NHL Rumors: Oilers, Coyotes, Bruins, Avs, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news pertaining to the likelihood the Boston Bruins sign Torey Krug but also why they might be thinking twice. The Edmonton Oilers are getting a couple of familiar faces back in the lineup, the Arizona Coyotes might be interested in Taylor Hall, but under certain circumstances only, and the Avalanche have a pretty decent poker face.

Torey Krug a Casualty of Expansion?

The Athletic’s Fluto Shinzawa recently discussed the notion of the Boston Bruins re-signing Torey Krug, but also wondered if that was the best option considering the upcoming expansion draft and the recent signing of Charlie Coyle?

Torey Krug
Boston Bruins Torey Krug (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

Shinzawa writes:

But the trickledown expansion effect of re-signing Coyle is one of the factors that may discourage the Bruins from exceeding their internal limits on Krug. Other reasons: Krug’s age (29 at the start of next season), power-play alternatives (Grzelcyk and McAvoy) and their left-side options (Urho Vaakanainen, Jakub Zboril, Jeremy Lauzon).

The Seattle franchise does not even have a name yet. But it is already impacting the Bruins’ most critical decision.

source – ‘How Charlie Coyle’s deal, and expansion Seattle’s arrival, touch Torey Krug’s future’ – Fluto Shinzawa – The Athletic – 12/06/2019

Shinzawa goes into detail about the process of protecting either four defensemen or seven forwards and one option leaves Krug for the pickings. He suggests that may be what happens or Krug doesn’t get the deal he wants because it’s’ hard to believe the Bruins would leave so many good, young forwards exposed.

Related: Cleveland Barons NHL Draft History

Coyotes Want Cake and To Eat It Too

GM of the Arizona Coyotes, John Chayka admitted that he expects to add to his team if the Coyotes keep playing as well as they’re playing.

General manager John Chayka
BUFFALO, NY – JUNE 24: General manager John Chayka of the Arizona Coyotes. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

He said:

“When players have earned that right and are serious about making a push — if they’re doing their job then I’ve got to do my job. If these guys keep playing hard and playing well, then yeah, I think it’s going to force us to make some additions to this team.”

source – ‘Neutral Zone: Examining the Coyotes’ place in the Taylor Hall sweepstakes, Kessel’s return and more’ – Craig Morgan – The Athletic – 12/06/2019

This has led to speculation the Coyotes are interested in Taylor Hall but Chayka has also has made it clear that he likes his roster and doesn’t want to split it up. So, if the Coyotes are to acquire Hall, it appears they’ll try to do so by moving prospects and picks only, not roster players.

“I’m not looking to change this team,” he said. “I’m not looking to take away from it but if we can add something we’ll look to do that for sure.”

Related: Arizona Coyotes Logo History

Nugent-Hopkins Returning

The Edmonton Oilers will see one of their most important but also most underrated players return to the lineup on Sunday when Ryan Nugent-Hopkins slots back in against the Buffalo Sabres.

Edmonton Oilers Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
Edmonton Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports)

The Oilers announced his return after he missed the past six games with a hand injury. Nugent-Hopkins has five goals and 16 points in 25 games but almost as important, he allows Leon Draisaitl to slot back in beside Connor McDavid on the Oilers top line.

It appears as though Zack Kassian will slot back in as well, which won’t get the publicity Nuge’s return will but is also significant.

Related: NHL Rumors: Avalanche, Devils, Red Wings, More

Is Sakic Downplaying Interest in Hall?

Colorado Avalanche GM Joe Sakic said, when asked if he would like to add a piece before the February 24th trade deadline:

“I have to assess our team as we move forward. I’d like to get healthy before I see what we need. I know we’ve got room to do it. It’s just a matter of what we want, what we think we need to get, and what the cost will be. It all depends what we think we need at the end.”

source -‘LeBrun: Q&A with Avs GM Joe Sakic on their blue line, the Kadri trade and Marc Crawford’- Pierre LeBrun – The Athletic – 12/05/2019

Essentially, Sakic knows everyone is watching what he does with all this salary cap space and the rumored interest the team might have in Hall. He either doesn’t want to tip his hand or he doesn’t want to disappoint people when he doesn’t pursue the left-winger. Sakic’s comments likely won’t removed the Avalanche as front-runners in the Hall sweepstakes.

Related: NHL Rumors: Coyotes, Hall News, Canadiens, Maple Leafs, More