NHL Rumors: Islanders, Oilers, Blues, Canadiens

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the New York Islanders are closely watching some of their offensive players to close the season to see who makes the cut and is part of the team’s plans moving forward.

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Meanwhile, rumors that the Edmonton Oilers might be prioritizing a long-term extension for Evander Kane over Jesse Puljujarvi are out there but the team still likes Puljujarvi’s game. Finally, could the Montreal Canadiens move one of Carey Price or Jake Allen if and when Price gets healthy?

Islanders Taking Stock of Their Scorers

As per Kevin Kurz of The Athletic, New York Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello said he’ll be keeping a watchful eye on the players that are supposed to be scorers for the Islanders and hinted that how they perform to end this season could say a lot about their future.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau New York Islanders
Jean-Gabriel Pageau, New York Islanders (Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images)

Lamoriello said that’s an area where the team underperformed and he’s been disappointed. Kurz writes:

In other words, if you don’t want to be part of one of the TBD hockey trades this offseason, you had better do something about it before the season finale on April 29.

source – ‘How much can Kyle Palmieri’s and J-G Pageau’s recent play impact the Islanders’ offseason decisions?’ – Kevin Kurz – The Athletic – 04/11/2022

Kurz adds that Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Kyle Palmieri seem to have taken the message to heart and have been much better of late.

Could Puljujarvi Be Traded This Offseason?

There’s been chatter of late in Edmonton where the Oilers are waiting for Puljujarvi to start finishing off his scoring chances and potting some goals for the team. Edmonton has only scored one goal in each of their last two games and there’s concern that Puljujarvi can do a lot of things right, and his underlying numbers are good but his ability to finish isn’t there.

Jesse Puljujarvi Edmonton Oilers
Jesse Puljujarvi, Edmonton Oilers (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

That has led to speculation that the Oilers might make Kane a long-term priority instead of Puljujarvi and that perhaps Puljujarvi could be traded over the offseason. The Oilers would rather keep him but money is an issue if Kane is going to command $5 million per season. Allan Mitchell of The Athletic wrote, “I sense, based on what is being rolled out by the connected media, this summer will see some painful and unnecessary departures.” He said later on his radio show that he believes some media members connected to the team think Puljujarvi could be moved.

Related: Report: Summer Will See “Painful and Unnecessary Departures” for Oilers

Head coach Jay Woodcroft was asked about Puljujarvi not finishing and said, “I think when it comes to offensive production, you worry when people aren’t getting chances, when they’re nowhere near an opportunity to finish. With Jesse, I think he does a lot of good complementary things for other people.” GM Ken Holland added in an interview with The Athletic’s Daniel Nugent-Bowman:

“He gets the puck in the hands of his linemates and then he’ll get to the blue paint. He’s obviously getting scoring chances. If you talk analytics, if you continue to get scoring chances, eventually the puck has got to go in.”

source – ‘Why the Jesse Puljujarvi criticism in Edmonton misses the mark’ – Daniel Nugent-Bowman – The Athletic – 04/14/2022

For now, it seems like the Oilers are confident Puljujarvi will start turning his scoring chances into goals.

Tarasenko Changing His Tune About the Blues?

According to Andy Strickland, Vladimir Tarasenko has made it clear to his St. Louis Blues teammates and coaches that he wants to be in St. Louis. He’s playing extremely well and recently tied his career-high with his eighth game-winning goal of the season. There’s a good chance he breaks his season-best 75 points.

This is good news for the Blues who had publicly acknowledged the trade request Tarasenko made but was hoping he might change his mind on wanting out. Multiple reports had noted throughout the season that he still wanted to find a new home and this is one of the first reports he might feel differently.

Could Canadiens Move Carey Price or Jake Allen?

There’s chatter Carey Price might return to the Canadiens net this weekend and Marco D’Amico of Montreal Hockey Now wonders if GM Kent Hughes will explore the idea of moving him and his large contract the moment Price proves he’s healthy and effective? Part of the reason, as pointed out by RDS reporter Francois Gagnon, is because Price’s window to help contribute might not fit the Canadiens’ rebuild window.

Carey Price Montreal Canadiens
Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Price holds a full no-movement clause so he’ll have a ton of say in how this goes down. Should he not want to move, talk of whether to move Jake Allen will surface as Samuel Montembeault has played decent of late. Darren Dreger said there was a lot of interest at the trade deadline for Allen and the Canadiens would have no trouble moving him.