NHL Rumors: Rangers, Oilers, Capitals, Blackhawks, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is more information about Lias Andersson’s requested trade, details on why the Edmonton Oilers passed on Taylor Hall, updates regarding Brent Seabrook’s injuries and Nicklas Backstrom extension news.

Andersson Suspended by Rangers

After requesting a trade and then leaving the team, as expected, the New York Rangers have suspended Lias Andersson. Andersson would not return back to the Hartford Wolf Pack of the AHL following his trade request, according to New York Post’s Larry Brooks.

Lias Andersson, New York Rangers
Lias Andersson, New York Rangers (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

The trade request was officially reported by Darren Dreger of TSN and the expected reason is that the former seventh overall pick in 2017 has split this season between New York and their AHL affiliate in Hartford, feeling as though he’s not gotten a fair shake with the Rangers organization. In reality, he’s produced little for either team. 

It will be interesting to see what kind of return is offered for Andersson consider his struggles. The Rangers acquired him as the centerpiece of a deal that sent Derek Stepan and Antti Raanta to Arizona. They clearly won’t just give him away in trade.

Related: Jaromir Jagr – A Retrospective in Quotations

Latest on Nicklas Backstrom Negotiations

As Nicklas Backstrom negotiates his own contract extension with the Washington Capitals, Samantha Pell of the Washington Post reports, the two sides are still trying to find common ground when it comes to contract length. She suggests Backstrom is looking for a five-year extension while the Caps might be more interested in a three-year term.

Nicklas Backstrom Washington Capitals
Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Pell writes:

The sticking point in negotiations is contract length, not money, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. Backstrom is meeting directly with General Manager Brian MacLellan to negotiate, and both parties have made it clear they want Backstrom to stay in Washington.

source – ‘Nicklas Backstrom’s security with Caps makes negotiating his own contract ‘pretty cool’ ‘ – Samantha Pell – Washington Post – 12/22/2019

Pell also noted that when asked if he’s looked at contract terms for comparable players around the league, Backstrom said he’s not really doing much research and just plans to talk it out with the Capitals in a normal conversation.

In other Capitals news, it was revealed that the team and goaltender Braden Holtby won’t talk contract extension until after the season. That doesn’t mean a deal will be difficult as the Capitals have a history of signing big contracts between the end of the season and free agency.

Related: Top 5 Goaltenders of the 1960s

Brent Seabrook Out For Some Time

It turns out that any conspiracy over the fact that Brent Seabrook was left home and didn’t travel with the Blackhawks can be put to rest as recent reports by Elliotte Friedman say his injuries are numerous and could be serious.

Brent Seabrook Blackhawks
Brent Seabrook, Chicago Blackhawks, Nov. 9, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

On Saturday night Friedman revealed that Seabrook is currently being evaluated by medical staff to judge what the next step of his career is going to be. It sounds like the Blackhawks are leaning towards shutting him down for the foreseeable future.

Related: NHL Rumors: Hall, Gardiner, Subban, More

Why Oilers Passed on Hall

Friedman also noted that the reason Edmonton passed on acquiring Taylor Hall was because of the lack of draft picks the organization has had over the past few summers. The Oilers felt that they needed to keep their picks and with how much the franchise had been giving up picks, giving away more just didn’t make sense for them.

Don’t be surprised if the Oilers jump into the Hall conversation again some free agency time where they don’t have to give up draft picks to sign him.

Kovalchuk Should Find a Home Soon

Chris Johnston reports numerous teams have shown interest in Ilya Kovalchuk following his exit from the Los Angeles Kings organization. His agent is working the phones. Johnston says there’s nothing imminent but something should turn up.

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