In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news on more interviews happening in New Jersey, the Toronto Maple Leafs could lose a forward to the KHL and the Anaheim Ducks re-signed a newly acquired defenseman. Finally, could the Edmonton Oilers actually get more in return for Jesse Puljujarvi if the NHL holds an early NHL Draft in June?
Devils Interview John Stevens
After already interviewing Gerard Gallant, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reports that the team has interviewed Dallas Stars’ assistant John Stevens.
Stevens was a head coach in the NHL most recently with the Los Angeles Kings, though he lasted only 99 regular-season games with the club. He had also previously been a head coach in Philadelphia, taking the team to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2008.
Related: Worst Toronto Maple Leafs Trades
Maple Leafs Could Lose Pontus Aberg
Pontus Aberg could be headed overseas to the KHL as there are rumors he’s been offered a deal to leave the Toronto Maple Leafs and the NHL. After spending most of last season in the minors, speculation is he’ll take the deal.
The report out of Sweden suggests he’ll sign but there is debate about when he’s able to because the NHL has not ruled on their season yet. Still an asset in the Maple Leafs organization, Toronto could use him if they needed depth during a playoff run.
Ducks Extend Djoos
The Anaheim Ducks have come to terms with defenseman Christian Djoos on a new contract, announcing a one-year extension with the blueliner. CapFriendly reports the new deal will carry a $1 million AAV. The Ducks also confirmed a one-year deal with fellow defenseman Jani Hakanpaa.
After struggling in Washington, Djoos was moved to Anaheim where he played in nine games and recorded three points. He averaged more than 21 minutes per night as he filled in for some injured defenseman. That opportunity was enough to land him another deal.
Related: The 5 Greatest Hockey Players Ever
Oilers Puljujarvi Worth More at Early Draft?
Despite the issues that could be raised from little-to-no trades at a June NHL Entry Draft, some insiders closer to the Edmonton Oilers suggest limited trade options for teams could actually help the Oilers move forward Jesse Puljujarvi.
David Staples of the Edmonton Journal quotes Oilers Now host Bob Stauffer and Sportsnet’s Mark Spector who discussed Puljujarvi’s trade value should the NHL only allow draft picks, prospects, and players outside the league whose rights remain owned by NHL clubs (like Puljujarvi) to be traded.
With veteran players not available — and even if the draft was opened up to moving veteran NHLers at this time, no playoff-bound team would want to trade their veterans — Puljujarvi could suddenly become far more attractive for a team looking to lock down a second or third line winger for the 2022-23 season.source – ‘With early draft, will Edmonton Oilers be in position for windfall return on Jesse Puljujarvi?’ – David Staples – The Edmonton Journal – 05/07/2020
Mark Spector painted a scenario with the Montreal Canadiens that could happen. The Canadiens have 14 picks at this year’s draft and it’s hard to imagine they stockpiled so many to use them all.
“I suppose you could say the rules of supply and demand should have an effect on that trade. Let’s say the Montreal Canadiens, just for fun, they’ve got all these draft picks, depending on what Ken Holland is willing to take for Puljujarvi, their market to spend those draft picks, it’s a thin market. All the roster players that teams need in the playoffs, they’re not trading to the Habs. If Ken Holland has what we call one of the very few NHL ready players who is not in the NHL, you know, a team like Montreal would say, ‘Well, gosh, we can’t trade for anyone else, let’s see if we can make a deal for Puljujarvi and get rid of a couple of these draft picks.’”
Catch up on all the latest NHL Rumors
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.”