NHL Rumors: Oilers, Rangers, Sabres, Predators, More

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the New York Rangers and defenseman Adam Fox might already be looking at a contract extension. What would the numbers look like on a new deal? Are the Edmonton Oilers interested in Duncan Keith? Is the interest mutual? What’s the latest news on the Jack Eichel trade front? Finally, Filip Forsberg doesn’t seem pleased with the fact the Nashville Predators traded Viktor Arvidsson. Could there be repercussions for doing so in Nashville?

Adam Fox and Rangers Thinking Early Extension?

After winning the Norris Trophy, Fox is going to hit a home run financially on his next contract. The 23-year old has one season remaining on a deal that pays $925K and Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet notes the Rangers are able to sign the defenseman to a contract extension this offseason.

Friedman suggests that Fox may decided to wait before signing long-term. The comparable is Thomas Chabot‘s eight-year, $8 million AAV deal. If Fox has another fantastic season, he could be worth more. The question will be, does Fox want to strike while the iron is hot, or can he reproduce a stellar season and make himself a $9-$10 defenseman?

Oilers and Duncan Keith Interested in Each Other

It was suggested yesterday that the Oilers might want to consider Keith as an option if he is available out of Chicago. There are some areas of concern, including his cap hit and age, but in the right deal, he might be a player that makes sense slotted behind Darnell Nurse on the Oilers left side.

Duncan Keith Blackhawks
Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks, Nov. 9, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Interestingly, Kurt Leavins of the Edmonton Journal writes that the Oilers are interested and apparently, the interest is being reciprocated. Leavins writes: “I believe Edmonton’s #1 target in that regard is Duncan Keith, and that the interest between Keith’s camp and the Oilers is mutual.” Leavins adds:

Well, Keith considers the Okanagan “home”, near where he spent his teens in Penticton, British Columbia. He has family out by me in Vancouver, an easy flight from Edmonton. There are a handful of North and Western-based NHL teams that would be able to accommodate him, geographically including (but not limited to) Edmonton. Fellow Okanagan residents Holland and veteran goaltender Mike Smith (who I fully expect to re-sign) also live “just down the road” during the off-season, figuratively speaking.

source – ‘The Edmonton Oilers are front runners in the Duncan Keith stakes’ – Kurt Leavins – Edmonton Journal – 07/01/2021

In other blue line news, the Oilers are inching closer to an extension with Adam Larsson. Daniel Nugent-Bowman of The Athletic writes:

Oilers general manager Ken Holland and Larsson’s agent J.P. Barry resumed negotiations this week after unrestricted free agent defenceman Adam Larsson returned from vacation. The plan is to re-engage in discussions next week.

source – ‘What I’m hearing about the Oilers offseason: The latest on Adam Larsson, Oscar Klefbom, Kraken plans and more’ – Jonathan Willis – The Athletic – 07/02/2021

He quotes the agent as saying they are making progress on an extension but Larsson is taking his time because there’s just a few things he wants to think about. Nugent-Bowman notes that the deal will probably be more than just a couple of years (Larsson wants some term), but it won’t be anything close to the term Nugent-Hopkins just signed.

Once Larsson is signed, the consensus seems to be that Tyson Barrie will be moving on.

Latest on the Eichel Trade Watch

It appears there might be a decision between the Sabres and Eichel forthcoming. Eichel’s agent, Peter Fish noted in a text message to the Associated Press, “We are communicating with the team and are heading toward a resolution.”

Reports are that the agent and player had a long conversation with Sabres GM Kevyn Adams. What came out of that conversation is that the Sabres position on Eichel wanting explore his own methods of surgery on his injury have not changed. They are not supportive. They want their medical experts running point on all of this.

Now, Adams is saying that the culture in Buffalo needs to be clear. He noted:

“It’s bigger than focusing and singling out people. I think the point of saying that is we need to establish a culture here of people on the ice, staff across the organization that are proud, that this is something really special. We won’t compromise on that.”

There are a number of names to watch out of Buffalo. Outside of Eichel, the belief is that Sam Reinhart and Rasmus Ristolainen could be on the move.

Forsberg Not Pleased About Arvidsson Trade

It might be nothing, but it might be worth watching. Forward Filip Forsberg seemed to publicly note his frustrations over news that Viktor Arvidsson had been traded by the Predators this week. Sharing a big thumbs down emoji on his social media account, it’s clear Forsberg didn’t support the decision.

It’s difficult to know if this is just a player being upset or if this is a player who is frustrated to the point he wanted to stir up conversation. We’ll find out in the next few weeks as the Predators are a team that could make significant changes.

Authors Take:

This will probably amount to nothing. That said, if the Predators are making big changes, Forsberg only has one more season on his $6 million deal before he becomes an unrestricted free agent. The return would be strong if the Predators dangled him out there on the open market.