NHL Rumors: Oilers, Wild, Senators, Henrik Lundqvist Teases Comeback

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, will the Edmonton Oilers extend any tryout offers ahead of training camp? Meanwhile, forward Kevin Fiala and the Minnesota Wild have submitted their arbitration numbers for Tuesday’s hearing. The asks are in, but can the two sides work something out? Are the Ottawa Senators looking at a few different trade options? Finally, Henrik Lundqvist is teasing a comeback to the NHL. Is this something that could seriously happen?

Oilers to Wait on Offering PTOs

As per Kurt Leavins of the Edmonton Journal, he expects the Oilers may offer a professional tryout or two, but will likely wait until closer to training camp to do so. He writes:

One need is a veteran #4 RHS D-man, at a league minimum. A guy who can play in the AHL but be capable of NHL TOI. Names to perhaps keep in mind: Michael Stone, 6’3 210 LBS and from Winnipeg. 30-year old Sami Vatanen might not come for $750k, but has come up in the past. As its been pointed out to me, what’s left in the UFA market for RHD is slim pickin’s.

source- ‘Skill forward Kailer Yamamoto caught in the Edmonton Oilers salary cap grind: 9 Things’ – Kurt Leavins – Edmonton Journal – 08/15/2021
New Jersey Devils Sami Vatanen
New Jersey Devils Sami Vatanen (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Leavins also points out that one of the biggest pieces of the business the Oilers still have to conduct is getting Kailer Yamomoto signed to an extension. Because of his poor 2020-21 season, it’s unlikely Yamomoto gets the kind of money some fans are expecting. Leavins writes: “The ceiling for a player such as Yamamoto would surely be the $2.5m, 2-year contract.” He’s predicting more like two-years at $1.75 million per.

Fiala Arbitration Figures, Rossi Heading to Olympic Camp

The arbitration numbers for Kevin Fiala are in. The organization has submitted of $4 million number and there’s a $6.25 million pitch from the player. Michael Russo of The Athletic writes that Fiala chose a one-year term, so if arbitrator awards his salary, he’ll be restricted free agent again next year. The sides can keep talking and try to hammer out a deal before Tuesday. If that doesn’t happen, there will be a virtual hearing.

Kevin Fiala Minnesota Wild
Kevin Fiala, Minnesota Wild (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

In other Wild news, Russo noted that he spoke with Marco Rossi’s agent, Serge Payer. Russo has been told that despite the advice of the NHPLA to not take part in Olympic qualifiers (for insurance reasons), Rossi is going anyways and is set to leave for camp tomorrow. Rossi intends to play for Austria later this month.

If something happens to Rossi, it could pose issues with his NHL career. And, considering there’s no guarantee NHL players will be permitted to take part in the Winter Olympics, it’s a risky decision that could create complications down the road. John Shannon writes, “If, for whatever reason, there’s no NHL Player participation in the Olympics, a revised Regular Season schedule will be released which, to the greatest extent possible, will adopt the dates and games reflected in the schedule contemplating Olympic participation.”

Trade Options the Senators are Considering

As per Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, the Senators are looking at a few different trade scenarios that would help them make improvements to the roster. Saying the Senators did kick tires on a Jack Eichel but backed out based upon the asking price, Garrioch writes:

The club is still trying to add another forward _ either a winger or centre _ through a trade or free agency. Brannstrom could still be a trade chip in these negotiations if the organization tries to make a deal. Ideally, they’d like to get a winger that can play in the top six or another centre to move somebody to the wing. He’s a year away from unrestricted free agency and you’d have to give up big pieces to get him.

source – ‘GARRIOCH: Ottawa Senators GM Pierre Dorion has had a busy off-season with more work ahead before camp’ – Bruce Garricoh – Ottawa Sun – 08/14/2021
Erik Brännström Ottawa Senators
Erik Brännström, Ottawa Senators 2019 development camp (Courtesy Ottawa Senators)

He also points to rumors the Senators have spoke with the San Jose Sharks about Tomas Hertl. It doesn’t sound like there’s anything to those rumors. That said, one player the Senators might be interested in is Ryan Strome and the Sens have already shown interest in his brother Dylan out of Chicago.

Finally, center Logan Brown hasn’t worked out as expected and he could be available.

Lundqvist Teasing a Comeback

As per a tweet he posted earlier this week, it appears the Lundqvist comeback attempt is underway. Open-heart surgery kept him out all of last season but he posted a photo of his pads saying he’s tied and untied them about 15,000 times. He added, “Back at it, we’ll see what happens.”

Lundqvist, 39, wasn’t eligible to sign with a team when free agency opened because he wasn’t medically cleared. It’s not known if he is now. It’s also not known if the NHL will even provide medical clearance and if so, which teams he might be looking at if he’s hoping to get picked up as a netminder for the season.