NHL Rumors: Islanders, Oilers, Stars

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, are the New York Islanders making a push to sign Nazem Kadri? Meanwhile, could Jesse Puljujarvi’s camp be inclined to settle on a smaller deal with the Oilers in an attempt to make him a tradeable asset? Finally, what’s the story with John Klingberg, and if he stays out there on the market, is there a chance he circles back to the Dallas Stars?

Could Islanders Be Targeting Kadri?

The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz reported a source informed him of “rumblings” that the New York Islanders were not staying quiet throughout this busy offseason and that they are one of the teams making a push to sign Nazem Kadri in free agency.

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Kadri, 31, has yet to sign with a team and a number of insiders couldn’t figure out why the center doesn’t have a deal yet. Some believed the Colorado Avalanche might be trying to clear money to bring him back, while others joked that maybe Lou Lamoriello of the Islanders was already all over this but that information just hasn’t leaked because Lamoriello rarely lets news of his trades or signings get out.

Nazem Kadri Colorado Avalanche
Nazem Kadri, Colorado Avalanche (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Kurz writes:

One league source told The Athletic via text message Friday that he had “heard rumblings” that the Islanders were making a push for Kadri. “It does make some sense,” he added. … Yes, it does, as Lamoriello has indicated enough times in recent months that he’s open to making moves, particularly with the underperforming group up front.

source – ‘The Islanders and Nazem Kadri? Amid ‘rumblings,’ there might be a fit’ – Kevin Kurz – The Athletic – 07/23/2022

If there’s one piece that doesn’t fit between the Islanders and Kadri, it’s that the team really doesn’t need another center and Kadri hasn’t played wing for some time. The Islanders might choose to shift Mathew Barzal to the wing.

Puljujarvi Camp Trying to Avoid Arbitration?

The Edmonton Oilers and forward Jesse Puljujarvi are about to be forced into an intriguing decision. As per Kurt Leavins of the Edmonton Journal, Puljujarvi’s camp can’t want to take the Oilers to arbitration on July 29th if they truly want the player traded.

Jesse Puljujarvi Connor McDavid Edmonton Oilers
Jesse Puljujarvi, Edmonton Oilers (Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Leavins writes:

The arbitration process tends to favor the player. It tends to split the difference between the two asks. And it also usually benefits guys who spend a lot of time with elite linemates. As a result, I fully expect Jesse Puljujarvi’s number to end up above $3 million.

If that happens, Puljujarvi becomes much more difficult to trade because teams will be leery of adding that kind of money to their books when he hasn’t shown he’s necessarily worth that. He’s yet to prove he’s a top-six player, and if the numbers he did put up are a factor of playing with Connor McDavid, how eager will a team be to try Puljujarvi in their top six if they don’t have that kind of superstar on their roster? Puljujarvi might be better settling with the Oilers at a lower number just to make himself more attractive to other teams.

Could Stars Bring Back Klingberg on a 1-Year Deal?

Saad Yousuf of The Athletic writes that there’s not much news when it comes to UFA defenseman John Klingberg, other than to report he got married last week. Klingberg still hasn’t signed a deal with a team in free agency and insiders are wondering if he’s perhaps going to look at the Stars as a team he comes back to on a short-term deal.

Yousuf writes:

It seems fairly obvious now that the market for his services was not what Klingberg and his camp expected it to be. He’s an offensively-gifted right-handed defenseman but he’s also turning 30 years old, carries defensive concerns and wants a raise in salary, and — what’s been a bigger sticking point — wants a deal with significant term.

source – ‘Stars face big hurdles in Matthew Tkachuk, John Klingberg pursuit’ – Saad Yousuf – The Athletic – 07/21/2022

The Dallas Stars have even though it would be hard to see Klingberg return that nothing is out of the realm of being possible.