NHL Rumors: Oilers, Sabres, NHL Playoff Rumors, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news on Anton Slepyshev’s status and that he’s made a decision on the offer from the Edmonton Oilers. There is talk about the Buffalo Sabres trading Rasmus Ristolainen and the NHL is looking at different scenarios to host playoffs.

Slepyshev Re-Signs With KHL

According to Oilers Now host Bob Stauffer, Anton Slepyshev has rejected the contract offer from the Edmonton Oilers and has chosen to re-sign in the KHL. Stauffer writes on Twitter:

Oilers GM Ken Holland offered Anton Slepyshev’s agent Dan Millstein the option of either a 1-year or 2-year contract for the Russian winger to return to EDM. Slepyshev has elected to stay in the KHL after a big season this year with CSKA.

Anton Slepyshev Oilers
Anton Slepyshev, Edmonton Oilers, Oct. 21, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Former scribe Robin Brownlee added that it was likely Slepyshev would sign wherever he was overpaid and that wasn’t going to be with the Oilers.

Immediate reaction to the news from most fans is that it’s good that Holland didn’t go overboard with any offer because Slepyshev had one good season and that while it would have been nice to add depth, there will be other options.

In other Oilers news, the family of Oilers & Condors forward Colby Cave has provided an update on his status: “Colby is still in a medically-induced coma. This is giving his brain time to heal & rest from all he’s been through.”

Related: Top 3 All-Time Oilers Goalies

Sabres to Move Ristolainen?

Josh Wegman of The Score looked at Atlantic Division teams and specifically talked about the Buffalo Sabres and the likelihood they might trade a defenseman.

Rasmus Ristolainen Buffalo Sabres
Rasmus Ristolainen, Buffalo Sabres (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Noting the team is trying to acquire a second-line center, he projects Rasmus Ristolainen seems the most likely to be shopped, but he won’t fetch that second-line center if he’s moved. That said, there are ways the Sabres can grab what they need if they target cap-strapped teams.

Wegman also looked at the Tampa Bay Lightning and wondered how they would become cap compliant. He considers it unlikely Ondrej Palat or Tyler Johnson will waive their no-trade clauses, meaning winger Alex Killorn could become a cap casualty. His full no-trade becomes a 16-team no-trade list following this season.

Related: Sabres Goalie Rocky Farr Recalls Memories From Early Buffalo Teams

NHL Unlikely To Choose Just One Location for Playoffs

Greg Wyshynski of ESPN writes that, “Carolina GM Don Waddell says the Hurricanes have a task force that’s discussed scenarios that involve coming back with no fans, a limited (re: capped) capacity of fans or full attendance.” Obviously, teams are talking about how to move forward and not just the league.

Don Waddell Carolina Hurricanes
Don Waddell, Carolina Hurricanes, 2019 NHL Draft (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

But, the NHL is working on different scenarios too.

Pierre LeBrun noted on the latest edition of TSN Insider Trading that the NHL is likely not looking at having one location host the NHL playoffs if they can get them up and running.

LeBrun said, “Not one location, James, that’s the one thing maybe the league feels is probably not going to happen for the NHL or lets just put it this way – it is very unlikely as it was told to me today.” There have been rumors the NHL is trying to find feasible ways to hosting playoffs later into the summer and one location was mentioned, perhaps Vegas, as an option.

LeBrun added:

We mentioned last week that one of the scenarios was four cities for 16 teams, that’s one format that they have discussed, they have also discussed two cites, as long as those two cities have two rinks per city that they could use, another scenario has eight cities.”

LeBrun added that the NHL is in the early stages of this types of discussions there is no firm planning being done. For now, all they can do is keep waiting to see what’s safe and what isn’t. Finding one location is “certainly that is the goal right now,” LeBrun said.

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