NHL Rumors: Oilers, Blackhawks, Canucks, Predators, Bruins, More

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Nashville Predators have already made one trade ahead of the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft. Are they looking to make another? Meanwhile, what’s delaying a potential trade between the Chicago Blackhawks and Edmonton Oilers? Is the hold up more than just NHL Expansion Draft implications? There are more details emerging regarding a possible Nate Schmidt trade and, finally, it sounds like Oliver Ekman-Larsson is officially on the trade block again. That said, like last year, it’s not a guarantee he gets moved. Who is interested?

Predators Looking to Make Another Move

The Nashville Predators already moved Viktor Arvidsson because of the NHL Expansion Draft and the potential of losing the player for nothing forced their hand. This might not be the only deal the Predators do before the draft rolls around. According to Predators GM David Poile, he’s having active conversations trying to make something else work.

“I’ve had a couple of conversations with them [Seattle Kraken],” the general manger said on the Darren, Daunic and Chase podcast this past week. “Ideally, if we could strike a deal so there’s certainty as to who we would lose, I would probably do that.”

There have been whispers the Predators are trying to make something work where Seattle takes Matt Duchene, but it’s not clear if the Kraken are at all interested.

Possible Hold Up On Keith Trade to Oilers

There has been a ton of chatter surrounding a possible trade between the Oilers and the Blackawks, all centered around Duncan Keith possibly joining Edmonton to be closer to his son. Sportsnet’s insider Elliotte Friedman broke the story last week and he’s offered an update in his latest 31 Thoughts podcast. Essentially, Friedman tried to explain what could be holding up a potential deal.

Duncan Keith
Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith – Photo Credit: Andy Martin Jr

The immediate thought is that the two teams might get something done after the NHL Expansion Draft, which is certainly still possible. Friedman wonders if there’s more going on. He explains, “I wonder if this Edmonton – Chicago thing is getting to a yes or no situation. I just wonder if Edmonton and Chicago are gonna say ‘we’re doing this or we’re not.’”

Friedman seems to hint that none of the parties have applied any real pressure to get a deal done, even though everyone would like the trade to go down. Friedman added:

“They’re kind of staring at each other, they know what’s on the table, are we gonna do it or not? Both these teams have to have certainty on what they’re doing for a) the expansion draft and b) eventually, especially in Edmonton’s case, free agency. Gotta know if this is gonna get done or not.”

Jeff Marek seemed to hint that maybe Keith should push a little harder.

Nate Schmidt Hoping for Trade from Canucks

I reported earlier this week that the Canucks were officially putting Nate Schmidt on the trade market this summer. The team would like to move his cap hit after realizing the fit just wasn’t right. Apparently, it’s not just the Canucks that want this move to happen.

Nate Schmidt Vancouver Canucks
Nate Schmidt, Vancouver Canucks (Photo by Derek Cain/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Friedman explained on the Power Show on Sportsnet 650 that Schmidt might be the one who has spearheaded a potential trade. “I think everybody kind of knows where everyone stands, that maybe Schmidt would like to go somewhere else and maybe the team recognizes the marriage isn’t necessarily going to work out for both sides the way everybody hoped,” Elliotte said.

Friedman did add that he doesn’t believe Schmidt has approached management with a formal trade request.

Bruins a Fit For Ekman-Larsson?

As per Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic, the Arizona Coyotes are officially listening to offers for their captain. LeBrun says the Coyotes are looking at getting younger and going a different direction, but it’s not a guarantee Ekman-Larsson is moved.

LeBrun writes:

I don’t know that it’s a sure thing Ekman-Larsson moves given his contract — six more years at a $8.25-million cap hit. Although I do personally like him as a fit for Boston if the Bruins can make the money work.

source – ‘LeBrun: Why the Sabres and Coyotes went with unheralded coach hires and what it says about their futures’ – Pierre LeBrun – The Athletic – 07/06/2021

Top 10 Buyout Candidates

Frank Seravalli of The Daily Faceoff took a look at the Top 10 possible buyout options for teams this offseason. Tony DeAngelo (New York Rangers), James Neal (Edmonton Oilers) and Erik Johnson (Colorado Avalanche) take up the top three spots on his list.

Rounding out his top 10 are Keith Yandle, Martin Jones, Zach Parise, Jake Virtanen, Ben Bishop, Paul Bryon, and Sonny Milano. He also notes that Mikko Koskinen (Edmonton), Anton Stralman (Florida), Danny DeKeyser (Detroit), Olli Maatta (Los Angeles) are potential candidates.