NHL Rumors: Oilers, Penguins, Golden Knights, Maple Leafs, Canucks

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, NHL insider Elliotte Friedman suggested the Edmonton Oilers have three needs they’ll be keeping an eye open for in trades, but GM Ken Holland commented on where his team is at heading into the trade deadline. The Pittsburgh Penguins have someone in their ranks that the Vancouver Canucks might be interested in, and the Vegas Golden Knights might be looking to move Evgenii Dadonov. Finally, which two teams are the happiest about news the salary cap could make a sizeable jump ahead of the 2024-25 season?

Oilers Eyeing Three Pieces, Smith’s Status

The Oilers lost their fifth consecutive game on Saturday when they lost 3-1 to the Carolina Hurricanes. A miscue by Mikko Koskinen late in the game led to the third marker and put the contest out of reach. Not coincidentally, Friedman notes that a goaltender is one of the three pieces the Oilers are looking at in a possible trade.

Mike Smith Edmonton Oilers
Mike Smith, Edmonton Oilers (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Friedman noted the Oilers want a left-shot defenseman, another center, and a goalie, even though Jason Gregor reports that Mike Smith might be ready to return soon. Gregor tweeted, “Hearing Oilers believe Smith could play Tuesday. If everything goes well in practice tomorrow he could return for the first time since October 19th. Keith is also a possibility, but right now sounds better chance for Smith.”

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Friedman mentioned that GM Ken Holland wants to show McDavid and Draisaitl they’re going for it this season and when asked about the deadline on After Hours, Holland said they’ve got to win some games first, but he’d really like to be in a position to be a buyer.

Patrick Allvin a Candidate for Canucks

While a number of candidates have been mentioned in connection to the Canucks’ open GM position — current Seattle Kraken assistant GM Jason Botterill is one — another name that was mentioned by Friedman is Patrick Allvin of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Friedman said, “One dark horse name to keep an eye on is Patrick Allvin from Pittsburgh. He worked with Rutherford with the Penguins and was the interim GM after left and before Ron Hextall took over.”

Related: Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Fleury & Toews, Mrazek, Mikheyev & Kase

In other Penguins news, they were among the six teams that sent scouts to watch Evander Kane play his first game in the AHL with the San Jose Barracuda on Saturday. The other teams in attendance were the Nashville Predators, Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins, and Dallas Stars. Kane was held pointless.

Golden Knights to Trade Dadonov?

Owen Krepps of Vegas Hockey Now recently suggested the Golden Knights move Evgenii Dadonov to free up sufficient salary-cap space for Jack Eichel‘s return in February. Dadonov has been shuffled around the Golden Knights’ lineup this season and his annual cap hit of $5 million until 2022-23 makes him an easy target to help the team financially.

Evgenii Dadonov Ottawa Senators
Evgenii Dadonov, Ottawa Senators (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

Among the teams Krepps mentioned as possible landing spots for Dadonov, the Ottawa Senators, Chicago Blackhawks, New Jersey Devils or Seattle Kraken could be potential trade partners. The ask would probably only be a third- or a fourth-round pick or perhaps an affordable depth forward in return.

Maple Leafs and Canucks Happy About 2024-25 Salary Cap News

Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek reports that news from the NHL that the salary cap is likely to jump again just ahead of the 2024-25 NHL season is good news for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Vancouver Canucks. While the cap is only expected to increase by $1 million next season, the big jump comes after the escrow debt is paid off by the players which is projected to be just ahead of the 2024-25 NHL season.

Marek explained:

“Gary Bettman mentioned something interesting as well, he said in three seasons … the NHL players will have paid off their escrow debt and the salary cap will get a significant bump. And that pleased two Canadian teams, specifically the Maple Leafs and the Vancouver Canucks because Auston Matthews‘ and William Nylander‘s deals are up then, and for the Vancouver Canucks, for whomever the general manager is, will have a clean slate to work on Elias Pettersson‘s next contract.”