NHL Rumors: Oilers, Stars, Senators, Sabres and Hall, More

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, there’s an update on what Taylor Hall is thinking about doing when it comes to his no-move clause and waiving it for the Buffalo Sabres. Meanwhile, the Dallas Stars aren’t ready to be sellers yet, and the Columbus Blue Jackets have some decisions to make when it comes to Nick Foligno and Seth Jones. Finally, the Edmonton Oilers are set to start talking contract with a couple of pending free agent defensemen and how busy will things be for the Ottawa Senators?

Oilers to Talk Contract with Larsson, Barrie

TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that Oilers GM Ken Holland plans to have preliminary contract talks with Adam Larsson and Tyson Barrie‘s camps about potential contract extensions. This is in addition to talks between the Oilers and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins that are ongoing.

Edmonton Oilers Adam Larsson
Edmonton Oilers’ Adam Larsson (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson)

Dreger called these early talks that, if they bleed into the offseason, is completely acceptable to the Oilers. He notes “the priority is on the playoffs for the Oilers.”

Hall Considering Options

Dreger also reports Taylor Hall is currently considering all his options, which include signing a new contract with the Sabres or allowing them to trade him. The 29-year-old left-winger is seeking stability somewhere but the Sabres reportedly are concerned about a long-term deal considering the uncertain direction their franchise is going.

If made available, Hall will generate interest among playoff contenders. Sportsnet’s Mike Johnston believes the Toronto Maple Leafs, Colorado Avalanche, New York Islanders, Florida Panthers and Boston Bruins could be potential destinations. Realistically, some of these teams are not really options for salary cap reasons.

Stars Trying to Make Playoffs

Frank Seravalli reports the Stars are not officially sellers and that general manager Jim Nill remains focused on his club reaching the playoffs. Because the team has a number of games in hand and the returns of center Tyler Seguin and goalie Ben Bishop could give the club a boost, it’s too early to determine what the team will be (buyers or sellers) prior to April 12th.

Dallas Stars Jim Nill 2019 NHL Draft
Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill, 2019 NHL Draft (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

The club could become buyers but if they drop out of the playoff race expect there to be talk about the availability of pending UFAs like Jamie Oleksiak and Andrew Cogliano.

Senators Could Have Quiet Trade Deadline

According to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, Pierre Dorion of the Senators expects to be patient but work the phones up to the deadline. Even though the team has nine prospective unrestrictive free agents, things may be relatively quiet for the Senators. Ottawa has a few more forwards but there are multiple moving parts and many teams they could deal with are salary in for salary out.

Garrioch writes:

While the Senators have some unrestricted free agents that may interest playoff contenders, the sense around the league is there may not be many deals at this trade deadline because teams are being very careful about spending during the shortened 56-game regular season.

source -‘GARRIOCH: Pierre Dorion has been working the phones but it could be a quiet deadline for the Senators’ – Bruce Garrioch Ottawa Sun – 03/16/2021

Mike Reilly may be the most expendable and attractive option while Christian Wolanin could be another target because if he does not play enough games, he transitions to an unrestricted free agent.

Blue Jackets Could Move Foligno, Seth Jones Talk

Pierre LeBrun reports the Blue Jackets are fighting for a playoff spot and chasing the Blackhawks in the Central. While they aren’t prepared to sell yet, teams are calling about captain Nick Foligno. The forward has a 10-team no-trade list but the Jackets hope to keep him on board for a playoff run. If they decide to move him, LeBrun said the New York Islanders and Toronto Maple Leafs are the teams to watch.

Seth Jones Columbus Blue Jackets
Seth Jones, Columbus Blue Jackets (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Aaron Portzline of The Athletic notes that As of July 1, the Blue Jackets can sign defenseman Seth Jones to a long-term contract extension. Jones has said he is open to a new deal and it is believed Jarmo Kekalainen will have to throw the checkbook at him and that still may not be enough.

Portzline writes:

Considering how much leverage the 26-year-old Jones has, they’ll likely need to blow him away on July 1 with an offer that makes him among the highest-paid defensemen in the league. The emphasis should be on flattery, not just fairness… Eight years, $80 million? $88 million? With an offer in that neighborhood, the Blue Jackets will know right away how serious Jones is about staying in Columbus.

source – ‘Blue Jackets Sunday Gathering: Re-signing Seth Jones already looms large, plus more notes’ Aaron Portzline – The Athletic – 03/14/2021

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