NHL Rumors: Blues, Devils, Oilers, Canadiens, Flames

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, after another loss, some insiders are asking if the St. Louis Blues should tank the season. How would that work and who would the Blues move? In other news, are the New Jersey Devils a team that could be in on Patrick Kane talks if the winger elects to make himself available?

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The Edmonton Oilers might be stuck in a tough place when it comes to Jesse Puljujarvi. Finally, which teams might be interested in Josh Anderson?

Should Blues Try to Lose?

The way this season has gone for the St. Louis Blues, fans are asking if it’s time to start tanking in a year that will have a deep draft and include Connor Bedard. Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic tried to answer that question and said it’s not an absurd idea. There is a challenge with it: most of the big contracts on the team that the Blues would need to move to include no-trade clauses. He then asks, who would waive them?

St. Louis Blues Celebrate
Tyler Bozak of the St Louis Blues celebrates with Colton Parayko and Alexei Toropchenko after scoring a goal against the Colorado Avalanche (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

He writes:

It’s a good question, but a tough one because you just don’t know who the Blues want to move and who would approve a trade. So keeping in mind that we’re just speculating, I could maybe see [Torey] Krug as a guy who might be OK with it. The thing is, with Krug and others, there’s a lot of term left on these contracts and they’re hard to move. The Blues won’t want to retain salary, and they’ll want something back in return to help with any sort of retool or rebuild.

source – ‘Can Blues tank for Connor Bedard? Trade Colton Parayko for William Nylander? Mailbag, part 2’ – Jeremy Rutherford – The Athletic – 12/7/2022

Among the players the Blues might try to move but could have trouble moving are Vladimir Tarasenko, Brayden Schenn, Brandon Saad, Justin Faulk, Torey Krug, Colton Parayko, Nick Leddy, Jordan Binnington, Pavel Buchnevich (12-team list) and Marco Scandella (seven-team list).

Are the Devils in on Patrick Kane?

Following a game in which the New Jersey Devils played against the New York Islanders and Jack Hughes finished with a 6:02 shift, there is chatter about the Devils and their trade deadline plans. Dan Rosen of NHL.com was asked if there’s any truth to rumors the team might be interested in Patrick Kane.

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Rosen responded:

To make it work, they would almost certainly have to give up their first-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft and a top prospect in the ballpark of forward Alexander Holtz. The Blackhawks should ask for forward Dawson Mercer, a 21-year-old who could be a big part of their future core much the same way he is in New Jersey. He shouldn’t be off the table if the Devils think they have a real shot at the Stanley Cup this season.

Rosen also notes there are untouchables from the Devils’ side, including defensemen Luke Hughes and Simon Nemec. There are a lot of comparisons between Kane and Hughes and it would be intriguing to see if the Devils would mortgage some of their future to get a player in Kane, which is a lot like one they already have in Hughes. Would it be too much of the same?

Might the Oilers Have to Bite the Bullet on Puljujarvi?

Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek discussed Jesse Puljujarvi’s situation in Edmonton and noted that it might be time for the Oilers to understand they may never get the return on Puljujarvi they want and just to move him anyways to make room to do other things.

Friedman thinks the Jesse Puljujarvi camp might be back to wanting out and he’s wondering the Oilers are ready to simply move on. Puljujarvi was on the fourth line during the Oilers’ win over Minnesota on Friday and barely played. Friedman said, “But I think now you’re at a point where you’re seeing those quotes and you’re just saying if you’re Edmonton, we have to do this. You know, Edmonton’s window is while [Connor] McDavid and [Leon] Draisaitl are on these contracts. So you have to win right now.” He added, “If you’re taking a little bit less on Puljujarvi to create room to go do something else.”

Marek believes the Oilers are looking for a second-round pick and probably won’t get that.

Could That Something Else By Josh Anderson?

If the Oilers do free up space, the consensus seems to be that they would try to add a defenseman. But, there’s some talk that they’d keep a close eye on Josh Anderson out of Montreal, as would a few teams. According to The Fourth Period, the Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, and New Jersey Devils have shown some interest in Anderson. The Flames are likely the favorite as a source said that the Oilers and Devils may not be realistic.