NHL Rumors: Oilers, Red Wings, Canadiens, Blackhawks, Canucks, More

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, while Ken Holland wouldn’t say much, a deal between the Edmonton Oilers and Zach Hyman seems imminent. Will it be an eight-year deal or a seven-year deal? Meanwhile, could Eric Staal return to the Montreal Canadiens and Marc Staal to the Detroit Red Wings? The Chicago Blackhawks are reportedly taking one last run at acquiring Seth Jones and the Vancouver Canucks are open to trading their first-round pick. Finally, the Buffalo Sabres are getting lots of calls about Rasmus Ristolainen. Will he be moved?

Oilers and Hyman Deal Essentially Done?

According to a few sources, including Andy Strickland, the Oilers have two different deals agreed to with Hyman. One is a seven-year contract if a trade isn’t made with the Toronto Maple Leafs for Hyman’s rights. The other is an eight-year deal is a trade can be completed. Talk is that the Oilers are willing to simply wait until July 28th and do the seven-year deal if the Maple Leafs want a second or third-round pick. For Holland, he’s willing to give up a sixth or seventh-round selection.

Toronto Maple Leafs Zach Hyman
Toronto Maple Leafs Zach Hyman (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young)

While the decision to give Hyman term is still polarizing, fans have started to come around a little bit on the Hyman deal because they understand that Holland is trying to win in the window available with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. McDavid has five seasons left and Draisaitl four and Hyman should produce at a high level for those years.

Jonathan Willis wrote a piece in The Athletic and argued the decision to sign Hyman seems to be a good one. Noting that injuries will be a concern, he writes:

Players with speed can more afford to lose a half-step than guys who were slow to begin with. At least as importantly, many an aging hockey player has survived on intelligence and work ethic long after other skills have eroded. Hyman can lay claim to all three of those attributes, and as much as they’re a good fit for Edmonton today, they should also make for a gentler decline as he gets into his 30s.

source – ‘Zach Hyman, by the numbers: Why he’s a fit for the Oilers in the short term, and how he projects long-term’ – Jonathan Willis – The Athletic – 07/23/2021

Canadiens in on Hamilton and Savard, Plus Eric Staal Update

Two of the three Staal brothers in the NHL are looking to sign unrestricted free agent deals this summer. As per Pierre LeBrun, both Eric Staal and Marc Staal, want to play next season and it is believed there will be options on the market for both. LeBrun writes: “Door isn’t closed on Detroit, either for Marc, or on Montreal for Eric.”

Whether Montreal is looking at bringing back Eric isn’t clear as the Canadiens have some bigger issues to address first. They need to find a replacement for Shea Weber who has been ruled out for the entire season and GM Marc Bergevin said might possibly never return to the NHL.

There is talk the Canadiens might make a play for Dougie Hamilton. David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period writes, “As teams continue to have discussions with Dougie Hamilton’s camp, I believe Montreal has checked in to see what type of contract he’s looking for.”

Dougie Hamilton, Carolina Hurricanes
Dougie Hamilton, Carolina Hurricanes (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

LeBrun also noted during the TSN Insider Trading segment this week that the Canadiens will (or have) checked in on defenseman David Savard and if the cost is not to high to sign him, will make a pitch to do so.

Still Interest in Bertuzzi

While the future for Marc Staal in Detroit is unclear, there may be more news coming about a potential Tyler Bertuzzi trade as David Pagnotta reports the arbitration eligible RFA forward and the team haven’t had any recent talks. There are still teams that are interested in Bertuzzi and a trade is possible.

Canucks First-Round Draft Pick in Play

TSN’s Darren Dreger told WGR 550 Friday that the Vancouver Canucks are open to trading the No. 9 overall pick in Friday’s draft. Among the teams potentially looking at that selection, the Buffalo Sabres are a team that wants to add more picks.

It will be interesting to see how many first-round selections are moved in today’s draft. With less scouting opportunities available, some NHL executives believe teams will miss hard on players who wind up being terrible picks. This might be the year to move a first-rounder and if you can accomplish other things, like the Canucks are trying to do, you do it.

Sabres Getting Tons of Action on Ristolainen

There’s a lot of talk surrounding defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen heading into the draft. Different reports suggest a trade could be close, but some are suggesting teams are looking at less-costly options first. Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal thinks the Oilers might be interested in the player and Darren Dreger confirmed the team has kicked tires there.

Buffalo Sabres Rasmus Ristolainen
Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes, File)

The Canadiens are also rumored to be a team interested in the player if the cost to acquire him is right.

Blackhawks Taking One Final Run at Seth Jones

According to a couple of sources, the Chicago Blackhawks are reportedly taking one last shot at acquiring defenseman Seth Jones before the NHL Entry Draft Friday evening. Elliotte Friedman noted: “During the first attempt, the Blue Jackets discussed Kirby Dach or Alex DeBrincat as the centrepiece, but it wasn’t something the Blackhawks wished to do.” What is the ask now?

Our own Hockey Writers Blue Jackets contributor Mark Scheig notes, “Do not be surprised if #CBJ lands a fourth, yes, a fourth first rounder tonight. This depends on a potential Seth Jones deal.”