NHL Rumors: Lundqvist, Panarin, Canucks, Oilers, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is a potential change in the future of Henrik Lundqvist, the Rangers may welcome back an old executive, the Vancouver Canucks are going to try and dump a couple of forwards, the Edmonton Oilers need a goalie and more.

Henrik Lundqvist Leaving Rangers?

Jon Lane of NHL.com reports that New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist told Swedish paper Expressen, “I don’t know if I’ll stay with the Rangers my entire career.” This will come as a huge shock to most people who assumed there was no way Lundqvist would leave the only NHL team he’s ever known.

Henrik Lundqvist (Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports)

Lundqvist has two seasons remaining on a seven-year contract and while he said, it has always been his goal to stay with the Rangers, he added, “… but once you get up there in age you never know. I know what I want, but if the club has other ideas I know I’ll have to listen. You can’t just do your own thing.”

Saying that his focus on the World Championships, he admitted, “Sometimes the dream might not work out in the end … we’ll see what happens.”

It is not being assumed any change would happen this summer and there haven’t been rumors suggesting the Rangers are actively trying to move him.

Related: NHL Rumors: Niemi, Pouliot, Blue Jackets, Stars, More

John Davidson Leaving Columbus?

Larry Brooks of the NY Post writes that it appears John Davidson may exercise his out clause with the Columbus Blue Jackets and potentially return to the New York Rangers.

Part of the appeal for the Rangers to welcome Davidson back is the likelihood of a relationship with Blue Jackets pending UFA forward Artemi Panarin. The Rangers are rumored to be interested and need every little advantage they can get over the Florida Panthers, New York Islanders and Chicago Blackhawks, who are all rumored to be interested in Panarin’s services.

Related: NHL Rumors: Penguins, Panthers, Oilers, More

Canucks to Move a Couple of Forwards

After we wrote yesterday that the Vancouver Canucks have told Derrick Pouliot he will not be brought back thanks to a logjam on defense, Iain MacIntyre of Sportsnet reports the Vancouver Canucks plan to be aggressive in moving one of their 11 forwards under contract. This is because they want to improve their scoring and because they have five RFAs who are expected to get qualifying offers.

Brandon Sutter
Brandon Sutter (Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports)

Of the candidates to be moved, Ryan Spooner could be bought out, Nikolay Goldobin, Brandon Sutter and Markus Granlund could be traded and the Canucks can only hope a team has interest in Loui Eriksson if the team retains some salary.

Related: NHL Rumors: Canadiens, Oilers, Penguins, More

Where Will Oilers Find Goaltending Help?

During an interview with TSN 1260 (audio link), new Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland indicated he’s likely to use the free agent market to find a backup goaltender (or Plan B) for new but unproven starter Mikko Koskinen.

Holland said:

“Many teams have two goalies now. Ideally I’d like a goalie who could play 30-35 games and they challenge and push each other. Ideally I’d like one who has pro experience. I will talk to teams, but right now we likely will find one in free agency.”

While the Oilers won’t have much money to spend, the goaltending market isn’t typically one that a GM can’t pluck a winner from for cheap. For the Oilers, players like Petr Mrazek, Curtis McElhinney, Brian Elliott, Mike Smith, and Anders Nilsson all fit the bill of what they might be looking for.

Related: NHL Rumors: Holland, Smith-Pelly, Avs, Sabres, More

Kovalchuk Ready to Play Under McLellan

Speaking with reporters including Igor Eronko of Sport-Express, Ilya Kovalchuk explained that he is still motivated to play for the Los Angeles Kings and has spoken with a number players who spent time under new LA Kings head coach Todd McLellan.

Los Angeles Kings left wing Ilya Kovalchuk
Los Angeles Kings left wing Ilya Kovalchuk (Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)

Kovalchuk has two years remaining on the $18.75 million deal he signed last summer.