NHL Rumors: Oilers, Rangers, Blue Jackets, Senators, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news the Edmonton Oilers will still be using a player who’s already signed elsewhere next season. Meanwhile, the New York Rangers have a third-string goalie who doesn’t want to go anywhere. In Ottawa, the GM is putting in plans around the draft, and one NHL player has spoken out about a battle that could exist between the players and the NHL if the league asks players to separate from their families.

Oilers To Use Markus Granlund

Edmonton Journal’s Kurt Leavins reports that despite having already signed a contract with Ufa Salavat Yulaev in the KHL for next season, the Edmonton Oilers still intend to call upon forward Markus Granlund during their play-in and potential playoff series.

Leavins writes:

Even though he reportedly has a contract for the KHL next season, I fully expect Markus Granlund to be on the Oilers “Black Aces” taxi squad this Summer. His veteran presence and versatility are too valuable to ignore. And he would fill a hole left by the sadly departed Colby Cave.

Granlund remains under contract with the Oilers until the season is over and played in 34 games, scoring three goals and four points.

Lundqvist Not Retiring Anytime Soon

During an interview with GP-Sporten’s Johan Rylander (translation required), goaltender Henrik Lundqvist says that not only is he ready to play against the Carolina Hurricanes this season in the play-in round, he sees himself playing in the NHL for years to come.

Henrik Lundqvist New York Rangers
Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The 38-year-old netminder said:

“The focus is training and this summer. Now we go for it right here. I can sense that I have it in me – to go another few years over there in the NHL. I’m sure about it! It’s clear that I’m thinking about how much I love hockey and how long I think I can continue, or even want to continue. I also realized that I can’t look that far ahead.”

When discussing the current situation in New York, where he’s potentially going to be the third-string goalie or could be moved, he explained his disappointment. He noted:

I’m not blind. They’re thinking ahead. There are many pieces that go into building a team right now, but also for the future. You’re going to have to widen the view a little. Obviously it is disappointing to not play as much as you want. That’s where the disappointment is. It’s more … not on them (the Rangers), but more that it became as it became. And if I not had been disappointed, then I sell myself short. I want to play, to deliver at a high level. If I don’t, I will be disappointed.”

Related: Best NHL Player From Each U.S. State

Senators to Add Veterans on Short-Term Deals?

According to Wayne Scanlan of Sportsnet, GM Pierre Dorion wouldn’t say if they will try to package some the team’s draft picks this offseason and move up in the draft. What he did say was that the Ottawa Senators are prepared to do what they did last season and surround young players with veterans.

Ottawa Senators Pierre Dorion
Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang)

Dorion noted:

“Last year we added veterans (in free agency and trade) because we felt it would help the growth of our young players and the growth of our team. And it is something we could look at in the short term.”

The Senators will have a lot of young players, considering they are loaded with prospects and picks and could potentially draft two piece this offseason that might play in the NHL.

Related: Origins of Every NHL Team: Eastern Conference

Nick Foligno Warns About Possible Player Clash With NHL

While he might be referring to himself more than anything, Columbus Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno seemed to warn that if the NHL asks players to return to the game but tells them they can’t see their families in the process, there is going to be a battle.

There has a been a lot of talk about how a return to play will take place, some of the discuss revolving around player accommodations and travel. Foligno addressed some of that talk during an interview with the Winnipeg Sun and said, “If somebody’s going to tell me I can’t see my family, there’s going to be a fight at some point.”

Nick Foligno #71, Columbus Blue Jackets
Nick Foligno and the Blue Jackets must learn to stay on top once they get there. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Foligno has reasons to be concerned about leaving his family for long periods of time. His daughter Milana has dealt with a congenital heart defect since she was born and his son Hudson had a serious case of pneumonia. One of Foligno’s concerns is that players who choose not to return will be looked upon poorly.

He added:

“If you don’t feel safe to return, I think there needs to be some sort of way for those guys not to be vilified. No one’s going to look at you (unfavorably) for not wanting to go back, and I don’t think they should be.”

source -‘NHL’s ‘important step’ toward a return was small compared to what lies ahead’ Scoot Billeck – 05/30/2020

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