NHL Rumors: Oilers, Canadiens, Avalanche, Penguins

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, there is more chatter when it comes to the potential interest from the Edmonton Oilers in defenseman Joel Edmundson. As insiders seem to think the Oilers will be out on players like Erik Karlsson and Jakob Chychrun, is Edmundson the guy?

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Meanwhile, the Colorado Avalanche are expected to be aggressive in the trade market but could be getting some good news. Finally, when should fans expect Kris Letang back? He’s already skating again as a full participant in practice.

Update on Oilers and Edmundson

As per Eric Engels of Sportsnet, talk of the Oilers identifying Edmundson as a key target for them has picked up. He writes, “If it were as simple as just giving up a high pick, or a quality prospect, the Oilers might have already attempted to jump the market to get Edmundson in order to help suppress the chances they regularly give up.”

Joel Edmundson
Joel Edmundson, Montreal Canadiens (Photo by Vincent Ethier/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Unfortunately, things are not that simple. He explains:

“But a team as tight up against the cap as Edmonton would want Montreal to retain salary in the deal, regardless of how reasonable Edmundson’s contract is, and the Canadiens won’t have an interest in doing that.

We suspect they’d be willing to take a contract back, but that could increase what they ask for in return for trading Edmundson.

Engels writes that he knows the Canadiens are willing to listen to offers on the player and will make a move if it helps them long-term.

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In other Canadiens news, Friedman notes in his 32 Thoughts column, “Canadiens fans wonder about Cole Caufield’s next contract, but I don’t think the organization will do it in-season if there’s any concern such conversations would weigh on him.”

Avalanche Will Try to Trade for a Center

According to Friedman, “Do believe Colorado is going to make a big push for a centre, but not convinced it will be now. All their injured players are coming back, so they’ll sort out the cap situation first.” He wrote this after having an extensive conversation about the Avalanche on the Jeff Marek Show and how many forwards they have gone through this season. The good news is that a couple of injured players are set to return.

Valeri Nichushkin Colorado Avalanche
Valeri Nichushkin, Colorado Avalanche (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

There could be some help coming soon, reports Brennan Vogt of Colorado Hockey Now. He spoke with Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar during his media availability and forwards Darren Helm and Valeri Nichushkin could be available to play in Friday’s game. 

As for the action on the trade front, Pierre LeBrun said on the Got Yer’ Back Pod, “I think Colorado is intent on being aggressive, and that’s notwithstanding all the injuries they’ve had. I think they had that intention even before the puck even dropped this year because they lost Nazem Kadri and never replaced him.”

Letang Returns to Penguins Practice

The Pittsburgh Penguins got potentially great news as defenseman Kris Letang was a full participant in Pittsburgh Penguins practice on Thursday morning. This comes just 10 days it was reported he would be sidelined indefinitely due to a stroke

Letang was skating on his own over the past few days, but to return to practice already and without any apparent limitations opens up speculation that a return to game action is not too far away. There is still no definitive timetable on when Letang will return to game action, but it looks much closer that most would have anticipated.

The doctor working with Letang on this says it’s not a concern that Letang plays hockey as they don’t believe doing so elevates any risk for him as it pertains to his stroke. They aren’t rushing him but also aren’t holding him back if he feels ready. Saying this stroke was much less severe than the last, they also know a lot more about what to expect from now on.