NHL Rumors: Oilers, Maple Leafs, Coyotes, Bruins, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, the Edmonton Oilers have told one of their top defensive prospects to stay where he is and not join the team or its AHL club next season. The Toronto Maple Leafs are front-runners to land Alexander Barabanov and the Arizona Coyotes have begun the process of talking to Taylor Hall about an extension. In Washington, Braden Holtby may struggle to get what he’s worth and in Boston, Torey Krug may have no choice but to leave.

Oilers Tell Broberg to Stay in Sweden

According to Postmedia’s Jim Matheson, the Edmonton Oilers have informed defense prospect Philip Broberg that instead of having him come to North America, they would prefer him to remain in Sweden for another year. Broberg was the Oilers’ eighth-overall pick in the 2019 NHL draft and struggle a bit offensively.

Edmonton Oilers Wayne Gretzky Philip Broberg Ken Holland
Edmonton Oilers Wayne Gretzky, Philip Broberg and Ken Holland (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)

The idea behind the decision to keep him in a familiar league where he can work on getting more minutes and develop his offensive skills. The Oilers still have Evan Bouchard, and Dmitri Samorukov in their defensive pipeline, so there’s not really a rush to move Broberg over.

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Maple Leafs to Land Barabanov?

There is a report out of Russia that the Toronto Maple Leafs are expected to sign KHL free agent winger Alexander Barabanov. Barabanov and Ilya Mikheyev share an agent and Barabanov is also a teammate of Alexei Melnichuk.

Otto Leskinen Finland Canadiens
Finland’s Otto Leskinen pulls away from Russia’s Alexander Barabanov. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP /Dmitri Lovetsky)

A recent report from Sport-Express’ overseas reporter Igor Eronko also suggests the Maple Leafs are the leading candidate to sign the 25-year-old, but that there are three teams he’s considering, which also includes the Arizona Coyotes. TSN’s Darren Dreger adds that nothing is confirmed and said Barabanov may not elect to join the NHL next season. Dreger reports that Barabanov and his agent Dan Milstein will begin interviewing teams next week.

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Coyotes GM Talking With Taylor Hall‘s Agent

Craig Morgan of The Athletic noted during a recent Q&A that Arizona Coyotes GM John Chayka has begun the process of talking to Taylor Hall’s people about a possible extension with the Coyotes. Chayka says he’s spending a lot of his time these days getting ready for free agency.

Taylor Hall Arizona Coyotes
Taylor Hall, Arizona Coyotes (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Chayka said that he’s had some talks with the agent of pending unrestricted free agent Taylor Hall.

“Obviously, our intent was always to get through the season and not having any conflict with Taylor’s play. This leaves us in a bit of a limbo where it’s obviously not technically the end of the season, but it also wouldn’t conflict with his play to talk. All I would say right now is that both sides are gathering information and having some discussions. Where that goes I’m not entirely sure today. As we talk, we’ll see where things go.”

source – ‘Neutral Zone: A wide-ranging Q&A with Coyotes GM John Chayka’ Craig Morgan – The Athletic – 03/28/2020

Chayka says that they haven’t spoken with other pending free agents, just Hall’s people.

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Holtby to Be Casualty of Bobrovsky Signing?

Emily Sadler of Sportsnet took a look at a number of pending unrestricted free agents and one not of interest was her take on what might happen with goaltender Braden Holtby.

Braden Holtby Washington Capitals
Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

His career-low numbers and the emergence of Ilya Samsonov means that the Washington Capitals may elect not to re-sign the veteran netminder, and that while in most other summers Holtby would get a big contract from another team, the uncertainty of the salary cap and the disaster that is Sergei Bobrovsky’s recent deal might have teams concerned. Holtby will have a hard time getting the kind of money he’ll want on an extension this off-season.

Sadler also took a closer look at the Boston Bruins’ Torey Krug. Noting the Bruins will likely have to shed salary, Sadler believes they’ll be hard-pressed to re-sign the defenseman. There’s speculation the Michigan native might be willing to return home and join the Detroit Red Wings.

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