NHL Rumors: Oilers, Maple Leafs, Flyers, Predators, Kraken, More

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, it’s been a big day for signing news as the Toronto Maple Leafs have inked forward Wayne Simmonds to a two -year extension, while the Edmonton Oilers are set to announce an eight-year deal with forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. The Nashville Predators might be shopping Viktor Arvidsson, while the Philadelphia Flyers are still rumored to be interested in Seth Jones. Finally, the Seattle Kraken might be open to drafting exposed, but expensive defensemen, then flipping them. Who might take advantage of that decision?

Maple Leafs and Simmonds Get Deal Done

Word started to spread 24 hours earlier that the Maple Leafs and Simmonds were getting close on an extension. The belief was that he might sign a one-year deal for just under $1 million. The organization announced on Tuesday that the extension was for two seasons and worth $900K.

This number represents a significant decrease from last year’s one-year total and most fans in Toronto seem to be happy with the result, even if some are questioning the second year for player that didn’t produce much near the end of the season. Simmonds had an up and down 2020-21 campaign, finishing with seven goals and nine points. He missed a chunk of the year with an injury and was on a hot streak before leaving the lineup seemed to derail his season.

Still, he’s a veteran forward who is strong in the locker room and if worse comes to worse, his cap hit is low enough that it could be buried in the minor leagues if necessary. The terms of any clauses on his two-year contract have not been finalized, but it’s unlikely the Maple Leafs offered any kind of trade protection on the first year to avoid complications with the NHL Expansion Draft.

Oilers and Nugent-Hopkins to Announce 8-Yr Extension

As per a number of reports, but a story first broken by Ryan Rishaug of TSN, the Oilers and Nugent-Hopkins are close to finalizing an eight-year extension worth $41 million. The deal will see Nugent-Hopkins get a no-move clause as part of the extension and he’ll be an Oiler until the age of 36.

Rishaug added: “There most likely would have been a higher dollar figure on the open market, but remaining an Oilers was an absolute priority for RNH who can now complete 18 years with the club by the end of this deal.”

As expected, there is some early criticism by some when it comes to the eight years. That said, this was a player who was first rumored to get a raise on his $6 million per season deal and early on in the process last season, some had speculated he might get as much as $7 million per season. Just over $5 million allows the Oilers to add other pieces, but keep an important part of their core in tact moving forward.

This will affect the team’s plans during the expansion draft. It virtually guarantees the club will go the 7-3-1 route to protect more forwards.

Related: Oilers Should Target Ekman-Larsson in Offseason Trade

Flyers Still in on Seth Jones

As per Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, during his latest 31 Thoughts report, he noted he’s still hearing a lot about the Philadelphia Flyers having an interest in Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones. They’ll have to shed salary to squeeze in his $5.4 million cap hit for next season but they do pieces that can be used in any trade.

Friedman writes: “Still hearing a lot of Philadelphia and Jones. The Flyers are definitely working at it.”

Arvidsson Available out of Nashville?

Friedman also heard Nashville Predators winger Viktor Arvidsson could be put on the trade block this summer. The forward has three years remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $4.25 million. He’s struggled with injuries a bit recently in his career, but he had 25 points in 50 games this season and isn’t too far removed from a couple of back-to-back 60-plus point seasons.

Viktor Arvidsson Nashville Predators
Viktor Arvidsson, Nashville Predators (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

At just 28 years old, he certainly will attract some interest around the league if he becomes officially available.

Kraken to Flip Expansion Picks?

Friedman also writes that trades haven’t come as frequently as they otherwise might because of the thought the Seattle Kraken could get creative with some the players they draft. For example, the Minnesota Wild might have little choice but to leave Matt Dumba exposed, while the Calgary Flames might not protect Mark Giordano.

If Seattle takes either (or both) and doesn’t really want to keep them, they could flip those selections to a team like the Edmonton Oilers and offer GM Ken Holland an opportunity to pick up a veteran d-man while they retain some of the salary on that deal. Essentially, the Oilers could trade for a $6 million Dumba, but only pay $4 million for the next three seasons.

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