In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is speculation on what kind of contract the Edmonton Oilers will sign with Andreas Athanasiou. In St. Louis, there are questions about who the Blues will move to free up space for Alex Pietrangelo. In New Jersey, the Devils tried to bring in a coach but were shut down, and the NHL released a memo providing more details on Phase 2.
Oilers Likely Won’t Sign Athanasiou Before Play Resumes
According to Bruce McCurdy of the Edmonton Journal, the Edmonton Oilers and Andreas Athanasiou’s camp might have a plan for future contract negotiations. One thing seems clear, he doesn’t believe those talks will happen before the NHL returns to play.
McCurdy writes that there are many expiring contracts on the Oilers that will need addressing and many of them may be signed before play resumes. That said:
I doubt that Andreas Athanasiou will be one of them, as both player and club turn their attention to the impending playoffs to establish his value. Which makes the following “best guess” a tad premature.
A qualifying offer of a flat $3.0 million is required to keep the player, and that seems a reasonable starting point as a valuation of the former 30-goal scorer.source – ‘New Edmonton Oilers speedster Andreas Athanasiou may face delicate contract talks’ – Bruce McCurdy – Edmonton Journal – 05/25/2020
McCurdy adds that he doesn’t expect a dramatic negotiation here, just a quiet extension for one season at similar cap hit.
Blues to Move Jake Allen?
Tom Timmermann of St. Louis Blues Dispatch feels trading Jake Allen is a real possibility for the St. Louis Blues. As the team finds ways to make space for their captain, both Allen and Jaden Schwartz are players to watch.
Trading Allen could be the easiest way to get the cap space needed to re-sign Pietrangelo. Allen’s play has likely driven up his value to where other teams would be interested. And Husso seems like he’s ready to go, though the team really wishes he got some in-season NHL experience.source – ‘Quick Hits: Timmermann on the Blues’ – Tom Timmermann – 05/20/2020
As for Schwartz, if the Blues decide to move him, trading him early and before he gets his last full season in before his contract expires could improve his trade value.
Devils Had Eye on Coach
Considering the NHL coaches available, that’s an interesting development.
NHL Phase 2 Memo Released
The NHL has released a memo to all teams and players, noting that their plans are to move to “Phase 2” of their return-to-play plan at some point in early June. This will include small informal workouts (six players at a time), but not include coaches or support staff.
As part of the Phase 2 plans, all players will be tested for COVID-19 two days before starting the workouts, and will then be tested twice a week thereafter. According to Bruce Garrioch of Postmedia, players returning from other countries will need to go through a 14-day quarantine
The NHL has left it open for the dates to change. As the NHL continues to monitor respective markets the overall timing of Phase 2 might be adjusted.
NHL Draft Lottery Date
Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports is reporting that he’s hearing June 26 is the date that we should have the NHL Lottery Draft. He added that he has not heard reports on any specific dates for the actual NHL Draft yet.
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Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”