NHL Rumors: Senators, Oilers, Maple Leafs, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there’s a bit of talk that Corey Perry might be looking at a Canadian team in free agency. In Edmonton, when the Oilers signed Dominik Kahun on Monday, was the team thinking about helping Leon Draisaitl or Connor McDavid? Finally, Brendan Shanahan made some interesting comments about the state of the NHL game. They were a bit surprising considering his past as a player.

Corey Perry to the Ottawa Senators?

On ‘That’s Hockey’, TSN’s Frank Seravalli informed the panel that Corey Perry has been linked to the Ottawa Senators. Perry is one of those NHL free agents who many would have expected might have signed by now, but it’s also not terribly surprising he hasn’t because of his age and likely desire to play with a contender.

Corey Perry Dallas Stars
Corey Perry, Dallas Stars (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

The Senators could be better than people think but they aren’t likely a playoff team. Still, Seravalli notes the team is kicking tires on a few others additions, Perry among them. He says there’s been mutual interest.

Perry posted five goals and 21 points in 57 games with the Dallas Stars last season. He added five goals and nine points in 27 post-season games as the Stars reached the Stanley Cup Final. At the right price, he could be a good add for a team looking for a veteran.

Related: Pairing Dominik Kahun With Draisaitl Isn’t the Oilers Best Option

Kahun Deal More About McDavid Than Draisaitl

The Edmonton Oilers signing of Dominik Kahun on Monday was an interesting addition, one most people believe might have been heavily influenced by Leon Draisaitl who had pitched in the Oilers in the past to sign him. That said, Mark Spector of Sportsnet is reporting that the deal might be more about Connor McDavid than Draisaitl.

Connor McDavid Edmonton Oilers
Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Spector notes that McDavid basically played much of last season with bottom-six wingers. Holland wasn’t looking to have the same set up this season. This deal frees up Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to play with McDavid in the hopes that it will add more offense to the top line.

The idea here is that, while the Oilers can experiment with their line combinations, Holland wanted to keep bottom-six forwards in the bottom six and top-six guys in the top six.

Related: Dallas Stars Defense Is Crowded With Honka & Johns

Shanahan Hints at Reason Maple Leafs Were Built For Skill

There was news this week that when the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) returns to play, they will do so without body contact. Ontario Minister of Sport, Lisa MacLeod, said Friday that the OHL can start in February with the caveat that “prolonged or deliberate contact while playing sports is not permitted.” That has led to a lot of talk about hitting in hockey and an interesting NHL personality commented about that very subject.

Toronto Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan recently made an appearance on the “SmartLess” podcast hosted by Hollywood actors Jason Bateman and Will Arnett and said during that podcast he believes there’s less room in today’s NHL game for big hits and fighting. While he’s not the Maple Leafs general manager, his comments could offer an explanation as to why the team has been built with so much skill over the past many seasons.

Brendan Shanahan
Toronto Maple Leafs president, Brendan Shanahan (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov)

Shanahan was well known in his day as a skilled, but tough player willing to take penalty minutes. He said, “The way (today), I think, is not necessarily the way I played. ” He added:

“I know people get pissed off at me when I say stuff like this, but I don’t get excited to see a big hit. I get excited when I see a big goal. I don’t want to see any of these young guys on the ice getting carried off (on a stretcher). I don’t get off on it.”

He’s correct in that big hits and fighting are definitely down across the board in the NHL but the Leafs have been critiqued in the past for being soft and too focused on skill. We may never know if his take heavily influenced GM Kyle Dubas’ signings but it’s logical to assume the Leafs lack of focus on grit up until this offseason could be explained by realizing the guy at the top wants more goals than anything.

Laraque to Fight Mike Tyson?

During a radio broadcast in Montreal, former NHL enforcer Georges Laraque has said he’s talking with Mike Tyson’s camp about lining up a fight with legendary boxer. 

This bout would be an exhibition match as part of Tyson’s “world tour” to promote his upcoming fight with Roy Jones Jr. The idea is not to have an actual boxing competition but more line up celebrities that have reputations and tough guys and show that Tyson hasn’t really lost a step.

Next: NHL Rumors: Jets, Oilers, Flyers, Mitchell Miller, More