In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there are updates on the Edmonton Oilers and their willingness to spend on trade rentals, clarification from Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin on his “quitter” comments, and buzz that the Anaheim Ducks are only willing to move certain pieces. How serious is Shea Weber’s injury and have the Maple Leafs taken the final step to figuring out their goaltending issues?
Oilers Not Eager to Pay Big for Rentals
As part of his latest 31 Thoughts article, Sportsnet analyst and hockey insider Elliotte Friedman noted the Edmonton Oilers likely aren’t willing to move a first-round pick or one of their top prospects for a rental at this year’s NHL Trade Deadline.
Further to that, Friedman said, “I’m not convinced they’d want to move Jesse Puljujarvi for one.”
The Oilers have been in the market for another top-six forward, and that was before both Connor McDavid and James Neal were out of the lineup. Still, Friedman suggests the Oilers won’t move any of their top defense prospects, Puljujarvi or their top pick to get short-term help. He notes, “The only way I’d see any of that changing is if a difference-maker with term or team control is in the picture.”
Guerin Clarifies “Quitter” Statement
Bill Guerin felt the need to expand on his statement that he’s going to make more trades if there’s “quit” on his team. Friedman noted that Guerin didn’t necessarily mean he’s looking to make deals but that he’s expecting some players to seize opportunities with Zucker now with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
And while Guerin might have backtracked slightly, Friedman did say that there are more potential trades coming out of Minnesota as the Wild are fielding calls on defensemen Matt Dumba and Jonas Brodin. The ask is a top-level center or a second-line center and a prospect.
I don’t get the sense he’s inclined to do anything with either, unless it involves an elite centre, or maybe a No. 2 centre, providing that includes something extra — like a couple of first-rounders or something along those lines.
Ducks Have Two Non-Core Players Available
The Anaheim Ducks are rumored to be keeping all of their core players with potentially only two members of the current roster available — Ondrej Kase and Derek Grant. In particular, Grant might get some interest. Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson writes, “Just tossing this out there as right-shot 3C rental possible addition for Oilers: Well-travelled, big Derek Grant in Anaheim. 11 goals, 16 pts in 41 games, 52.9 percent on 346 draws. He’s cheap and UFA July 1.”
Friedman writes that if Josh Manson, to Cam Fowler, to Hampus Lindholm, to Jakob Silfverberg, to Rickard Rakell are going anywhere, the interested team is “really going to have to move the needle.”
Mixed Reports on Shea Weber
The Montreal Canadiens announced yesterday that veteran defenseman Shea Weber is potentially out four-to-six weeks with an ankle sprain but is expected to fully recover. This came after reports from Nick Kypreos and Bob McKenzie that Weber’s injury might be more serious.
Kypreos explains that the injury is related to Weber’s foot that was surgically repaired in 2018 and hinted Weber might, yet again, need surgery. Montreal quickly shot that down saying he would be back.
If, for some reason, Weber is forced to retire, the cap penalties for the Nashville Predators would be massive.
Maple Leafs Waive Hutchinson
With the news that Frederik Andersen is ready to return to action, the Toronto Maple Leafs have placed goaltender Michael Hutchinson on waivers. The writing was on the wall for Hutchinson when the team acquired Jack Campbell, and will now be sent to the minor leagues should he clear waivers tomorrow.
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