NHL Rumors; Kings, Ducks, Oilers, Jets, Canucks

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Los Angeles Kings had a couple of scouts checking out two teams. Meanwhile, are the Anaheim Ducks the team that is looking most closely at Jesse Puljujarvi? It sounds like the Ducks and Oilers have already had conversations.

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Could Jonathan Toews finish his NHL career with the Winnipeg Jets? Finally, the Vancouver Canucks are looking to clear cap space, but also have some items on their checklist they want to accomplish.

Who Are The Kings Looking At?

According to NHL Network and Hockey News contributor Jon Rosen: the Los Angeles Kings had two scouts watching both the Florida Panthers and Columbus Blue Jackets games this week. He notes that two potential players the Kings might be looking at are Marc Staal and Vladislav Gavrikov.

Vladislav Gavrikov Columbus Blue Jackets
Vladislav Gavrikov, Columbus Blue Jackets (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

He writes, “Vladislav Gavrikov and Marc Staal are the wingspanny types that shoot left in that game. The versatile Gavrikov, eligible for UFA with a $2.8M AAV, is a top trade target league-wide.”

Ducks Interested in Jesse Puljujarvi?

Jim Matheson tweets that Anaheim Ducks GM Pat Verbeek was at Monday’s game between the Edmonton Oilers and Minnesota Wild. There is talk the Ducks are one of the teams looking at Jesse Puljujarvi, but it could simply be that he was pre-scouting the Oilers as the two teams play on Saturday. Verbeek did have a lengthy conversation with GM Ken Holland prior to the game.

Latest News & Highlights

Matheson writes in a column for the Edmonton Sun:

The Ducks, if they want to deal with the Oilers, might be thinking of a test drive with Puljujarvi until the end of the season, when his contract is up and if they like what they see, they could re-sign him for less than his $3 million. The Oilers, as we all know, want to clear up some cap space ($3 million) to likely go after a defensive D man at the trade deadline.

source – ‘MATHESON: It appears Ducks are looking hard at Jesse Puljujarvi’ – Jim Matheson – Edmonton Sun – 12/14/2022

As for who else might be interested, Elliotte Friedman reports, “At times, I’ve heard Anaheim, Carolina, and Detroit have at least looked at it, but I don’t think anything’s ever been close to what the Oilers would consider.” He believes Edmonton would prefer to wait until they are healthy and get players like Warren Foegele and Ryan McLeod back before making the move.

Related: Blackhawks News & Rumors: Ovechkin, Toews, Johnson, Canada

Matheson also notes that the Oilers were never interested in Eeli Tolvanen who was claimed on waivers Monday. He notes, “they were never interested because they couldn’t make sense of the dollars.”

Would Jonathan Toews Consider the Jets?

When asked if he believed Jonathan Toews would waive his no-move clause to join the Winnipeg Jets, Mike Johnson of TSN responded:

“So I think it’s entirely possible. Now, Winnipeg doesn’t necessarily need Toews. He’d be a luxury item cause they have (Pierre-Luc) Dubois, they have (Mark) Schiefele, they have (Adam) Lowry. But you put Toews and Lowry on a third line and say go check, and whoever can play center can play center and the other guy play the wing with Mason Appleton.”

Jonathan Toews Chicago Blackhawks
Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

He also noted that Toews would want to play for a good team, would possibly like to play in his hometown, and maybe finish his career there. It’s possible he would consider taking a hometown discount to sign there as a UFA next season.

Canucks Determined to Clear Cap Space

In his latest 32 Thoughts column, after saying that negotiations were never close between Bo Horvat and the Canucks, Elliotte Friedman noted, “They’re determined to create cap room.” He added that the team isn’t interested in moving first-rounders to do so and they would like to get another second-round pick after sending theirs to Chicago in the Jason Dickinson-Riley Stillman deal.

He also adds, “Elias Pettersson can be extended this summer, and even though he isn’t a UFA until July 2025, it’s already on their radar.”