NHL Rumors: Oilers, Bruins, Devils, Canucks, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, we start with an answer to the question, ‘Was Milan Lucic ever going to get traded to Vancouver?’. From there, rumors surround the New Jersey Devils who are not done “wheeling and dealing” and the Boston Bruins who may have to put trading one of their hefty contracts on hold. Finally, what’s taking so long with Ben Hutton? Why isn’t he signed yet?

Oilers Were Never Trading Milan Lucic to Vancouver

Prior to Milan Lucic getting traded to the Calgary Flames, there was widespread speculation the Oilers were looking at sending him to Vancouver for Loui Eriksson. Lucic had declared publicly his interest in going back home and that he would love to play for the Canucks one day.

Milan Lucic, Edmonton Oilers, NHL
Milan Lucic is one of the role players filling a hole on the Oilers roster. (Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports)

Rick Dhaliwal of Sportsnet 650 asked Lucic if he was ever approached last year about waiving his no-trade clause for a trade to the Canucks: “No never. There was never a trade to Vancouver as far as I’m concerned.”

The Oilers would have had to ask if there was a trade there due to Lucic’s no-trade clause.

Related: NHL Rumors: Canadiens, Jets, Blue Jackets, More

Bruins to Circle Back to Backes

Joe Haggerty of NBC Sports Boston is writing that the Boston Bruins might have to hold off on trying to trade David Backes until next season. The team has been working hard to move his contract but to date, has had no luck.

David Backes Bruins
David Backes, Boston Bruins, Dec. 2, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Haggerty says the reason the Bruins are rethinking trading Backes now, is because it’s going to be “very difficult to find a deal for another problem contract where the B’s aren’t inheriting more years indebted to the player coming back in a trade.” The alternative is sending a first-round sweetener to take on Backes’ contract. The Bruins don’t want to do that.

It sounds like the Bruins will hope Backes has a better season and that they find more suitors next summer or towards the end of the 2019-20 campaign.

Related: NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs, Jets, Golden Knights, More

Devils Not Done Dealing

New Jersey Devils’ owner Josh Harristold the media that the team is “not done” and that GM Ray Shero is “wheeling and dealing.”

The Devils had some restricted free agents to sign but they have around $17 million in cap space and if the team is looking to spend up to the cap ceiling this year they could still add in a major way. Some of the names being tossed around are Nikita Gusev, Jason Zucker and Chris Kreider. All have been mentioned in possible trades from their respective teams.

What’s Taking So Long With Hutton?

We’ve previously reported that Ben Hutton will likely be moving on from Vancouver and that he’s got multiple teams interested. His agent, Andy Scott of Octagon Hockey, spoke to Rick Dhaliwal on Sportsnet radio, and explained that he has no doubt the free agent defenseman will be signed before the year starts.

Ben Hutton Canucks
Ben Hutton, Vancouver Canucks, Nov. 21, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

He says, Hutton has “plenty of offers” but nothing has been worked out so far. It seems the player is taking his time and being picky, trying to get the best deal.

The trick here is being cautious of any offers that may go away if a team goes in a different direction deciding not to wait for Hutton to make up his mind.

Related: NHL Rumors: Hutton, Rantanen, Devils, Capitals, More

Erikkson for Kesler Deal in the Works?

After watching the Toronto Maple Leafs get creative with the salary cap and trade for David Clarkson, there is some talk Vancouver took note and might be looking for a creative way to trade Loui Eriksson. One option is taking on a contract for a player who may never play.

Ducks center Ryan Kesler
Ducks center Ryan Kesler (Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports)

The name Ryan Kesler has come up and Harman Dyal of The Athletic proposes pitching Eriksson to the Anaheim Ducks for Kesler and picking up half of Eriksson’s salary in the process.

Dayal writes:

… the Ducks would be on the hook for just $4.5-million total with Eriksson. Just like with Columbus, they’d go from wasting cash on someone who wouldn’t play for them to virtually spending the same money on someone who’ll at least suit up and contribute in the bottom six. For their part, the Canucks would create $3-million per year in cap space after retaining half the contract. 

source – ‘Yes, the Canucks can still trade Loui Eriksson and here’s how they can do it’ Harman Dayal – The Athletic – 07/24/2019