In today’s rumor rundown, we look at the Oilers trades and the rumors about what might be coming next in Edmonton. Is Calgary trying to push one of their most versatile forwards out of town? And, could major changes be coming to the Maple Leafs if they choose to move William Nylander to the center position?
Oilers Looking for Help on the Wing
Sportsnet’s Mark Spector was all over the trade news for the Oilers on Sunday. He also reported that GM Peter Chiarelli put Ryan Spooner out there in trade but didn’t have any takers. What was learned from both the attempted trades and the media conference held on Monday morning was that Edmonton is looking for help at forward, specifically for a right-winger.
Bob McKenzie was on TSN 1260 and gave his opinion on the trades over the weekend. He started with, “I think everybody in Edmonton understands and recognizes that the Oilers, they need to make the playoffs, there’s pressure on them to do that.” Chiarelli admitted as much in the media conference where he said the team looked at their five losses (now six with the loss to Winnipeg on Monday night) and at this critical juncture, they needed to shore up the defense. McKenzie also said these trades were an example of what happens when you have to make “these deals under duress.”
The big debate in Edmonton is whether or not these additions are big enough to actually help the Oilers and what else is coming. Almost everyone seems to think there’s more on the way.
Mark Stone Negotiating With Senators
The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch reports that Mark Stone said that he expects contract negotiations to start in the next two weeks and makes it clear that he wants to stay in Ottawa.
This is great news for the Sens as there are serious questions about the big free agents in Ottawa wanting to stay put or not.
Michael Frolik Being Run out of Calgary?
Agent Allan Walsh tweeted on December 30, 2018: “Many people in Calgary have been reaching out asking why Michael Frolik is a healthy scratch. Keeping one of the teams most efficient and versatile forwards in the stands marginalizes and devalues a great team player. Head coach’s attempt to run a good player out of town?”
Frolik did return to the lineup when the Flames beat the Sharks on Monday 8-5 and Frolik had two assists, but the seed is already planted now that Calgary might be trying to push Frolik out of town.
Beat reporter, Kristen Anderson later tweeted that Flames coach Bill Peters had no response to Walsh’s comments other than that “Fro is going to play and he’s going to play with Backs and Chucky…he’s missed a lot of hockey, when you missed that much time with that type of injury, it takes time…”
Peters was suggesting that Frolik staying out of the lineup was more about giving him the time to warm back up after being gone and that the reality is, you aren’t going to get the guy back that left on day one.
Some Shifting to Happen in Toronto?
In a recent mailbag segment, Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star wrote, if the Maple Leafs decided to move Nylander to the center position, insiders should add Nazem Kadri to Patrick Marleau and Nikita Zaitsev as players the Maple Leafs could move to create cap space or pick up a defenseman.
McGran believes the Maple Leafs will be searching for a young right-handed defenseman and wrote:
I believe Dubas will be looking for a young player, not a veteran. Pietrangelo’s price tag — $6.5 million – might be a bit much for this team, unless it’s Nylander going the other way. I wonder if the Oilers will sniff around, try to get some added scoring up front.
source – ‘MAILBAG: So … Kapanen or Nylander?’ – The Toronto Star – Kevin McGran –
Moving out someone like Marleau, Kadri, or Zaitsev also frees the Leafs up to re-sign a player like Kasperi Kapanen who needs a new contract. The alternative is trading for a defenseman like Niklas Kronwall but the belief is that Dubas doesn’t see the value in adding that kind of rental.
Sabres Will Not Move a First-Rounder for a Rental
Elliotte Friedman said on 630 CHED that he looked into the rumors Buffalo might move one of their four first-round picks to make a push at playoff success and he was told, “it wasn’t happening. That they’re not doing it for a rental.”
The only way Buffalo moves one of those picks is if they’re getting back a 22 or 23-year-old player that they’re going to have under control for a while.
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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