NHL Rumors: Oilers, Avs, Zuccarello, Trouba, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, one media scribe takes a look at the recent d-man buyouts and wonders what that means for the Edmonton Oilers? In other news, the Dallas Stars and Mats Zuccarello are working on something and the Colorado Avalanche have a few items to deal with. Finally, a number of teams are interested in Jacob Trouba.

The Oilers Set to Move a Defenseman?

Jonathan Willis took a good long look at the buyouts that happened on Saturday (Dion Phaneuf and Andrew MacDonald) and then the trades for d-men that have taken place in the last few days and asked, “Will Edmonton be looking for that kind of player?”

Dion Phaneuf #3 of the Los Angeles Kings
LOS ANGELES, CA – MARCH 1: Dion Phaneuf #3 of the Los Angeles Kings (Photo by Juan Ocampo/NHLI via Getty Images)

Admitting that there are ways both players could help the Oilers, Willis says no and suggests instead, the Oilers are primed to move a defenseman in the trade market to free up space to add a forward. Only then might the team look at aging players like Phaneuf and MacDonald.

Willis writes:

The Oilers are well-positioned to take advantage of a market paying premium prices for defenders. Between a bursting-at-the-seams prospect depth chart and a need to move money to upgrade a barren forward corps, it’s probable that Edmonton will deal someone.

source – ‘Willis: How are the Oilers affected by early offseason trades and buyouts to Dion Phaneuf, Andrew MacDonald?’ – The Athletic – Jonathan Willis – 06/15/2019

Willis labels Adam Larsson as a player to watch and if he can be moved for an impact forward, there might be something there. He suggests that while Larsson might not fetch a lot normally, the list of available and potentially available defencemen is so shallow that teams have no choice but to pay more than they’d like for lesser talent.

In other Oilers news, at a gathering for 500 season ticket holders, Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland said he has spoken with and visited Connor McDavid twice in the last 10 days. McDavid is doing well and is expected to ready for the start of training camp.

Related: NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs, Hurricanes, Blue Jackets, More

Mutual Interest Between Zuccarello and Stars

On his 31 Thoughts article, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman notes that there is mutual interest between the Dallas Stars and winger Mats Zuccarello to get a deal done.

Roope Hintz, Mats Zuccarello, Alexander Radulov, Jim Montgomery
Dallas Stars’ coach Jim Montgomery (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Zuccarello only played two regular-season games for the Stars after coming over in the trade from the New York Rangers but when he returned, he was arguably Dallas’ best player in the playoffs. Friedman writes that while negotiations are moving slowly, it is expected a deal will get done.

Related: NHL Rumors: Red Wings, Sharks, Maple Leafs, Oilers, More

Items on the Avs Plate

It appears as though goaltender Semyon Varlamov has played his last game with the Colorado Avalanche. The team is expected to give the tag of No. 1 netminder to Philipp Grubauer. That said, Denver Post’s Mike Chambers writes that the Avs might choose to sign a veteran backup.

Philipp Grubauer
Colorado Avalanche goaltender Philipp Grubauer (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Still with the Avs, A.J. Haefele of BSN Denver reports the team has no plans to buy out anyone this week. With $37 million in cap room, they have the space to sign several key restricted free agents, including forward Mikko Rantanen, J.T. Compher, and Alexander Kerfoot.

Related: NHL Rumors: Bruins, Hurricanes, Oilers, More

Who is Willing to Pay for Jacob Trouba?

According to the New York Post’s Larry Brooks, teams out of the New York area are lining up for a shot at Winnipeg Jets’ defenseman Jacob Trouba.

Jacob Trouba – Winnipeg Jets vs Philadelphia Flyers – November 17, 2016 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Brooks adds that Winnipeg has not given permission to inquiring clubs to speak with Trouba’s agent, Kurt Overhardt, about a long-term contract. Despite that, the Jets are reportedly asking for a first-round pick and two top prospects or two young NHL players, likely signed to low-cost contracts to pry Trouba loose.

If there are that many teams asking, it’s likely that’s about what Trouba will go for.