In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there are appears to be more unrest in Buffalo where another player is looking for a change of scenery, there is good news out of the Team Canada World Junior team and there is buzz around the Edmonton Oilers on a few fronts. Finally, are teams ready to sign some one-year players and is Justin Williams news on the horizon?
Evan Rodrigues Looking for Fresh Start
First it was Zach Bogosian who requested a trade out of Buffalo. Now, it’s Evan Rodrigues, according to Darren Dreger of TSN who reports Rodrigues has also “made his interests in a trade known.” Joe Yerdon of The Athletic tweets that Rodrigues “does not see a future with the organization.”
Unhappy with his usage for the Sabres, Rodrigues, 26, has played fewer than nine minutes in three of his past four games and was a healthy scratch on New Year’s Eve for the Sabres. With no goals and only three points in 24 games this season, new coach Ralph Krueger hasn’t used him.
While there won’t be much of a trade market for him, the Sabres probably won’t qualify him next season and as such won’t hesitate to move him if there’s anything even remotely decent offered in return.
Contract Extensions to Watch For
As of today, players on one-year contracts are allowed to sign contract extensions with their respective organizations. Names worth watching on this list include Ottawa Senators winger Anthony Duclair and Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Robin Lehner.
Friedman notes that he’s not heard much in the way of talks about a Duclair extension but says there’s time. He also added that it would be an interesting arbitration case to watch if it ever got to that point since Duclair has exploded on offense this season.
One team to watch is the Edmonton Oilers. They have nearly a half-dozen players they signed to one-year deals in the summer and some of them have earned a look. The Oilers aren’t looking to take on big salaries for the next couple of seasons which is why they apparently looked into a trade that would include Brandon Saad but there’s probably nothing there.
The Oilers are also not keen on moving draft picks and one-year contracts are easy to sign and get completed with no assets moving out and no large commitments required.
Related: Maple Leafs’ Potential Trade Pieces
Justin Williams News Coming?
Elliotte Friedman notes in his most recent 31 Thoughts article that there could be developments on Justin Williams future by the end of the weekend.
Fans in Carolina and throughout the NHL have been closely watching what Williams might do since leaving the Hurricanes at the end of last season but not officially announcing his retirement. There were whispers he was ready to return and wanted to come back with the Hurricanes but also talk they’d have trouble fitting him in. As such, he’d consider looking at other teams.
Friedman Says to Watch Calgary’s Situation
According to Friedman, “There is interest in Mark Jankowski, who needs a fresh start. There is interest in Sam Bennett, who was scratched on Sunday.”
The insider suggests that Calgary doesn’t necessarily want to move Bennett but if there is a good return to be had there might be a deal there.
Lafreniere Set to Return
Team Canada is expected to get their explosive forward Alexis Lafreniere back for Thursday’s quarter-final game against Slovakia at the World Junior Championship, according to Frank Seravalli of TSN. Lafreniere was back on the ice today at practice after suffering a leg injury earlier in the tournament.
This is great news for Team Canada as there was some legit concern he’d miss extended time.
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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