In today’s NHL rumor rundown, the Edmonton Oilers were listed among teams agents still believed needed to make a significant move. What would that move be? Toronto Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas said he believes the Leafs don’t have any bad contracts. Does that mean no more deals are coming? And, what if he’s wrong? The Detroit Red Wings want to try out Robby Fabbri in a new but familiar role and will Henrik Lundqvist rejoin the New York Rangers when his time in Washington is over?
The Oilers Still to Make a Significant Move?
Craig Custance of the Athletic conducted a survey among 21 anonymous NHL agents and one of the questions asked was which teams still needed to make a significant move. Boston and Tampa led the voting, but the Edmonton Oilers came in third.
The belief seems to be that with two big stars, if the Oilers don’t get better in a hurry, a player like Connor McDavid will feel the desire to move on. The agent wrote in the survey:
“Edmonton. With the two core players they have, they have to get better faster or they’re going to run into a problem. Buffalo, you could say the same thing. If they don’t get better, how much longer will (Jack) Eichel and (Connor) McDavid want to wait?”
What that significant change would be wasn’t addressed. Was it goaltending? Was it better defense? It’s a bit odd the Oilers got numerous votes but also made the list for having the best offseason on this survey. Not only that, but they are considered a playoff contender with their current roster.
Turris Sought Out the Oilers in Free Agency
In other Oilers news, Kurt Leavins of the Edmonton Journal writes that his sources told him Kyle Turris entered NHL free agency this season with the Oilers on his mind. He had his agent reach out before the Oilers contacted Turris.
In private, I’m told that Turris knows the past season was not his best work but also felt that he was not in the ideal situation to succeed. The opportunity to fill the 3C spot with his 2-way game in Edmonton may be the perfect chance to rebound. At least that’s how he sees it.source – ‘If the NHL is wise, the 2020-21 Edmonton Oilers season will be delayed until COVID can be controlled: 9 Things’ – Kurt Leavins – Edmonton Journal – 11/15/2020
Dubas’ Future Could Rely On His Assessment of Bad Contracts
Luke Fox of Sportsnet wrote in a recent mailbag segment that Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas is under the belief the team is in good shape because they don’t have any bad contracts. More specifically, that there aren’t any albatross deals where big money is going out to a player who isn’t producing.
The GM said at the time:
“We don’t really have any contracts that we look at and say, ‘We need to get rid of this player. This player isn’t delivering on it at all,’ Some may disagree — and that’s fine, and that’s fair — but we’re pretty content with our group.”
The question becomes how quickly he believes he assessed things correctly if the Leafs don’t get out to a good start. Should Dubas not make a move, potentially trading one of the Core Four and suffer another first-round exit, Fox believes that Brendan Shanahan, Kyle Dubas and Sheldon Keefe would only get one more kick at the can in 2021-22.
Red Wings to Try Fabbri at Center
Detroit Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill, said during a recent Q&A that he’s thinking about giving Robby Fabbri a try at the center position this coming season. The Athletic’s Max Bultman quotes Blashill who said:
“I’m intrigued by giving Robby Fabbri an opportunity to play center too. So we’ll see, we’ll see where the best fit is. But the fact he can do it, I think is a real positive to have on your roster.”source – ‘Jeff Blashill Q&A: Where the Red Wings can improve, and impact of new arrivals’ Max Butlman – 11/13/2020
There could be some competition for that second-line center spot but Fabbri’s 14 goals and 31 points in 52 games will earn him a good look.
Lundqvist to Rejoin the Rangers Down the Road?
Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist hinted during an interview with Johan Rylander of the Göteborgs-Posten that he and the Rangers organization have talked about working together in the future, once the next chapter in his hockey career is over.
Saying he didn’t want to leave the team but that everyone should understand he had to since he wasn’t done playing, he will always be connected to the organization. He said, “This is a chapter, when I go and test this. But I’ll be a part of Rangers for the rest of my life.” He added, “In one way or another. Both I and they have been clear about that. That’s how it will be.”
h/t to Forever Blueshirts for the English translation.
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Jim Parsons is a freelance writer who covers the Edmonton Oilers and news and rumors posts here at The Hockey Writers.
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