In today’s NHL rumors rundown, a Tyson Barrie return to the Edmonton Oilers isn’t completely out of the question and one scribe talks the situation that could see the defenseman back with the team. Meanwhile, a report out of Minnesota notes the Wild have been in discussions with the Buffalo Sabres about Jack Eichel. What’s next for the New York Islanders after a heartfelt loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 7 of their playoff series. Finally, what’s the latest on the Matthew Tkachuk rumors out of Calgary?
Barrie Might Still Consider Oilers
According to Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic, if the Oilers offer up an extension that isn’t just one year and includes a decent raise over the one-year $3.75 million deal he took last offseason, the defenseman might be inclined to take it. Noting that Barrie could get a million more from a team like Seattle, there are “consistent concerns over his defensive game” and the financial bonanza the blueliner was hoping for from the free agency marketplace might not be as big a bonanza as he’d hoped.
“If the Oilers are willing to do a three-year deal worth between $4.5 million and $5 million a season, and I’m not saying they are, but let’s say they offer that: If I’m Barrie, I sign it. Sure, there could be another million a year elsewhere, and that’s something, but the “fit” is best in Edmonton. Just my two cents.”source – ‘LeBrun: Which defencemen could change addresses, or stay put, this upcoming offseason?’ – Pierre LeBrun – The Athletic – 06/23/2021
The question for the Oilers is whether or not they want Barrie back at anything over a certain dollar figure. Allan Mitchell projects defenseman Evan Bouchard to be extremely productive if he plays a full season and there might be concern in Edmonton that re-signing Barrie blocks Bouchard’s NHL progression. Mitchell writes:
“If he gets 15-plus minutes a night and plays 82 games next season, a reasonable estimate of his point total is 35 points. If he gets more playing time, especially on the power play, we could see Bouchard push past 40 points in his first full NHL season.”source – ‘Lowetide: Why Oilers defenceman Evan Bouchard is poised to exceed expectations’- Allan Mitchell – The Athletic – 06/25/2021
Wild in on Jack Eichel
The Minnesota Wild have apparently have had initial trade talks with the Sabres regarding Eichel, as per The Athletic’s Michael Russo. Minnesota enters the offseason with $22-million in projected cap space, per CapFriendly, but in addition to Joel Eriksson Ek needing a new contract, Kirill Kaprizov and Kevin Fiala are RFAs as well.
It’s believed Buffalo is looking for all futures right now.
If that’s the case, a trade would have to start with Rossi and Boldy, and probably include other prospects or multiple first-round picks. Besides the fact that it’s hard to believe that Guerin would mortgage the future and blow a hole through the Wild’s prospect pool, the Wild literally can’t afford to pull off an all-futures trade for Eichel.source – ‘Kirill Kaprizov and the Wild’s search for a center: What we’re hearing about Minnesota’s trade targets and movable assets’ – Michael Russo – The Athletic – 06/25/2021
What’s Next for the Islanders?
Emily Kaplan of ESPN took a look at offseason plans for the Islanders after being eliminated from postseason contention. She starts by noting that the Seattle Kraken might grab defenseman Nick Leddy in the expansion draft. If not Leddy, “2016 first-round pick Kieffer Bellows, who has to break through to the regular lineup, and veteran Matt Martin, a vital member of the identity fourth line,” could be targets. The Islanders will need to decide if they simply let Seattle take someone, or if the team tries to make a side deal.
From there, it will be about smart deals with RFAs who are due for new contracts: forward Anthony Beauvillier, defenseman Adam Pelech and goaltender Ilya Sorokin. Pelech could go from $1.6 million annually to something in the $5 million range. Beauvillier is somewhere in the $3 million to $4 million range annually.
Finally, while the team would like to bring back all of their veterans, it’s going to be difficult to get all of Andy Greene, Kyle Palmieri, Travis Zajac and Casey Cizikas signed. They might have to let someone leave.
Latest on Matthew Tkachuk
Sportsnet Insider Chris Johnston was on Sportsnet 650 and discussed the recent rumors surrounding Tkachuk. He joined the list of possible trade pieces coming out of the Flames organization this offseason; a list that already included Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan.
“I don’t know that he’s asked for a trade, in fact I don’t think that’s the case, but if this isn’t an off-season where they move one or both of Monahan and Gaudreau maybe they have to go there. I do think there’s fundamental shifts going to happen in that organization and Tkachuk signed a shorter term second contract, so there’s a financial decision pending on him and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to connect all the dots and suggest perhaps he’ll play somewhere else.
Johnson did reiterate, “I don’t get the sense they’re shopping him or he’s demanded a trade, but almost nobody would be off the table at this point for that organization as they try to figure out a new way forward.”
Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”