NHL Rumors: Oilers, Flames, Maple Leafs, Canadiens, Bruins, Kraken…

The news is coming in fast and furious on Wednesday as names are being announced as having either signed with the Seattle Kraken or are the selections from the NHL’s newest franchise. There’s news on Adam Larsson, Jared McCann, Mark Giordano, Jordan Eberle, Vladimir Tarsenko, Jamie Oleksiak and more.

Kraken Sign Adam Larsson to Four-Year Deal

Reports are that Edmonton Oilers defenseman Adam Larsson has signed a four-year, $4 million free agency deal with Seattle in the limited window the NHL’s newest team had to talk with pending UFAs. It’s a shocker to Oilers fans, half of whom figured Larsson and the Oilers would still work something out. The other half figured he might hit the open market and sign for more elsewhere.

TSN’s Ryan Rishaug writes: “Oilers had multiple offers on the table for Larsson, including a 4 and 5 year term. Sense is this wasn’t a decision made based on the Oilers being out-bid. Likely Larsson deciding on a change of scenery.” The question will now be why? If it wasn’t money and it wasn’t term, Larsson elected not to return to the Oilers for another season and it might be important to know why that decision was made.

Mike Smith Set to Sign with Oilers

It sounds like the Oilers will announce a multi-year deal with goaltender Mike Smith as soon as the draft concludes and the roster freeze is lifted for teams not named the Kraken. According to Patrick Johnston of The Province in Vancouver, it sounds like Smith is getting more than one year on a contract extension.

Financials were not disclosed on the deal, but speculation is that it’s around $2 million per season.

McCann to Be Kraken’s Selection From Maple Leafs

As per a report by Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli, Jared McCann is Seattle’s expansion draft selection from the Toronto Maple Leafs. McCann was added in a trade just a few days ago and he’s already on his way to another team. While some Leafs fans are disappointed, this was likely the game plan all along by Leafs’ GM Kyle Dubas.

Jared McCann Pittsburgh Penguins
Jared McCann, Pittsburgh Penguins (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Essentially, Toronto traded prospect Filip Hallander and a 7th round pick to Pittsburgh to ensure either McCann or Alex Kerfoot would be staying put. Dubas got both on the roster so Seattle could only select one of those players for their team. Some fans were hoping that Kerfoot would be the selection since he’s older and more expensive, but he’s still a useful player the Maple Leafs were not keen on losing.

Giordano Possible Kraken’s First Captain?

As broken by Samil Nadim Valji of TSN and confirmed by Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic, the Seattle Kraken have likely found their first captain. The team is expected to select Mark Giordano from the Calgary Flames as part of the expansion draft. Valiji writes:” I can confirm that the Seattle Kraken have chosen Calgary Flames captain Mark Giordano as their pick at the Expansion Draft, to be announced this evening.”

Giordano represents possibly the oldest player the Kraken will select, but he’s still effective on the ice and has one year remaining on a deal that will pay him $6.75 million. It will be interesting to see if he elects to re-sign with the Kraken on a lower-cost deal or goes back to Calgary when that deal expires.

Islanders Lose Eberle?

Our own James Nichols seems to have been among the first to report that the Kraken will select Jordan Eberle from the New York Islanders and not Josh Bailey. Eberle, is a top six forward who has been consistently excellent at driving scoring chances. He’s bound to be a top-six forward on the Kraken roster and will get a great opportunity to really up his numbers. He’s got three years left on his deal at $5.5 million which also gives the Kraken some cost certainty.

Bruins Closing in on Deal with Taylor Hall

As per Servalli, “Hearing #NHLBruins have made meaningful progress with pending UFA Taylor Hall.” He adds, “Expectation is Hall will indeed remain in Boston after the signing moratorium is lifted. Wouldn’t be surprised to see a deal in the 4 years x $6 million neighborhood.”

There was lots of talk that Hall and the Bruins would ultimately get something done. It appears he won’t be exploring the market.

Kraken Selecting Tanev from the Penguins

Multiple sources are now reporting that the Kraken have zeroed in on Brandon Tanev of the Pittsburgh Penguins. As Frank Seravalli writes, “Kraken already unfolding as tough to play against. With Brandon in the Kraken fold, looking forward to potential Tanev v. Tanev brother matchups in the Pacific.”

Kraken Will Not Select Carey Price

Ultimately, the Kraken have selected not to take goaltender Carey Price as part of their selection process. Choosing instead to sign free agents and going with depth across the entire roster, Price’s $10.5 million contract will stay with Montreal and the Kraken will roll with Chris Driedger and a combination of other netminders to start next season.

There were reports Seattle was seriously considering Price as an option, but the cost and his potential injury situation must have overridden the organization’s decision to bring him in as a possible face of the franchise.

More Selections and Signings Being Announced Early

As more news comes down the wire and reports of selections being reported hit the rumor mill, we’ll be sure to update this post throughout the day:

  • Early word is the Kraken are closing in on contracts with UFA defenseman Jamie Oleksiak from the Dallas Stars — as per Seravalli.
  • Seravalli reports the Kraken have passed high-profile, big money forward Vladimir Tarasenko.
  • As per Pierre LeBrun: “The Kraken and Lightning have not completed a trade so far. Appears Seattle will simply take a player off TB. Doesn’t mean a trade can’t come later this summer.” That player appears to be forward Yanni Gourde.