NHL Rumors: Williams, Maple Leafs, Oilers, Rangers, More

In today’s NHL rumors, there is news on who and how many team Justin Williams turned down before rejoining the Carolina Hurricanes, the Edmonton Oilers may make one particular forward available in an attempt to grab a useful rental, and Lias Andersson opens up about his issues with the New York Rangers.

Williams Returns to Carolina, Turns Down Leafs

There were rumors an announcement might be close and it didn’t talk long before Justin Williams has made up his mind regarding his NHL career this season and has returned to the Carolina Hurricanes. But, he didn’t just get offers from the Hurricanes.

Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals and Justin Williams of the Carolina Hurricanes
WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 24: Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals and Justin Williams #14 of the Carolina Hurricanes shake hands after the Hurricanes defeated the Capitals 4-3 in the second overtime period in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Capital One Arena on April 24, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)

Williams signed a $700k deal with $1.3 in bonuses for the remainder of this season but there is speculation he may have turned down an offer by the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins. TSN’s Pierre LeBrun revealed that the Toronto Maple Leafs made a pitch to land Williams and Boston looked into it but Williams was keyed in with the Hurricanes.

Considering their depth up front and injury issues on the blue line, it’s a bit surprising to hear the Maple Leafs were going after him.

Related: Alexei Yashin Trade Revisited

Oilers Ready to Offer Up Puljujarvi

Edmonton Oilers GM Ken Holland told Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic that in the Oilers efforts to make the playoffs and be competitive, they are prepared to move Jesse Puljujarvi.

Ivan Provorov, Jesse Puljujarvi
Edmonton Oilers’ Jesse Puljujarvi, and Philadelphia Flyers’ Ivan Provorov (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Matt Slocum)

Holland said there are three choices. First, to move him for a rental, second to move him at the NHL Draft and finally, to wait and see if he changes his mind next season or wants to stay in Europe. Of the option to trade Puljujarvi as a rental, Holland explained:

“One, do you want to trade him in a rental? He’s a 21-year-old player who was the fourth-overall pick, do you want to trade him in a rental deal and get someone on the short term and they’re gone and that asset is gone?

… his agent have made it very clear to me last summer that he didn’t want to play for the Oilers. So, I’m going to proceed along that way.

source – ‘LeBrun: Q&A with GM Ken Holland on Oilers’ deadline plans and why the regular season is important, until it isn’t’ – Pierre LeBrun – The Athletic – 01/07/2020

But, it sounded as though Holland would only consider the rental option if the rental coming back was exceptional.

Related: Oilers News and Rumors: McDavid, Holland, Yamamoto, More

Lias Andersson Breaks Silence

In a Swedish-language interview with Aftobbladet, Lias Andersson finally started talking about what was going on between he and the New York Rangers organization. He didn’t tell all, but he certainly hinted at his unrest and some physical and mental struggles.

Lias Andersson Hartford Wolf Pack
Lias Andersson Hartford Wolf Pack (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

He explained, “I have a small lower body-injury that I’m trying to take care of.” But, he added, “There is a career that’s more important – and that’s friends, family and my health.”

Basically, Andersson hinted at the struggles he was facing mentally and that he needed a break. He realizes that this break could cost him his NHL career saying, “There’s been a lot of incidents that have affected me personally, thing that have made me feel bad mentally. Hockey wise it might be an idiotic decision, but I have to think about my personal life as well.”

He’s hoping it doesn’t mean he’ll miss hockey over the next year and one half but he understands that’s a risk and he can always find other places to play if he’s alienated himself from the NHL.

The New York Rangers have yet to comment and it is believed are still looking for a trade partner.

Related: NHL Rumors: Blackhawks, Predators, Jets, More