NHL Rumors: Oilers, Blue Jackets, Flames, Jagr Retirement

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Edmonton Oilers have liked Jason Demers’ game in preseason. Could this lead to a contract offer of some kind? Meanwhile, the Columbus Blue Jackets have had previous interest in Jakob Chychrun.

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He wasn’t as interested in them. Have things changed? MacKenzie Weegar’s agent notes that the defenseman wants a deal in place before the start of the season, and is Jaromir Jagr finally retiring?

Demers to Get Two-Way Contract Offer From Oilers?

Defenseman Jason Demers has played well for the Edmonton Oilers in the preseason. Perhaps not well enough to overtake a defenseman that is penciled in to start the season with the big club, but there is talk that the Oilers might be interested in offering Demers a two-way deal.

Jason Demers, Arizona Coyotes
Jason Demers, Arizona Coyotes – October 30, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Kurt Leavins of the Edmonton Journal notes that the Oilers could use Demers as a depth piece that could be called upon in the event of injuries. He writes:

I have not minded Demers’ game. I cannot see him making this roster. But he could be useful organizational depth in Bakersfield & great around the kids. The Oilers are only at 44 contracts and a 2-way deal (he did not play 50 games last year) could make some sense.

source – ‘As the Edmonton Oilers prepare to pare the roster, the value of pre-season comes into focus: 9 Things’ – Kurt Leavins – Edmonton Journal – 10/02/2022

Chychrun Willing to Play for Blue Jackets

Aaron Portzline of The Athletic writes that the Blue Jackets have had interested in defenseman Jakob Chychrun in the past, but until recently, Chychrun wasn’t interested in accepting a trade to Columbus (he lacks trade protection, but why trade for a player that doesn’t want to be there?). Things apparently changed when Johnny Gaudreau signed there. He now views them as more of a contender. The Blue Jackets really only have Zach Werenski and Vladislav Gavrikov as ‘top-four defensemen,’ so they could use a player like Chychrun on their roster if they want to compete right away.

Related: Canadiens News and Rumours: Allen, Cuts, Slafkovsky & More

But, the Blue Jackets only mildly interested. Portzline writes:

The Blue Jackets have invested three first-round picks on defensemen in the past two drafts: Corson Ceulemans at No. 25 in 2021, and David Jiricek at No. 6 and Denton Mateychuk at No. 12 this summer. It won’t be long before they’re claiming NHL roster spots.

source – ‘Blue Jackets Sunday Gathering: Jakob Chychrun rumors continue to swirl’ – Aaron Portzline – The Athletic – 10/02/2022

Weegar Wants Contract Before Season Starts

Eric Francis of Sportsnet is reporting that newly-acquired Calgary Flames defenseman MacKenzie Weegar is hoping to get a contract in place before the start of the season. His agent Matthew Ebbs notes he’s not interested in a potential extension hanging over him or the team ths season and becoming a distraction.

MacKenzie Weegar Florida Panthers
MacKenzie Weegar, Florida Panthers (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Ebbs was quoted as saying, “Mack is the ultimate team guy, and once the season starts he does not want to be a distraction, and doesn’t want to be dealing with this in the media room.” He adds, “That’s why our preference is if we can get something done before the season, that’s definitely where our head is at.”

While not 100% confirmed, it sounds like Weegar’s side will shut things down during the year if not signed in the next week or so. Ebbs adds, “If we can’t, we’re not saying we won’t have any discussions, but we’d prefer to just leave it so there are no team distractions after Oct. 13.”

Jagr Not Motivated to Keep Playing

Denik Sport’s Miroslav Horak reports that former NHL great Jaromr Jagr has said he “lacks the desire and motivation” to play hockey this season. There is a chance he’ll try to get in shape to play in a Winter Classic game that he was helping to organize, but that seems unlikely at this stage.

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