NHL Rumors: Oilers, Maple Leafs, Simmonds, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news on the Edmonton Oilers and some possible interest in free agent forward Brett Connolly, the Toronto Maple Leafs and offers for Mitch Marner, how many teams want in on Wayne Simmonds and the goaltending situation in Carolina.

Oilers Interested in Connolly?

According to Edmonton Oilers correspondent for TSN, Ryan Rishaug the Oilers could be active in free agency. They have a lot of team needs –including finding middle six wingers that have some offense to their game, a third line center, and a backup goalie.

One name he mentioned and seems to be getting some love from other Oilers media is Washington Capitals pending UFA Brett Connolly.

Brett Connolly Washington Capitals
Brett Connolly, Washington Capitals (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Rishaug thinks Connolly would make a lot of sense for the Oilers, calling him experienced, a Cup winner and mentioning that he’s a Western-Canadian kid who has scored 52 goals the past three seasons. Thinks he’d be a good scoring winger for either Connor McDavid or Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

Other media who cover the Oilers also believe he’d be a fit and see him signing somewhere around the $3 million per season mark.

Teams Calling About Nurse?

Sticking with the Oilers, Frank Seravalli said on Friday on TSN 1260 that the Edmonton Oilers are getting a lot of calls on defenseman Darnell Nurse, but adds that Edmonton “isn’t wild about that.”

Oilers Adding International Free Agent?

Swiss hockey site He Shoots He Scores reports that a deal is imminent between NLA star Gaetan Haas and the Oilers. Haas’ agent is saying an offer has been submitted and will be signed.

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Haas, 27, will join the Oilers after recording 30 goals and 79 points in 97 games overall for SC Bern. He’s described as a two-way center who can skate well. He’s another option for the Oilers along with Swedish forward Joakim Nygard, who the Oilers also signed right after Holland took over.

Related: NHL Rumors: Hurricanes, Maple Leafs, Panarin, More

3 Teams Known to Be in on Marner

Darren Dreger said on TSN 1050 radio that there are three teams that will meet with Mitch Marner for sure, possibly four. He added that both an agent and an NHL executive told him that an offer sheet from at least one of those teams would be “in the teens,” $13-14 million for five years.

Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner
Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)

These updates are leading to speculation that, for the first time, the Maple Leafs might simply consider taking the offer and the picks, getting the cap space they need and signing someone else in free agency.

Elliotte Friedman has already said that other teams are terrified with what the Maple Leafs may do with the extra salary cap space, draft picks, and a mission of vengeance if a team scoops Marner in this way.

Related: NHL Rumors: Capitals, Oilers, Golden Knights, More

Dozen Teams in on Wayne Simmonds

As Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic reports in his newest column, there are as many as a dozen teams interested in free agent forward Wayne Simmonds. Among them are the Minnesota Wild and Montreal Canadiens.

Nashville Predators Wayne Simmonds
Nashville Predators right wing Wayne Simmonds (David Berding-USA TODAY Sports)

LeBrun says these teams have reached out to Simmonds agent Eustace King, knowing that Simmonds isn’t planning on doing in-person meetings with every team, but chatting via phone.

LeBrun writes:

Things didn’t work out for Simmonds in Nashville after the trade deadline but I remain high on this guy. He is a high character person that when healthy can give you that rare combo of physicality and offensive production… He’s probably going to want between a three- to five-year deal.

source -‘LeBrun Notebook: Will this star-studded RFA class finally produce an offer sheet?’ Pierre LeBrun – The Athletic – 05/25/2019

Hurricanes Goaltending Situation

Chip Alexander of The News & Observer reports Carolina Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell continues talks with goaltenders Petr Mrazek and Curtis McElhinney.

Carolina Hurricanes Petr Mrazek Justin Williams
Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Petr Mrazek and right wing Justin Williams (James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports)

Both are unrestricted free agents on July 1 and both could leave the organization which means the Hurricanes could have to look for all new netminders over the summer.

Both are unrestricted free agents on July 1 and both could leave the organization which means the Hurricanes could have to look for all new netminders over the summer.

Waddell said talks continue with both but noted:

“It has been daily conversations with Mrazek and not so much with Curtis. I’m still optimistic about signing a No. 1 goalie and Petr certainly is in the mix as we speak,” 

source – ‘Canes still have questions to answer on Mrazek, McElhinney, Aho, Williams’ – The News and Observer – Chip Alexander – 06/25/2019