In today’s NHL rumor rundown, the Edmonton Oilers are set to announce an extension and they’ve made a few lineup changes, Jason Zucker comments on trade rumors out of Minnesota, and why aren’t the Ottawa Senators and Jean-Gabriel Pageau even talking?
Oilers Extend Darnell Nurse?
While it’s not been made official by the Edmonton Oilers, reports are everywhere that the organization and defenseman Darnell Nurse have come to terms on a two-year bridge deal worth, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger, $5.6 million annually.
The deal will walk Nurse to unrestricted free agency which is somewhat risky but the Oilers didn’t have a lot of choice in the matter considering their salary cap issues. When the announcement will be made official by the team is unclear.
In other Oilers news, the team has recalled forward Colby Cave after sending Tyler Benson back to the AHL and James Neal is set to return to the lineup on Tuesday after a foot injury kept him sidelined for a few games.
McDavid Good to Go
Another bit of good news for Oilers fans is that Connor McDavid seems good to go after an injury scare in Saturday’s game versus the Nashville Predators. He went hard into the end boards and had the ice a bruised knee after the game.
Sportsnet’s Mark Spector reports that McDavid is expected to take part in practice on Monday as a full participant and is showing no effects from the bump.
Jason Zucker Frustrated Over Trade Rumors?
Michael Russo of the Athletic reports Jason Zucker is refusing to discuss the trade rumors that have him potentially being dealt out of Minnesota. The forward said he hasn’t spoken to Minnesota Wild general manager Bill Guerin about a potential deal, saying he’s “Heard nothing.”
Zucker said, “Whatever happens, happens. I’m done dealing with it. I’m done worrying about it.”
Zucker is clearly not a happy camper right now, especially after Boudreau chose to downgrade him in the lineup following Tuesday’s win over the Chicago Blackhawks.
But he also can’t be happy with the fact his name is yet again running rampantly through the rumor mill.source -‘ Jason Zucker on trade rumors as Wild fall to Avs: ‘Whatever happens, happens’ – Michael Russo – The Athletic – 02/09/2020
Speculation is that Zucker has included all of the Canadian teams on his no-trade clause list and the most likely destination for him is in Pittsburgh with the Penguins. They have shown interest in him on multiple occasions.
The Penguins are also rumored to be interested in Nashville’s Craig Smith, Toronto’s Andreas Johnsson, and Rangers winger Jesper Fast if Zucker is off the table, according to Pittsburgh Hockey Now’s Dan Kingerski.
Pageau and Senators Still Not Talking
During the Hockey Night in Canada Saturday Headlines segment, Chris Johnston reported that the Ottawa Senators and Jean-Gabriel Pageau haven’t started talking about a possible extension, lending near certainty to the idea he gets moved before Feb 24.
It’s still possible a deal comes together last minute but there are teams interested and Pageau could fetch a first-round draft pick should they move him. There’s a risk involved for any team that picks him up considering his production has dropped but he’s one of the few centers available this season as a rental.
The Senators are also rumored to have a number of players available including Dylan DeMelo, Mark Borowiecki, Ron Hainsey. Craig Anderson and Tyler Ennis.
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Jim Parsons is a freelance writer who covers the Edmonton Oilers and news and rumors posts here at The Hockey Writers.
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