In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news on the Edmonton Oilers, including updates on injuries and a player they were rumored to be in on but didn’t land. There is also speculation that Joe Thornton may elect not to return to San Jose next season, and who he might consider is surprising. And, what’s the latest on Jacob Markstrom? And, why did the Chicago Blackhawks move on from Robin Lehner?
Oilers Were in on Patrick Marleau
According to Elliotte Friedman in his latest 31 Thoughts article, “Edmonton, which pitched [Patrick] Marleau before the season, considered him again before his trade to Pittsburgh.” Essentially, Edmonton swung and missed on Marleau twice.
Oilers GM Ken Holland did say that he was talking to other GM’s about deals that never materialized and logically, Marleau might have been among them.
In other Oilers news, one player the Oilers did acquire was Andreas Athanasiou from the Detroit Red Wings. He was injured in Wednesday’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights. He came out briefly in the third period but didn’t return and the Oilers called it a lower body injury that head coach Dave Tippett didn’t think was too serious.
Related: Sharks With 100-Point Seasons
Could Thorton Choose the Maple Leafs?
Friedman also noted, “If Thornton is not sold on the Sharks, and he’s willing to seek out new life (boldly go where no one has gone before), my prediction is Toronto will be a factor.” That’s an interesting statement considering the rumors were, Thornton wanted to move to a “contender”.
Thornton did say following the trade deadline that he was disappointed the Sharks couldn’t facilitate a trade that worked for their franchise and gave Thornton a chance to compete for a Stanley Cup. “It would have been nice to at least have a chance,” Thorton said. So, does that mean he thinks Toronto will not only have a better chance next season than anyone else, including the Sharks?
It was reported by TSN’s Pierre LeBrun that not a lot of contending teams showed interest in Thorton at this year’s deadline but Friedman believes the Maple Leafs considered adding him, that is, until, they got blown out by Carolina with a 42-year-old zamboni driver in goal.
Still with the Maple Leafs, Friedman noted the team wasn’t trading Tyson Barrie unless they got a return that immediately replaced the blueliner plus a sweetener for the future. That included Kyle Dubas not accepting Troy Stecher as a fair return, especially since the Canucks didn’t have the draft picks and weren’t parting with futures.
Why the Blackhawks Moved Lehner
Friedman believes the Chicago Blackhawks didn’t want to go past two years on a contract extension with Robin Lehner even though speculation was that Lehner was willing to take a discount and sign a three-year extension.
When the extension couldn’t be figured out, Lehner was shipped to the Vegas Golden Knights. It will be interesting to see if Vegas tries to extend him at all or just lets him walk to free agency and how many other teams offer up a three-year deal or more for Lehner on the open market.
Canucks Injury News on Markstrom
According to an update by the Vancouver Canucks and GM Jim Benning, goaltender Jacob Markstrom underwent a minor lower body procedure on Wednesday and will be re-evaluated in two weeks.
This means, at they very least, Markstrom will be out two more weeks and could be out much longer. That means he’ll miss at least seven-to-nine games for the Canucks while they battle it out in a very tight Pacific Division.
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Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”