NHL Rumors: Puljujarvi, Panarin, Kapanen, More

In today’s rumor rundown, there is news out of Carolina but is the team a buyer or seller heading into the trade deadline? What about in Edmonton where the team has traded Cam Talbot and Ryan Spooner in less than 12 hours time? Is Jesse Puljujarvi next? Is Bob McKenzie’s report that Artemi Panarin might actually stay in Columbus accurate? One insider thinks another surprising team might have a shot at him if they make some internal moves first. Finally, what’s the lastest on Toronto’s position with Kasperi Kapanen?

What’s in the Cards for Carolina?

Tom Gulitti of NHL.com wrote a piece on the Carolina Hurricanes and how active he believes they’ll be prior to the Feb. 25 trade deadline. He isn’t sure yet if the Hurricanes are buyers or sellers.

Carolina Hurricanes' Saku Maenalanen Edmonton Oilers' Tobias Rieder
Carolina Hurricanes’ Saku Maenalanen and Edmonton Oilers’ Tobias Rieder (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

With their win over the Oilers on Friday night, they’ve crept closer to the Wild Card race in the Eastern Conference and they may choose to move a defenseman for scoring help. “We’re talking to a lot of teams,” GM for the Hurricanes Don Waddell said. “We still maintain we have a plethora of defensemen. I feel like with the right player or right package, is something we’d certainly entertain. … It’s got to make sense. It’s got to help us on the ice today.”

One thing it seems clear the Hurricanes won’t do is mortgage their future for rentals to stay competitive. That includes not giving up draft picks or prospects, instead wanting to do a player-for-player deal. If that means hanging onto a player like Micheal Ferland and treating his as their own internal rental, they will.

When it comes to what the Hurricanes are looking for in a trade, Waddel said, “More scoring. A centerman. We’d look at maybe a goalie for down the road.” One of the reasons Carolina might need a netminder is because both of theirs are pending unrestricted free agents.

If Carolina falters, expect them to move some pieces including potentially trading Justin Williams.

Related: Oilers Trade Ryan Spooner to Canucks for Sam Gagner

The Future for Jesse Puljujarvi

TSN’s Ryan Rishaug ran a series of tweets after the Oilers loss on Friday regarding young forward prospect Jesse Puljujarvi. Mark Spector of Sportsnet also reported that Puljujarvi’s agent had chatted with the Oilers and felt that maybe the team and the player had reached a crossroads.

Puljujarvi’s agent, Markus Lehto said that after his client already spent time in the AHL, “Are we reaching the point that for the team and for the player, it might be actually beneficial for going different paths, different routes?” This is not a good news situation for the Oilers if their player is frustrated with his development.

Jesse Puljujarvi, Edmonton Oilers
Jesse Puljujarvi might be sent down to Bakersfield soon. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Rishaug reports the Oilers are open to the idea of trading Puljujarvi if they are able to find the return they deem acceptable and there is a chance he will be sent back down to the AHL, whether he wants to go or not.

Related: Oilers Treatment of Puljujarvi Is Almost Criminal

Could Panarin Actually Stay in Columbus?

Bob McKenzie tweeted that despite all the rumors and speculation surrounding Artemi Panarin being moved out of Columbus before the deadline, his gut feeling is that Panarin is more than likely to finish the season with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Meanwhile, Elliotte Friedman said during a Friday morning radio hit on Toronto’s Sportsnet 590 that people shouldn’t count out the Dallas Stars when it comes to teams who might be interested in the forward. He explained, “Panarin – I mentioned earlier this week, I saw the four main players for a rental being Winnipeg, Islanders, Nashville, and Calgary,” recalled Friedman. “Somebody said to me yesterday, ‘Do not count out Dallas.”

Friedman suggested with a few quick moves around the injured reserve list in Dallas, they could clear the space they need.

Related: NHL Rumors: Oilers, Flames, Ducks, More

Maple Leafs and Kapanen’s Agent to Talk Deal

TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that the Toronto Maple Leafs and the agent for pending restricted free agent Kasperi Kapanen are expected to hold exploratory talks next week. Dreger says the two sides will talk about the possibility of a multi-year extension or a bridge deal and what the player prefers.

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Kasperi Kapanen
Toronto Maple Leafs forward Kasperi Kapanen (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)

Dreger added, “What I know is that teams are curious on the trade front and the Toronto Maple Leafs because of cap implications know that Kasperi Kapanen could be also an offer sheet threat if it gets to that point in the summer.”

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