NHL Rumors: Oilers, Canucks, Capitals, Blues, Kings, Maple Leafs

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, Jesse Puljujarvi was hard on himself and his slow start to the season for the Edmonton Oilers. Is a trade coming? Meanwhile, things are not going well between the Vancouver Canucks and Bo Horvat. Could a deal be worked out between Vancouver and Washington? Does it include Horvat, or someone else? Are the St. Louis Blues going to try and make a deal now or wait?

Explore everything hockey with THW’s Hockeypedia pages.

The Hockey Writers HockeyPedia 800x120

Finally, the Toronto Maple Leafs get TJ Brodie back, and can the Los Angeles Kings get a deal done with Trevor Moore? It’s clear they want to.

Puljujarvi Wonders If He Should Be in the NHL

Oilers’ forward Jesse Puljujarvi didn’t want to expand on comments he made to Finnish journalist Tommi Seppälä, but it’s clear Puljujarvi feels out of sorts this season. He’s disappointed with having only scored a single goal in 27 games and he’s struggling to figure out why he’s not scoring. He noted during the interview that he wonders if he has what it takes to not only play with someone like Connor McDavid, but in the NHL at all.

Jesse Puljujarvi Edmonton Oilers
Jesse Puljujarvi, Edmonton Oilers (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

“I’m trying to find out who I am as a player, since it looks like I don’t fit anywhere here (in Edmonton). I’ve started checking a lot and lead the team in hits. At least that’s some positive,” he said. He added, “It takes a lot to play with a superstar like him. You have to win battles and make plays at the same time. It’s a high-quality game and it takes a good player. You have to be a really good player to play with him.”

Latest News & Highlights

When Ken Holland was asked about Puljujarvi’s comments, the GM said he wasn’t surprised to hear a player has lost confidence in themselves in a hard league like the NHL. At the same time, he didn’t have a solution. The Oilers tried to trade Puljujarvi in the offseason and these comments certainly won’t help his trade value.

What About a Mantha-for-Boeser Swap?

Elliotte Friedman notes in his latest 32 Thoughts column, “Team I wonder about for Brock Boeser: Washington.” He adds, “This is a personal opinion, but I wonder if a Boeser-Anthony Mantha move makes any sense for both. The Capitals need a jolt and, as GM Brian MacLellan said last weekend, can’t do anything financially lopsided until there’s clarity on Nicklas Backstrom’s availability. Mantha’s cap hit is slightly lower than Boeser’s, and he’s got one fewer year — which would appeal to Vancouver. Anyway, just an idea.”

Horvat Deal Not Trending Well

Also pertaining to the Canucks, Friedman writes, “I despise dealing in absolutes, because I’ve learned negotiations can change out of nowhere (see: J.T. Miller), but it’s not trending well for a Bo Horvat extension.” Friedman says that he’s going to let the market percolate on both Horvat and Luke Schenn and then make a decision.

Will the Blues Shake Things Up?

When the St. Louis Blues were struggling at the start of the season, there were rumors GM Doug Armstrong might try to make a trade to shake up the roster. He chose not to and the Blues went on a seven-game winning streak. Now, the Blues are struggling again and with talk that players like Ryan O’Reilly, Vladimir Tarasenko, and Colton Parayko could be on the move, will the Blues hold off on making a deal?

Ryan O'Reilly St. Louis Blues
Ryan O’Reilly, St. Louis Blues (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic notes changes in St. Louis are unlikely. Armstrong previously mentioned the difficulty of doing a deal in-season and that means probably waiting until the trade deadline to make any moves. He writes:

I could still see the Blues re-signing O’Reilly and keeping him as a middle-six forward for the next two or three years, but that’s going to depend on whether he prioritizes being paid or staying put. But if re-signing him doesn’t look likely, I can see the Blues moving him near the deadline, as well as Tarasenko.

source – ‘What’s with Jordan Binnington’s antics? Are the Blues just not good? Trade O’Reilly and Tarasenko? Mailbag, part 1’ – Jeremy Rutherford – The Athletic – 12/05/2022

During Tuesday’s episode of The Jeff Marek Show, both Friedman and Marek believe this is too hard a situation to predict because no one knows what Armstrong is thinking.

T.J. Brodie Ready to Return for Maple Leafs

TJ Brodie will return to the lineup tonight, per Maple Leafs’ head coach Sheldon Keefe. Apparently, he’s been cleared for a few days but the team wanted to get him up to speed. As for who he plays with, Keefe said he expects the defenseman will get a turn with many different defensive partners at different points of the night.

Kings Want to Sign Trevor Moore

Friedman reports that Los Angeles Kings GM Rob Blake is on record as saying he wants to extend Trevor Moore to a new deal. Moore is a pending UFA making $1.875 million this season. He’s got seven goals and 18 points in 28 games thus far.

Friedman notes, “Think that one is getting closer. Moore has carved a place there.”