NHL Rumors: Rangers, Kings, Sharks, Oilers, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown there is news on a variety of team thanks to Craig Custance’s piece for The Athletic, and the focus is on few teams in this first edition of the rumor report today.

Everyone knows Chris Kreider as the name most teams see as the big fish. Where might he fit? Are the Edmonton Oilers willing to move a high-end prospect for a rental and who might be leaving the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks?

Kreider a Good Fit in With Lightning

Custance mentions Chris Kreider holds the top spot on his list of 27 players with Taylor Hall off the board. He adds one NHL executive said a number of teams are interested but that Kreider could be a good fit in Tampa Bay with the Lightning.

Chris Kreider New York Rangers
Chris Kreider, New York Rangers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

He writes:

Lightning GM Julien BriseBois has shown reticence about going into the rental market, as he mentioned in this Joe Smith piece, but Kreider would be a fantastic addition for the Lightning, who happen to have an extra first-round pick because of the J.T. Miller deal and that’s likely what it’s going to take. .

source – ‘NHL Trade Big Board: 27 players who could move before the deadline’ – Craig Custance – The Athletic – 01/08/2020

Elliotte Friedman took a good look at BriesBois’ research about what successful teams are doing in the NHL as they approach the deadline and the patterns Friedman noticed were that fewer teams were swinging for the fences with blockbuster trades. If the Lightning GM uncovered the same information, that could mean he’s less likely to give up a lot to obtain such as sought-after rental.

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Oilers Willing to Move Puljujarvi for Rental

Oilers GM Ken Holland did say that it would depend on the rental but that one of his options would be to move forward Jesse Puljujarvi for someone that could help the Oilers make a playoff run.

Edmonton Oilers forward Jesse Puljujarvi
Edmonton Oilers forward Jesse Puljujarvi (Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports)

Custance writes that the Oilers had multiple offers for Puljujarvi but Holland couldn’t find the return he was looking for. “Kenny is in tough there,” said an executive. “You’re never going to get that pick. Maybe you want somebody else’s problem and you both swing for the fence.”

One of the people Holland might be interested in is Andreas Athanasiou out of Detroit. The Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson says Holland, “Loves his speed. His hands don’t quite match his top 5 wheels but he’s restricted free-agent, and Wings’ Steve Yzerman didn’t draft him.” Matheson also wondered if Edmonton might take a swing at Nick Bonino out of Nashville.

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Toffoli Deal With Get Done

Custance also mentioned that he spoke to another executive who said the expected asking price on Los Angeles Kings forward Tyler Toffoli is a second-round pick and a prospect. This makes Toffoli being moved as almost a guarantee because GM’s see this price as fair.

Los Angeles Kings Tyler Toffoli
Los Angeles Kings forward Tyler Toffoli (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

“(It) is pretty reasonable,” he said. “They’ll get it.” Custance then added that he could see a situation where the Calgary Flames inquire because speculation is they missed out on Hall.

Custance also noted that, from the Kings, teams are interested in Alec Martinez and that he has one more year on his deal since rentals aren’t the answer for every GM.

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San Jose to Look at Moving a Number of Pieces

“The expectation is that, unless things change dramatically in San Jose, [Brenden] Dillon will get moved, and he’s exactly the type of defenseman contenders like to add,” explained Custance. He also noted that the Sharks have Melker Karlsson who could boost another team’s penalty kill and Joe Thornton who will only get moved if he wants to.

Brenden Dillon Sharks
Brenden Dillon, San Jose Sharks, Nov. 28, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Custance said it would sexy to add Thornton’s name to the list and would attract more readers but that Thornton says the thought of leaving San Jose hasn’t crossed his mind.

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