NHL Rumors: Oilers, Penguins, Rangers, Red Wings

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, among some of the bold predictions made about the Edmonton Oilers is a rumor that perhaps Kailer Yamamoto could be traded by the March 21, 2021 deadline. Meanwhile, Evgeni Malkin talked about his contract situation and how much the money part of a new deal matters. The New York Rangers could be among the bigger buyers are this year’s trade deadline and how likely are the Detroit Red Wings to move forward Tyler Bertuzzi prior to his becoming a free agent?

Yamamoto a Possible Trade Piece?

According to Mark Spector of Sportsnet, if Kailer Yamamoto continues not to score and can’t show he can play in the top-six, he may find himself playing else after the deadline. Spector argues that the forward is too small for the team’s bottom-six and that a move to a team like the Seattle Kraken for someone like forward Mason Appleton or defenseman Carson Soucy makes sense.

Kailer Yamamoto Oilers
Kailer Yamamoto, Edmonton Oilers, Oct. 21, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Spector writes:

He has stayed at second line right wing this season largely because the Oilers don’t have anyone better. That should change at the trade deadline, and the wings will get crowded as left wing Dylan Holloway eventually arrives and Ryan McLeod (we predict) gets employed on left wing, perhaps pushing Hyman to the right side.

The scribe also predicts that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins might be moved to third-line center and have Zach Hyman on that line as his winger.

Evgeni Malkin Willing to Sign For Less Money?

The comments don’t come right out and confirm Maklin will take a team-friendly deal with the Penguins when he signs an extension, but recent comments like, “I don’t think about money. I’m a pretty rich guy.” seem to hint that he’s not looking to hit a home run on a new deal. As per Josh Yohe, the pending UFA is not worrying about his next contract.

Malkin said that he hopes to continue playing for another three or four years. It will be interesting to see where his annual average salary comes in at if he is looking to sign a three-year extension with the Penguins. Kris Letang, Kasperi Kapanen, Jeff Carter, and Bryan Rust are also due new deals and while the Penguins have some salary cap space, likely can’t sign everyone.

Rangers to Spend Big at Deadline?

The Athletic’s Arthur Staple noted during a recent mailbag segment that the New York Rangers could pursue a big fish at this year’s trade deadline. Among the names mentioned was San Jose Sharks’ center Tomas Hertl

Related: Rangers Daily Download – Recap, Stats, Injuries & News

Staple noted the Rangers have sufficient salary-cap space to make multiple additions and threw out options like the Rangers adding Philadelphia Flyers forward Claude Giroux, Los Angeles Kings winger Dustin Brown or Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Calvin de Haan as potential fits.

Staple writes:

If there’s something really worth going for and the team is still sitting in a solid position, you’d think the Rangers’ first-rounder could be in play. That pick may end up in the 23-to-28 range, and if the Rangers are picking twice in the 55-to-64 range, they could package those to move up for a player they like close to where they’d be picking with the first-rounder.

source – ‘Should the Rangers go all-in at the trade deadline? Target Reilly Smith? What’s Kaapo Kakko’s value? Mailbag, part 1’ – Arthur Staple – The Athletic – 12/29/2021

Red Wings Likely Won’t Move Bertuzzi

Even though Tyler Bertuzzi is a year away from UFA status and has missed several games because of his vaccination status, Max Bultman of The Athletic doesn’t believe the Red Wings are considering trading the forward. Instead, he believes the Red Wings might shop pending UFAs like Nick Leddy, Vladislav Namestnikov or Thomas Greiss if the Wings become sellers.

Tyler Bertuzzi - Red Wings
Tyler Bertuzzi, Detroit Red Wings – Dec. 18, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Part of the issue with moving Bertuzzi is that other teams might not want to trade for a player that is bound to miss a number of games. Even though he’s extremely productive when he’s playing, Bultman writes:

“…moving Bertuzzi mid-season would mean asking a trade partner to part with serious draft and/or prospect capital for a player who could potentially have to miss any playoff games in Canada. I just can’t see a playoff team doing that.”

source – ‘The Red Wings at the trade deadline, plus potential free agent targets: Mailbag, part 2’ – Max Bultman – The Athletic – 12/21/2021

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