NHL Rumors Overshadow the Holidays: Oilers, Blues, Bruins, Canadiens

In our Christmas Day edition of the NHL rumors rundown, we’ll focus on rumors that are front and center in some hockey markets. So much so, for some fans, it’s a bit more difficult to enjoy the holidays because it isn’t clear what’s going on with their respective clubs.

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The Edmonton Oilers are trying to rebound from a string of losses and almost all of the left side of their blue line won’t be available when play resumes on December 28th. So too, it feels like the team needs to make a big trade, but are they willing to give up one of their best, young prospects? Meanwhile, the St. Louis Blues can’t seem to change Vladimir Tarasenko‘s mind about a trade. The Boston Bruins have two players who have requested a trade and the Montreal Canadiens could be looking at a major overhaul.

Oilers Defense a Question, Could Broberg Be Moved?

Allan Mitchell of The Athletic addressed one of the ongoing issues for the Oilers which is the depth of the team and what the club might do ahead of the March 21st trade deadline. Saying the team has limited salary cap space because of the five players currently on the LTIR – Oscar Klefbom, Josh Archibald, Alex Stalock, Mike Smith and Kris Russell – there isn’t a lot GM Ken Holland can do without making a dollar in, dollar out trade.

Philip Broberg Oilers Draft
Philip Broberg, Edmonton Oilers, 2019 NHL Draft (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers

Mitchell adds:

If the intent is to acquire real talent between now and the trade deadline, the pressures of spent picks and no cap room mean the Oilers will need to give up someone close to NHL-ready and destined for a feature role in the league.

source: ‘Lowetide: If the Oilers add a big deadline asset, Philip Broberg will be the ask’ – Allan Mitchell – The Athletic – 12/22/2021

Mitchell contends that along with the team’s first-round pick, Philip Broberg is their best trade asset. The problem with making a deal like that is the left side of the Oilers’ blue line absolutely needs Broberg the way things have been going. Moving Broberg would deplete an already depleted group even further.

So too, according to insiders, big names like Jakob Chychrun or Marc-Andre Fleury don’t seem to be realistic options for the Oilers, despite both players being connected in rumors.

Tarasenko Still Wants a Trade

Despite playing well and things seemingly back on track a bit in St. Louis, forward Vladimir Tarasenko still wants a trade, according to sources. Daily Faceoff’s Mike McKenna writes that Tarasenko’s unhappiness over how the club handled his multiple shoulder surgeries dating back to 2018 has left him soured on the relationship. He believes things can’t be repaired, even if Tarasenko is being a professional.

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The Blues aren’t in a rush to make a deal and there’s a good chance Tarasenko isn’t moved until the offseason because trading him hurts the Blues’ chances in the playoffs.

Bruins Have Multiple Players Requesting Trades

Over the past couple of days, we’ve reported that Zach Senyshyn has requested a trade out of the Bruins’ organization and he’s the second player to do so this season. Jake DeBrusk was the first and for Bruins fans, the question will be, can the Bruins get back anything close to the value of what these two were pegged to hold when they were drafted in the first round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft?

Jake DeBrusk, Boston Bruins
Jake DeBrusk, Boston Bruins (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

There are rumored to be multiple teams interested in DeBrusk but, of late, the Bruins have needed him in their lineup. There are also questions about who would be willing to pay whatever asking price the Bruins have set. Is this a one-for-one deal where players are moved to give each a fresh start? Is DeBrusk part of something bigger?

It’s also not clear if teams will be interested in Senyshyn as he’s not played much in the NHL and passed through waivers a couple of times.

What Will the Canadiens Do?

For a number of teams, there are major questions that need to be answered when it comes to executive positions within the organization. The Montreal Canadiens cleaned house and brought in Jeff Gorton to find a new GM and set the team back on the right track, potentially going the rebuild route.

This could mean trading names like Ben Chiarot, Brendan Gallagher, Carey Price, Jeff Petry, Tyler Toffoli, David Savard, Jonathan Drouin, and others. Many of these names won’t be moved but there is no guarantee anymore in Montreal. It’s unclear what this team’s direction will be and for Habs fans, that has to be concerning.

Are You Concerned About Your Team?

Are you one of the lucky fans who doesn’t have much to worry about when it comes to your team over the holidays? Is your club relatively stress-free despite the COVID outbreaks and other postponements? If your team has a lot to consider and they weren’t mentioned below, comment below and share your club’s biggest concern.

And, for all fans (stressed or not) Happy Holidays from myself and the crew here at The Hockey Writers!

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