?
Hurricanes to Move on From Vatanen
Sara Civian of The Athletic speculates the Carolina Hurricanes and defenseman Sami Vatanen will likely go their separate ways this offseason as she notes, “Due to a setback in that recovery, and then a paused NHL season, Vatanen may never play even one game in a Hurricanes jersey.”
Vatanen came over from the New Jersey Devils in a trade near the deadline and it is possible the Hurricanes try to re-sign him, but Civian believes the team will move on after injuries forced him out of the lineup and he played literally no games for the team before the season went on pause.
Sure, the Hurricanes could and might try to re-sign him — his current, $2,437,500 cap hit is an excellent value for what he provides, but it would make just as much sense for both parties to move on from what will likely end up being an unfortunately failed experiment.source – ‘Who stays and who goes? Analyzing the Hurricanes’ pending free agents’ – Sara Civian – The Athletic – 04/28/2020
Civian also notes the team’s acquisition of Brady Skjei could mean Joel Edmundson won’t be back, but blueliner Trevor van Riemsdyk could be.
Oilers Preparing for the NHL Draft
General manager for the Edmonton Oilers, Ken Holland said, “We’ve been forewarned that this draft could happen way sooner than we had ever anticipated.” As such, the Oilers are starting to make plans for the NHL Entry Draft.
The Oilers will start getting their rough draft together but have yet to commence any video interviews with draft prospects and likely won’t interview the top-end prospects, since the Oilers are projected to pick at No. 20.
The way things are shaped right now, the Oilers do not have a pick in the second round (Andreas Athanasiou trade) and the fourth round (Mike Green deal). The team is still waiting to hear what happens with the conditional third-round pick as part of the James Neal trade. Holland says it will be his responsibility to get the team more picks. Jonathan Willis of the Athletic writes:
Regardless, Holland said he’d strongly consider trading down – a tactic he used in Detroit – to secure more draft picks for Wright and his staff.
“The scouts need picks,” Holland said. “I understand that I have a responsibility to do that.”source -‘How the Oilers are preparing for an NHL draft in June’ – Jonathan Willis – The Athletic – 04/30/2020
Barrie Could Boost Value in Toronto
While most insiders expect that Tyson Barrie will not be back with the Toronto Maple Leafs next season, Jonas Siegel of The Athletic wonders if he can boost his value in a small playoff sample size, perhaps even earn another contract?
Siegel writes that Barrie had an impactful playoffs with the Avalanche last season and played a team-leading 24 minutes a night. He doesn’t expect that to happen again if play resumes but he explains:
Make a splash after the season returns and Barrie will boost free agent value that figures to be hurt by the stalled season and a year, personally, that fell below expectations. Maybe there’s even a world (unlikely as it seems) where he comes back to the Leafs.source – ‘The 8 most intriguing Leafs to watch should the NHL season resume’ – Jonas Siegel – The Athletic – 04/28/2020
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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.”