NHL Rumors: Oilers, Sharks, Blackhawks, Canadiens, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news on the Edmonton Oilers interest in re-signing forwards Riley Sheahan and Tyler Ennis. In San Jose, the Sharks may bring a former player into their coaching ranks, while they make plans for free agency. The Montreal Canadiens might have an offer sheet target in mind and Brent Seabrook provides an update on his injury status.

Oilers Interested in Sheahan and Ennis Extensions

Postmedia’s Jim Matheson reports that the Edmonton Oilers are interested in re-signing center Riley Sheahan. Sheahan spent time with the Florida Panthers and Pittsburgh Penguins, but also with the Detroit Red Wings where GM Ken Holland knew him well. He was a bright spot on the Oilers depth chart this past season. Speculation is that the team would offer him somewhere around the $900K he’s currently being paid.

Riley Sheahan Detroit Red Wings
Riley Sheahan, Detroit Red Wings (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

It might cost more than that to retain him as he often played above his projected spot, spending a fair bit of time on the third line this season. So too, he took a lot of key faceoffs and was a regular on a very good penalty kill. 

Matheson also suggests that there’s interest in re-signing Tyler Ennis, who may be seeking a fair bit more than his $800K salary. Matheson writes about both players:

Don’t count out the Oilers trying to re-sign unrestricted free agent Tyler Ennis because they like his ability to move up and down the lineup, but it would likely be for more than the $915,000 Haas got. Ennis has made close to $30 million in his NHL career, but maybe the 30-year-old will take $1 million to play in his hometown … Holland wants UFA Riley Sheahan back but probably only if he’s paying him as a fourth-line centre, not a third, even if Sheahan held that titular role last season along with the first penalty-kill centre. Third-line centres make $3 million. 

source -‘Oilers taking a flier on a Swedish defenceman who can fly’ – Jim Matheson – Edmonton Sun – 04/29/2020

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Joel Ward to Join Sharks Coaching Staff

Last week, Joel Ward officially retired from the NHL as a player. That said, he’s hoping to rejoin the Sharks organization, this time as part of their coaching staff.

Speaking with reporters including NBC Sports Bay Area’s Brian Witt, Ward indicated that he’s already had brief discussions but serious talks are on hold until this pandemic passes. If he doesn’t join the coaching staff next season, he could land himself a role with player development role, one that could transition him into coaching.

Could Sharks be UFA Buyers?

Speaking of the San Jose Sharks, Brian Witt of NBC Sports Bay Area writes that the Sharks could be a team that benefits from a flat salary cap in 2020-21. While many teams will have only $1 -$3 million in cap space, the Sharks could have between $8 million and $15 million available.

With players like Joe Thornton and Kevin Labanc being affordable re-signings, the Sharks will have room to go free-agent hunting.

Seabrook on Road to Recovery

NBC Sports Chicago’s Scott King spoke with defenseman Brent Seabrook of the Chicago Blackhawks recently. Seabrook mentioned that he hasn’t suffered any setbacks from his three surgeries from earlier this season (both hips and his right shoulder). He’s hopeful to resume playing hockey in the next three to four months. 

Brent Seabrook Blackhawks
Brent Seabrook, Chicago Blackhawks, Nov. 9, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

While that doesn’t mean he’s close to a return, it could mean that he’s not giving up on a return to the NHL. Seabrook is certainly a candidate for a compliance buyout if the NHL chooses to implement them but he would have to be medically cleared first. There was speculation the Blackhawks tried to trade him last season but his injuries and salary would make a trade extremely difficult.

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Anthony Mantha a Canadiens’ Offer-Sheet Target?

TVA Sports reporter Jean-Charles Lajoie suggested that Detroit Red Wings forward Anthony Mantha might be an intriguing offer-sheet target for the Montreal Canadiens. While it doesn’t sound like there is a hint the Canadiens are leaning this way, GM Marc Bergevin did say he wouldn’t shy away from the offer sheet route if there was a target worth going after.

Anthony Mantha Detroit Red Wings
Anthony Mantha, Detroit Red Wings (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Lajoie feels the Canadiens would benefit from having a sniper such as Mantha at right-wing and considering Mantha’s tumultuous relationship with Detroit coach Jeff Blashill, he may be looking to leave Detroit. That is, of course, assuming Blashill is back behind the bench as coach next season.

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