In today’s rumor rundown there is more news on the speculation the Edmonton Oilers are scouring the market for a top-end forward, an update on how popular Mats Zuccarello is around the league and what’s happening in Anaheim with Jakob Silfverberg. Finally, there is still speculation as to trade news surrounding Carolina’s Micheal Ferland and how much he’s worth on the trade market.
Truth or Fiction About Oilers Full-Court Press
After TSN’s Ryan Rishaug tweeted the Oilers were preparing to put on a full-court press to acquire a top-end forward before the trade deadline, the Edmonton-based media went a little nutty with speculation as to what that meant. Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal said, “… they’re probably checking in C Derick Brassard, UFA ($3 mil) who hasn’t panned out in Pitts. Other possibles: UFA’s Zuccarello, Dzingel, Ferland”. David Staples said,“Rishaug’s comments sounds like the Oilers could be offering up either Cam Talbot or Mikko Koskinen, a first-round pick, and maybe one of Kailer Yamamoto, Tyler Benson, Cameron Hebig or Jesse Puljujarvi.” and even in Boston, the media chimed in saying, “Bruins basically put trade restrictions on Chiarelli in his final season, presumably to prevent this sort of stuff.”
Elliotte Friedman on Sportsnet 960 that while he doesn’t think Rishaug is wrong, he doesn’t see this move coming as a result of fear for the on-ice results as much as a business concern. Friedman explained:
“Look, from a hockey point of view it makes no sense for the Oilers to do this. But from a business point of view, you see why this kind of stuff happens. I think the Oilers should just play it out and see where it goes. I think this is a risk of being a really, really poor outcome for them. But from a business point of view, it looks to me like the owner is saying, ‘I want to get into the playoffs.’ And if that’s the case, this move is going to get made.”
Interestingly, only a few hours after Rishaug’s tweet, the Oilers came out and won 7-2 over the Buffalo Sabres in one of their strongest wins of the season. Depth guys who weren’t producing stepped up as Milan Lucic and Zack Kassian both scored two goals each.
Zuccarello Playing His Way Into a Trade Scenario
Friedman also did a hit on Monday evening for the NHL Network, and during that segment said that the positive play of Mats Zuccarello recently has put his name back in trade discussions heading toward the deadline.
Friedman explained that for some time, Zuccarello wasn’t being viewed as a hot ticket in trade because he was having such a down season. He struggled and publicly stated that he believed part of his struggles had to do with the constant chatter he might be traded. Saying out loud what was bothering him seemed to lift a weight off his shoulders and he started to pitch in offensively. He’s played so well, teams are starting to take notice again.
Friedman said, “But I think if Zuccarello continues to play the way he has in the past 10 games, I think he puts himself back in the conversation.”
Ducks Will Try to Re-Sign Silfverberg Before a Trade
There has been plenty of buzz coming out of Anaheim and the team has already started to make changes as they moved veteran center Andrew Cogliano this week. One of the names rumored to be a possible trade candidate is Jakob Silfverberg.
Craig Custance is now reporting the Anaheim Ducks GM said regarding the status of Silfverberg: “I’ll take another crack at signing him…He’s a good hockey player. He’s one of the ones who is standing up and being counted.”
If a deal can’t be reached, Silfverberg is as good as gone. The Ducks season is pretty much over, he’s a pending unrestricted free agent and with change coming to the team, it makes little sense to keep him if the Ducks could potentially lose him for nothing and he has value on the trade market.
Friedman has said that the last he’d heard, the two sides were not close on a deal and that the Pittsburgh Penguins might have some interest.
Hamilton or Ferland?
When asked who he thinks is more likely to be traded out of Carolina, Friedman said, “I think Ferland is more likely to get dealt… Ferland, that fight he had on the weekend with Austin Watson, that did not go unnoticed. There’s not a lot of fighting in the playoffs, but it is tough, tough hockey. You guys know how it goes. You have to be willing to stand up to teams and stand up to people. It gets a bit more edgy, and Ferland has got that ability.”
Pierre LeBrun believes the asking price for Ferland will be a first-round pick and a prospect.