NHL Rumors: Oilers, Canucks, Jets, Maple Leafs, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is talk that Dominik Kahun of the Edmonton Oilers turned down other offers before joining the team. In Vancouver, reports are the Canucks actually tried to clear space for Tyler Toffoli and missed by just a few hours. The Winnipeg Jets might have added Paul Stastny for a reason other than “helping” Patrik Laine and finally, in Toronto, the Maple Leafs might try some interesting line combinations next season.

Oilers Kahun Left Money on the Table

Postmedia’s Kurt Leavins reports that recently-signed forward Dominik Kahun turned down bigger offers early on in free agency before he joined the Edmonton Oilers for $975K on a one-year deal.

Dominik Kahun Pittsburgh Penguins
Dominik Kahun, Pittsburgh Penguins (Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images)

Leavins also notes that Kahun had longer-term deals on the table including one from the Oilers who were willing to do more than one season. Leavins writes that Kahun’s agent might have misread the market and this where they ultimately wound up. He said:

Multiple sources have related to me that Dominik Kahun had other offers early in Free Agency, and for more money than what the Oilers ultimately inked him for. Perhaps Kahun’s representation felt that he could do better.

I am led to believe that there were talks over a multi-year deal. And that both the club and the player are more than willing to entertain an extension part-way through 2020-21.

source – ‘A glimpse behind how Dominik Kahun became an Edmonton Oiler: 9 Things’ – Kurt Leavins – Edmonton Journal – 11/08/2020

There’s no reason to believe that if Kahun and either Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl click that the team won’t look to extend Kahun sooner than later.

Related: Canadiens News and Rumors: Guhle, Caufield, Brook & More

Statsny Added to Up Laine’s Trade Value?

On the surface, the idea of the Winnipeg Jets trading for Paul Statsny is to help Patrik Laine find a linemate where he’ll produce and be happy in Winnipeg. While that’s certainly true, in part, that might not actually be why the Jets made the deal.

Paul Stastny - Winnipeg Jets
Paul Stastny – Winnipeg Jets, Mar. 10, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

According to Sean Reynolds of Sportsnet’s Hockey Central, the Jets might have actually thought to add Statsny to up Laine’s trade value. Reynold’s says, “Ya, I think it definitely does and I think it’s one of the main reasons that, that move is made.”

He added:

“If he wants to leave town, I don’t think this changes that but what it does do for the Jets is if you bring in a guy like Paul Stastny, who he’s had success with in the past, and they can rekindle that success, then it just makes Patrik Laine that much more valuable on the trade market.”

It will be an interesting story to watch because it could mean the Jets go from having both Laine and Stastny this season to potentially moving both Laine and Stastny this season. Stastny only has this final year on his current contract and if he clicks with Laine and Laine is moved, why not trade Stastny too?

Canucks Were Trying to Keep Toffoli

According to Sportsnet’s Iain MacIntyre, the Vancouver Canucks were in the process of trying to make a cap-clearing trade before forward Tyler Toffoli committed to the Montreal Canadiens in free agency this offseason. MacIntyre writes:

Benning prioritized upgrading the top four on defence over maintaining his top six forwards. But it leaves Green one less weapon to work with when he returns next season for the final year of his contract.

There is speculation that Canucks’ GM Jim Benning might still be looking to move salary and add a notable free agent before next season begins. If winger Micheal Ferland went on LTIR, it would help the Canucks cap situation, but there’s no clear indication of where he stands at this point.

Related: Joe Thornton Adds Calmness to Maple Leafs’ Room [Video]

Two Forwards and Three Defensemen For the Maple Leafs?

Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star writes that Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe might try to deploy a line strategy using two forwards and three defensemen during regular 5-v-5 play. It’s an intriguing idea considering the Leafs are so skilled at the forward position.

Morgan Rielly Toronto Maple Leafs
Morgan Rielly, Toronto Maple Leafs (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

The idea would be to keep a third man high on the forecheck and have three players back, limiting breakdowns on defense. The problems come in when you don’t have mobile defensemen who are both skilled and imaginative.

Former assistant coach for the AHL Marlies, Jack Han notes:

“It’s logical why most teams don’t go 2F3D… You’re always going to leave talent on the table if you dress more defencemen than forwards, because growing up the best players play forward, generally speaking.”

He notes this approach won’t likely be used all that often if used, but it will something to watch out for and is curious to see the Maple Leafs try it.

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