In today’s NHL rumors rundown, what are the Edmonton Oilers thinking when it comes to the final week before the NHL Trade Deadline? Meanwhile, what is the chance Auston Matthews is suspended for his crosscheck to Rasmus Dahlin? The Winnipeg Jets will likely try and trade two pending UFAs and the New York Rangers could wait to make their big move in the offseason. Finally, will the Carolina Hurricanes be active in trade talks before March 21?
Oilers’ Deadline Plans
TSN’s Ryan Rishaug offered a lengthy update on what the Oilers might have on the go heading into the NHL Trade Deadline. He noted that their most likely addition will be a right-shot defenseman and sourced Darren Dreger who has the Oilers might be interested in either Carson Soucy out of Seattle or Justin Braun out of Philadelphia. Both play strong minutes for their respective organizations and said the Oilers are looking for depth, not a top-two. He adds:
“… upgrade to their every night 3rd LSD is a possibility, but they have a pile of lefties already – (William Laggesson, Markus Niemelainen, Philip Broberg, Kris Russel, Slater Koekkoek). Meanwhile, on the right, they’re an injury away from playing someone on their off side…”
He also said the Oilers will keep a keen eye on the goaltending market, and if a clear upgrade is available and they can make the money work, they’ll pull the trigger on a deal. Failing that, they’ll be working out which two of their three goalies (Mikko Koskinen, Stuart Skinner, or Mike Smith) give them the best chance. He adds, “If Mike Smith’s game does not pick up, I’d expect to see three goalies on the roster at some point soon – Koskinen cannot be overplayed and Skinner would need to get a look.”
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Rishaugh doesn’t see much being added up front because the team will give serious consideration to Dylan Holloway. Evander Kane is being viewed as their deadline deal acquisition at forward.
Matthews Could Face Suspension
After a nasty crosscheck to the neck of Rasmus Dahlin, Auston Matthews could be looking at a suspension as he’s been scheduled for a hearing today with the NHL Department of Player Safety. Matthews has no prior history of suspension and when asked about the play said he felt like his cross-check rolled up Rasmus Dahlin’s shoulder before catching him in the neck/head area.
Jonathan Drouin was fined $5,000 for what many deem was a much more dangerous crosscheck on Tyler Seguin earlier this season, so there’s some history to suggest Matthews doesn’t actually have to sit any games.
** Update: Matthews received a two-game suspension from the NHL DoPS.
Copp and Stastny Moving On from Jets?
As per Ken Wiebe of Sportsnet, it doesn’t appear that Winnipeg Jets’ pending UFA forwards Andrew Copp and Paul Stastny will be back with the team next season. He’s reporting that neither is going to get a contract extension offer.
Depending on how serious Andrew Copp’s injury is, both players could be moved by the trade deadline and Darren Dreger notes, “The Winnipeg Jets hoping for the best as Andrew Copp is evaluated by Jets doctors today. As trade bait or “own rental” Copp is an important piece in discussions this week.” He notes that the Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Rangers, and Edmonton Oilers have been watching the Jets closely of late.
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Wiebe also adds, “The latest update on Cole Perfetti (suspected shoulder injury) was that his prospective return is not imminent, so that means the Jets would likely try and fill the middle-six spot by acquiring a forward via trade.”
Could Rangers Will Until Offseason To Make Big Play?
Larry Brooks of the New York Post suggests Rangers general manager Chris Drury should hang onto his trade chips until the offseason, especially if pending UFA center Ryan Strome isn’t signed to a contract extension. Drury will need to replace Strome and could target one of Winnipeg Jets’ Mark Scheifele or Vancouver Canucks’ Bo Horvat.
Drury needs to bide his time and keep his best tradable assets for a rainy day. And by the way, if Scheifele or Horvat were available now, it would be worth a slight overpay to keep them off an expanded summer market and get something done before the deadline.
Hurricanes Won’t Be Busy at Deadline
Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff thinks Don Waddell of the Carolina Hurricanes will be in a lot of conversations but doesn’t think he’ll do much at the trade deadline this season. Saying there’s not an obvious name the Hurricanes would willingly move off of the roster to make cap room for someone else, this version of the team is the one that will likely make a run.
Seravalli does believe Vincent Trochek will likely leave the team in the offseason and Jesperi Kotkaniemi will fill his role.