NHL Rumors: Oilers, Rangers, Bruins, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news the Edmonton Oilers might be looking to bring back a familiar face, buzz about what will happen with New York Rangers’ veteran goaltender Henrik Lundqvist and what Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara might be thinking about his future.

Oilers Interested in Anton Slepyshev

Bruce McCurdy of the Edmonton Journal took a look at rumors the Edmonton Oilers are heavily considering bringing back former Oiler Anton Slepyshev. McCurdy writes that “Plan A — which a reliable source places at >50% — appears to be trying to find a fit for the player back with the Oilers.”

Anton Slepyshev Oilers
Anton Slepyshev, Edmonton Oilers, Oct. 21, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

This is not the first time the Oilers have been linked to Slepyshev in the rumor mill but this is perhaps the first time such high odds of him returning have been thrown out there.

McCurdy writes:

For Slepyshev, that birthday remains just over a year away, leaving the Oilers one more summer to negotiate with the player just as his KHL contract expires. They also have an intriguing alternative of trading those rights for a pick if he is interested in returning to North America but not to Edmonton, not a bad Plan B for Ken Holland given the dearth of draft choices currently at his disposal.

source – ‘Anton Slepyshev: once and future Oiler?’ – Bruce McCurdy – The Edmonton Journal – 03/14.2020

The buzz is that the Oilers would be considering him for a top-nine role.

Related: 3 Best Trades in Senators History

Lunqdvist Done With the Rangers?

Rick Carpiniello of The Athletic took a look at what might happen between the New York Rangers and Henrik Lundqvist if the NHL regular season is over and ends up getting canceled. For the Rangers, they aren’t a playoff team and that could mean Lundqvist’s time in New York is done.

Henrik Lundqvist New York Rangers
Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

In the Rangers last 19 games, Lundqvist only started once. He only played four in their last 30 games. He’s clearly not in their top-two goaltender plans.

Carpiniello writes:

There is no way the Rangers want to go to training camp with three goaltenders, no way they want to drag this impossible tripod into another season. They didn’t even want it to happen this season, but the Rangers and team president John Davidson and GM Jeff Gorton really had no choice.

source – ‘ If this was it for the 2019-20 Rangers, what does it mean for Henrik Lundqvist?’ – Rick Carpiniello – The Athletic – 03/13/2020

The next logical steps appear to be a buyout, which Carpiniello says “is certainly on the table” because it would provide the Rangers a cap savings ($3 million savings in 2020-21, and $1.5 million in ’21-22), and would make the sure-fire Hall of Famer an unrestricted free agent. Or, a trade option is there if Lundqvist agrees to waive. In that case, the Rangers would eat 50% of Lundqvist’s salary and move him along.

The only way this is not the likely future for Lundqvist is if another team decides that Alexandar Georgiev is worth giving up a first-round pick for. If that’s the case and the Rangers trade the Georgiev, Lundqvist could return as the backup next season.

Related: 2000 NHL Draft: 21 Goalies Selected Before Henrik Lundqvist

Chara Uncertain About Next Season

Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe notes that Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara hasn’t given much thought to whether or not he’ll return next season. With the uncertainty surrounding resumption of the NHL season and the playoff picture being fuzzy at best, this stoppage might affect Chara more than most.

Zdeno Chara Boston Bruins
Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Now 43 years old, his longtime agent, Matt Keator said Chara isn’t thinking about it yet and said that he, Chara and Bruins GM Don Sweeney will sit down at some point “and figure out what’s next.”

Dupont writes:

Provided the salary cap goes up as projected recently — an assumption that may prove folly with the game now on coronavirus lockdown — Sweeney should have the financial space to bring him back.

The question then will be if Chara wants to give it another go. He politely said a lot of things when last asked about it, but he didn’t say yes.

source – ‘Chara has been mum on future’ – Kevin Paul Dupont – Boston Globe – 03/14.2020

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