NHL Rumors: Blackhawks, Oilers, Maple Leafs, Blues, Hurricanes

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, Jonathan Toews says he’s not at all up for a full rebuild in Chicago. What will that mean for his future? In other news, the Edmonton Oilers signed Jesse Puljujarvi to a one-year contract extension. Is he more likely to play for the Oilers or be traded by the team?

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Finally, Matthew Tkachuk wouldn’t officially reveal what other teams he was looking at before signing with the Florida Panthers, but it sounds like offers from the St. Louis Blues and Carolina Hurricanes weren’t enough to even get extension talks started.

Toews Teasing at Possible Exit Out of Chicago?

Toews, 34, has voiced his displeasure with the overall direction of the Chicago Blackhawks in the past, but his recent comments about the Blackhawks embracing the idea of a five-year rebuild is not at all appealing to him and this might be the first time he’s publicly indicated it might be time to move on.

Jonathan Toews Chicago Blackhawks
Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Toews seemed alright with the plans for the team when former general manager Stan Bowman tried to make a last-ditch effort to improve the club with the signing of Seth Jones and trade for Marc-Andre Fleury. Now, the team has traded almost every major piece that doesn’t have a no-trade or no-move clause and that’s got Toews concerned. “At the end of the day, we’re talking about a five-plus-year process, according to Kyle,” Toews said to Mark Lazerus of The Athletic. “So that part of it doesn’t sound appealing to me at all.”

Toews added that he’s feeling exhausted by the amount of turnover on the roster. As far as what his plans will be, he noted:

Over and over, we’ve seen that turnover. I’m learning to be more patient, but there’s no doubt that timeline is pretty daunting, and pretty exhausting to think about. So I’m not going to sit here and say what I’m going to do or what the future holds for me, because I really don’t know.”

source – ‘Jonathan Toews on his Blackhawks future and beyond: Trade, free agent, retirement or rebuild?’ – Mark Lazerus – The Athletic- 07/26/2022

Oilers Sign Puljujarvi, Trade Coming?

The Oilers signed forward Jesse Puljujarvi on Tuesday, which might be an indication both sides have agreed to give things a try for one more season, or a sign that a possible trade is imminent. There was some chatter following the announcement that this deal might lead to a sign-and-trade situation.

Jason Gregor of TSN notes, “One year deal means Puljujarvi is still RFA at end of year, but also with a contract in place a possible trade is easier as teams know his cost.” Dustin Nielsen of TSN wrote, “If he stays 1 year at $3,000,000 is a really nice number for the Oilers, it’s also a contract that should be easy to move if that’s still the plan.”

Related: Maple Leafs News & Rumors: McDavid, Campbell, Knies & Milano

The reality for Edmonton was that teams weren’t interested in trading for Puljujarvi when they didn’t know what his cost would be. Now that there’s certainty in that regard, could a team reach out to Edmonton and show interest?

McDavid Says Campbell Is Ready For Edmonton

Connor McDavid spoke with Toronto media while he was playing at Zach Hyman’s charity celebrity golf tournament and was asked about the acquisition of goaltender Jack Campbell. On the topic of pressure playing in Edmonton, McDavid said, “If he (Campbell) can be the starting goalie for the Leafs, he can be the starting goalie anywhere.”

Suggesting Campbell will never face more pressure than he did as a member of the Maple Leafs, McDavid added, “Obviously, this (Toronto) is the hockey hotbed and there’s a tremendous amount of pressure on whoever fills that net. He’s occupied that job for the better part of two years and he’s done a great job doing it, so I’m sure he’ll transition smoothly.”

Offers for Tkachuk From Other Teams Didn’t Measure Up

Matthew Tkachuk did admit that the St. Louis Blues were in consideration as a team he might have liked to join when the Calgary Flames were looking at trade destinations. But, things never got very far with St. Louis as the offer from the Blues — and the offer from Carolina — didn’t measure up to what Calgary eventually received from Florida, writes Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic.

Matthew Tkachuk Calgary Flames
Matthew Tkachuk, Calgary Flames (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

He adds:

One source said the Blues’ proposal included Vladimir Tarasenko, Marco Scandella and a high draft pick; the team officially declined comment. … As far as Carolina, a source said that the Hurricanes put together a package that included forward Martin Necas, 23.

source – ‘Matthew Tkachuk on picking Panthers over hometown Blues: ‘Could I have pictured myself there? Yes’ – Jeremy Rutherford – The Athletic – 07/24/2022

Tkachuk said the prospect of playing with Aleksander Barkov was especially intriguing.