In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Edmonton Oilers are moving one of their defensemen who is playing overseas. Meanwhile, newly-acquired forward Brandon Saad is interested in signing an extension with the Colorado Avalanche, but are the Avs interested in re-signing him? In Toronto, what’s the one trade the Maple Leafs might still be on the lookout for? Finally, have the Boston Bruins really closed the door on an Oliver Ekman-Larsson trade? If not, what would have to happen first?
Oilers Reassign William Lagesson
Oilers defenseman William Lagesson has been reassigned from HC Vita Hasten to Kristianstads IK, another team in the Swedish second league. The 24-year-old scored three goals and six assists in 11 games with HC Vita Hästen and was playing quite well, catching the attention of Oilers fans.
Lagesson signed a two-year contract extension with the Oilers on Nov. 4. This moves should not affect his status with the NHL club and he is still expected to return at the start of NHL training camp. Why the move isn’t exactly clear but it could be based on team strength or recalling him at a later time.
Chances Saad Is Re-Signed in Colorado
We mentioned in a previous rumors rundown post that forward Brandon Saad was already interested in re-signing with the Colorado Avalanche without ever having played a game for them. But, as NBC Sports’ Adam Gretz writes, the Avs might not be in the market to keep him after this season.
Gretz writes that his numbers are solid and Saad brings other aspects to his game, which Colorado might appreciate. Still, the Avalanche will have limited cap space as they have to extend forward Gabriel Landeskog and sign defenseman Cale Makar as a restricted free agent. Those two deals are likely going to cost Colorado quite a bit.
Saad could perform his way into an extension but even if he does, Gretz notes that he’s looking at taking a lot less than the $5 million he’s making now.
Maple Leafs Could Still Be In the Trade Market
Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun writes that the Maple Leafs might still be be on the lookout for a typical third-line center. He didn’t mention a trade was in the works, but he noted that there are question marks around Joe Thornton’s ability to fill the role, whether or not he can produce regularly in that spot, and if not, whether Alex Kerfoot can do the job effectively.
Thornton can’t play 200-foot hockey anymore and can’t be counted on to play in the defensive zone. Kerfoot is a better winger than he is a centre. The combination of the two will test Keefe’s ability to manage in-games throughout the season.source – ‘SIMMONS: NHL infighting puts start of regular season in doubt’ – Steve Simmons-Toronto Sun – 11/22/2020
It appears Simmons is hinting that without adding another center who is ideal for the third-line spot, these two players will really test Sheldon Keefe’s ability and patience.
Bruins Might Still Be Eyeing Ekman-Larsson
Boston Hockey Now’s Joe Haggerty recently talked about the Bruins failure to improve their defense in the offseason and then talked about how they tried to make a big splash by landing Oliver Ekman-Larsson from Arizona. While the Bruins still want to upgrade, perhaps, the Bruins aren’t looking for someone like Ekman-Larsson, but still looking at Ekman-Larsson himself.
We mentioned in yesterday’s report that a future trade isn’t completely out of the question as far as the Coyotes’ defenseman is concerned and that Haggerty notes the Bruins might be more open to re-visiting talks with Arizona GM Bill Armstrong about a trade. What wasn’t mentioned was when and how this deal might go down.
If this happens, it will only be because the Bruins have realized that neither Urho Vaakanainen nor Jakub Zboril were able to step forward and take on more responsibility and that the Bruins have made a decision on restricted free agent Jake DeBrusk. There’s also talk that Boston might be in on Mike Hoffman and trading for Ekman-Larsson likely only happens if Hoffman chooses another team in free agency.
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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.”