In today’s NHL rumors rundown, could the Edmonton Oilers have prioritized Jack Campbell as a free agent? One scribe thinks he makes the most sense. Meanwhile, another report suggests the Oilers will be making a pitch for Ville Husso. Which option makes the most sense?
The Tampa Bay Lightning want to get a couple of key free agents signed. Will they make a trade to find room on their salary cap? Finally, are the New York Rangers interested in trading for Pierre-Luc Dubois?
Oilers Leaning Towards Jack Campbell or Ville Husso?
With the news that so little headway has been made between the Toronto Maple Leafs and goaltender Jack Campbell, speculation is that the Edmonton Oilers might be eyeing Campbell in free agency and that he could be their top target. Sportsnet’s Mark Spector said while a guest on Oilers Now with Bob Stauffer that Edmonton has potentially identified Campbell as the best bet.
Spector noted that Holland has a history of not spending much on goalies, but that he’ll go after one if he thinks he can land that person in free agency. With Marc-Andre Fleury, John Gibson, and Semyon Varlamov all ruling out the Oilers, Campbell might be the best bet since the Oilers don’t think $5 million for Ville Husso is the best investment. They’d rather go with someone a bit more proven.
Spector and Stauffer also believe the Oilers may circle back on trying to land Darcy Kuemper out of Colorado because Kuemper won’t get from the Avs what he could get on the open market.
Meanwhile, Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic says that the Oilers are expected to be among the 10 teams that will make a pitch for Ville Husso out of St. Louis. He writes:
Husso is the action guy here because of his age. The Blues are locked in long-term on Jordan Binnington, so all signs point to Husso hitting the UFA market… I believe the Edmonton Oilers will be among nearly 10 teams calling on Husso come July 13, which makes obvious sense.source – ‘LeBrun rumblings: What Anthony Duclair’s injury means for Florida’s pending unrestricted free agents’ – Pierre LeBrun – The Athletic – 06/29/2022
Husso’s agent Todd Diamond says he expects it to be a “robust market” for his client and that he’s in a good spot to take advantage of the free agency market.
Lightning Hope to Re-Sign a Few Key Players
As per Joe Smith of The Athletic, reports coming out of the Tampa Bay Lightning organization are that general manager Julien BriseBois has indicated he’s hopeful he can re-sign Ondrej Palat, Nick Paul, and Jan Rutta. The trio is slated to become UFAs on July 13 and the Lightning don’t exactly have a ton of cap space with which to work from.
To make room, there is some thought that the Lightning might be open to trading Alex Killorn, who has a year remaining on his contract with an annual cap hit of $4.45 million and a 16-team no-trade clause.
Wild Trade Kevin Fiala
I reported on Wednesday that a deal was close that would see Kevin Fiala traded in the near future. It was only hours later that he was sent to the Los Angeles Kings for a first-round pick in 2022 and University of Minnesota captain Brock Faber.
Bill Guerin, GM of the Wild, said that he didn’t see a way to keep Fiala and that he would have had to trade three players to fit his contract in. Guerin wasn’t prepared to do that. Michael Russo of The Athletic reports that when Guerin was asked about trading him to a Western Conference team, his response: “I don’t care.” He added, “(Kevin) had a great year. And we knew we just were not going to be able to do it. We knew that, they knew that, and there’s just no sense in trying to skirt around and try to fit this and fit that and give a lowball deal.”
Rangers Reportedly Interested in Pierre-Luc Dubois
Francois Gagnon of RDS reported on Wednesday that the New York Rangers were in contact with the Winnipeg Jets during the Stanley Cup Final regarding a potential deal to land Pierre-Luc Dubois. He reports the Rangers still have interest in the player. Gagnon writes: “Ongoing negotiations with the Jets on the parameters of a transaction. It’s not done, but Chris Drury is very interested.”
Dubois has been the subject of trade rumors after telling the Jets he was likely going to test the free agency market in 2024. That led to speculation the Jets will try to trade him and recoup something of value for the 24-year-old. He posted 28 goals and 60 points in 81 games this past season and will have teams interested if he is available.
As for the Rangers, they have some key free agents of their own to sign, including pending RFA Kaapo Kakko. Perhaps he becomes part of a trade package going back to the Jets.
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.”