NHL Rumors: Stars, Oilers, Red Wings, Avalanche, Wild

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Dallas Stars are running out of time when it comes to making a decision on both Joe Pavelski and John Klingberg. Meanwhile, the Edmonton Oilers head out on a difficult road trip against the Eastern Conference’s three best teams. How they play will dictate what they do at the trade deadline. The Detroit Red Wings could make a surprising move while the Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild have backed off of their quests to find a goaltender before the trade deadline.

Stars Still Need to Make Decision on Pending UFAs

As per Dan Rosen of NHL.com, the Stars are starting to feel the pressure of the need to make a decision on either Klingberg or Pavelski before this year’s NHL trade deadline. Both are pending UFAs and both are likely trade options if the Stars are not in playoff contention.

Joe Pavelski Dallas Stars
Joe Pavelski, Dallas Stars (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Rosen writes:

In addition to Klingberg, the Stars must decide what to do with pending UFA forward Joe Pavelski while still in the thick of the playoff race in the Western Conference. The Stars play 12 games before the deadline, including two each against Central Division rivals the Winnipeg Jets and Predators, and eight on the road. How they do in the next 12 games will likely determine if they’re going to keep Pavelski and Klingberg or trade them.

Oilers Next Three Games Could Determine Deadline Moves

Rosen also notes that, despite an ugly loss to the Minnesota Wild on Sunday, the Oilers are playing better and have moved into third place in the Pacific Division. General manager Ken Holland would like to upgrade but will need to be selective and the next three games for the Oilers could be telling.

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While the Oilers could use a goalie, another defenseman and possible forward depth thanks to Jesse Puljujarvi’s injury, he can’t fix everything. Rosen writes:

“Holland might have a better indication of how close or far away the Oilers are after this week, when they play at the Lightning on Wednesday, at the Florida Panthers on Saturday and at the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday; three of the top five teams in the NHL standings.”

Red Wings Could Make Surprising Trade

It is believed the Red Wings might be a team prepared to make another pre-deadline splash like they did last season when the team traded Anthony Mantha to the Washington Capitals. This is not to suggest that the Red Wings will do a big one-for-one trade again, only that they would like to beef up their draft pick and prospect base. The Red Wings already have seven picks in the first four rounds of the 2022 draft.

Rosen wasn’t specific in what the Red Wings would trade but they are sitting ninth in the Eastern Conference standings so it will be interesting to see if they abandon their playoff hopes or try to add in an effort to sneak in with one of the Wild Card spots.

Avalanche Looking at Cal Clutterbuck, Back Off Goalie Search

According to Stefen Rosner of NYI Hockey Now the Colorado Avalanche, specifically, GM Joe Sakic was in New York to watch the Islanders play the Montreal Canadiens. One source believes Sakic was taking a closer look at pending UFA Cal Clutterbuck. The Avalanche might be looking to add some toughness to their lineup, especially if they believe they don’t line up terribly well in that department against the Vegas Golden Knights.

Cal Clutterbuck New York Islanders
Cal Clutterbuck, New York Islanders (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

There is also a belief the Avs have dropped any feeling they need to add a goaltender. With the way Darcy Kuemper has played of late, they believe he’s going to be able to carry the team and that only someone like Marc-Andre Fluery would be an upgrade.

Wild Will Make Move Early If They Make a Move

Minnesota Wild GM Bill Geurin says he’s going to be patient with his roster as the team’s place in the standings has allowed him to sit back and really evaluate what his team might need heading into the deadline. He’s not sure he’ll make a move, but if he does, he hinted that it will be sooner than later and well ahead of the chaos that is deadline day.

As per Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic, Guerin said,

“I’d rather get something done early where it’s not under pressure. And you don’t want to do something just to be involved in trade deadline day. You can make a bad mistake. It’s not about winning the trade or losing the trade, it’s about making a fair deal. And being able to take your time and work through it. And then (giving) that player more time to get accustomed to his new surroundings.’

One thing the Wild aren’t expected to do is to upgrade their goaltending. Rosen writes that the Wild are in a similar spot to the Colorado Avalanche in that they would have to find a netminder they believe is going to play ahead of Cam Talbot (19-10-1, 2.91 GAA, .911 save percentage in 30 games). That doesn’t seem likely.

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