NHL Rumors: Oilers, Flyers, Ducks, KHL Contracts, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news out of Edmonton that the city’s Mayor is behind the push to see the city officially approved to host NHL games. Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, there is more speculation that defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere might be on the move. In Anaheim, Ryan Miller isn’t sure about his future, and former first-overall NHL pick Nail Yakupov is having a bad time in the KHL.

Edmonton Mayor Behind Bid to Host NHL Games

The city of Edmonton has been working hard trying to be recognized as a viable option for NHL games should the league decided to return to play and choose a few host cites for upcoming games. It appears the Oilers have one additional important backer when it comes to their bid.

Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson is fully behind the idea and tweeted:

I’m thrilled to lend my support for the #Oilers Entertainment Group (OEG) bid to be a host/hub city for the @NHL’s resumption of play for the 2019-20 season. We hope the NHL will consider bringing back hockey to one of Canada’s great hockey cities!

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney called Edmonton the “safest place in the continent” to host the NHL playoffs due to the city’s low number of COVID-19 cases, according to Global News’ Scott Johnston.

As it now, the NHL is looking at “probably eight or nine different places” that can accommodate “a dozen or so teams in one location” as it explores options for resuming the season.

In other Oilers-related news, former first-overall pick Nail Yakupov has run into contract issues over in the KHL. After not agreeing to renegotiate his contract with SKA he was traded to Vityaz. Now, Vityaz wants him to renegotiate as well. Should he refuse to, the organization has said they too will trade him or terminate his contract if they don’t reach a deal.

Not all of this is on Yakupov as a new, stricter salary cap in the KHL is forcing clubs to renegotiate contracts with a number of players.

Related: Filip Forsberg Trade Revisited

Flyers to Move Gostisbehere?

NBC Sports Philadelphia scribe Jordan Hall reports Shayne Gostisbehere remains the subject of frequent trade speculation in Philadephia. Despite a drop in production, Gostisbehere, 27, may never provide better value in trade for the Flyers and they are trying to maximize their return as his offensive skills and an attractive contract could be key for other clubs.

Shayne Gostisbehere Philadelphia Flyers
Shayne Gostisbehere, Philadelphia Flyers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

That the Flyers have looked into re-signing Justin Braun make a Gostisbehere trade even more likely. The defenseman lacks trade protection so it will simply be a matter of finding a team that believes he can turn things around in a new location.

Ryan Miller’s Future Uncertain

According to NHL.com, Ryan Miller of the Anaheim Ducks isn’t sure if he’ll play next season. The veteran goaltender will be 40-years old in July and while he’d like to keep playing and catch Dominik Hasek for wins, he’s not sure his desire to stay in California or the changes that are taking place with the pandemic will make it possible to sign an extension.

Ryan Miller Anaheim Ducks
Ryan Miller, Anaheim Ducks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

“I fell off that pace a little while ago, and I’ve just been trying to chip away at it, becoming a backup in Anaheim,” he said in the interview. He adde that he was:

“Still having fun, still enjoying going to the rink, and still very competitive. This whole situation we’re all going through is definitely a curveball. … I would love to have a chance to put the gear on and give it another chance, but like everybody else we’ll have to wait and see how it’s going to play out.”

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