NHL Rumors: Canadiens, Bruins, Oilers, Canucks

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Montreal Canadiens are working on an extension with forward Cole Caufield. Meanwhile, the Boston Bruins and David Pastrnak are making ground on a possible long-term contract.

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The Edmonton Oilers made Jesse Puljujuarvi a healthy scratch and trade talks are heating up. Finally, are the Vancouver Canucks more likely to sign or trade Andrei Kuzmenko?

Canadiens and Caufield Talking New Deal

TSN’s Darren Dreger has reported that preliminary contract extension talks between the Habs and sniper Cole Caufield began about a month ago. He noted that these talks are only preliminary, but it sounds like the Canadiens would like to get this deal done sooner than later.

Cole Caufield Montreal Canadiens
Cole Caufield, Montreal Canadiens (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Dreger noted, “My understanding is that the preliminary talks of an extension between Cole Caufield’s agent, Pat Brisson, and the Montreal Canadiens started roughly a month ago,” Dreger said on Tuesday. “Again, preliminary talks, but you have to believe that Caufield given how he’s played this year on his torrid scoring pace is a big part of the future of the Montreal Canadiens.”

Bruins and Pastrnak Getting Closer on Extension

Dreger also commented on the contract extension talks between David Pastrnak and the Boston Bruins, talks that have been going on for some time but not much headway has been made. The NHL insider notes that both sides are ‘inching’ toward an extension to keep Pastrnak in Boston for what could be the rest of his career. Dreger explained:

“Yes, they are, closer than they were even a couple weeks ago. I know that progress was made last week in the discussions between (general manager) Don Sweeney of the Boston Bruins and Pastrnak’s agent J.P. Barry… But they still have work to do. They are going to continue to grind at the details. So, obviously, that always comes down to the annual average salary — a.k.a. money — the term seems less contentious if it’s at all contentious at an eight-year maximum.”

Oilers Scratch Puljujarvi, Trade Talks Picking Up

Mike Gould of Daily Faceoff quoted their NHL insider when he mentioned that the Oilers are getting some attention when it comes to potentially moving Jesse Puljujarvi. He writes, “Seravalli indicated the Oilers have made a trio of forwards available in trade discussions, with one, in particular, generating notable interest: Jesse Puljujarvi, who has 10 points in 45 games this year.”

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Seravalli mentioned during an interview with Oilers Nation that the Oilers put out feelers on Warren Foegele, Derek Ryan and Puljujarvi and there’s a sense that GM Ken Holland might be able to move the winger without having to retain salary or add an asset as a sweetener. Not long ago, it didn’t sound like that was a possibility.

The Oilers will need to make another salary cap move for when Kailer Yamamoto comes off of LTIR.

Next Contract For Andrei Kuzmenko, A Trade More Likely?

As the Canucks try to figure out where to send Bo Horvat in a trade and what a return for the player will look like, internally, a priority of theirs is to get a new deal signed with forward Andrei Kuzmenko. Seravalli took a look at what that deal might look like and wrote, “For the most part, Kuzmenko’s exact situation is unprecedented in the NHL’s salary cap era.” He adds, “Teams will be leery of significant term based on one season on his resume, but if they are willing to commit…”

Andrei Kuzmenko Vancouver Canucks
Andrei Kuzmenko, Vancouver Canucks (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Among the comparables, he mentioned Andre Burakovsky (5 years x $5.5 million), Josh Bailey (6 years x $5 million), Valeri Nichushkin (8 years x $6.125 million).

Seravalli wonders if the Canucks would consider trading in the player. He explains:

He doesn’t technically fit their age scheme in remaking the roster and if you are a believer in age charts, he has already passed through his prime. The Canucks took a chance, won the Kuzmenko sweepstakes and have been rewarded for their scouting in a strong season. They’re playing now with house money. Perhaps they’re better off seizing on Kuzmenko’s trade value as a cheap expiring contract, rather than adding another expensive contract to the books for years to come for a scoring winger who does not drive play on his own.