NHL Rumors: Bruins, Blues, Red Wings, Oilers, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is plenty to digest from Elliotte Friedman’s 31 Thoughts article. In addition, Taylor Hall comments in his unhappiness with the fans in New Jersey and there’s some buzz the Edmonton Oilers and Jesse Puljujarvi aren’t quite finished with each other.

Bruins Won’t Trade Krug

Torey Krug has nine points in his first 12 games. As an offensive defenseman, he’s living up to his end of the bargain in a contract year. As a result, Friedman points out that whatever the Bruins decide to do with Krug long-term, no one expects him to be dealt if he’s unsigned by the deadline.

Torey Krug #47 of the Boston Bruins
BOSTON, MA – JANUARY 23: Torey Krug #47 of the Boston Bruins. (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Krug has made it clear he’d like to stay in Boston but the Bruins haven’t made re-signing him a priority. Set for a hefty pay bump he’s important to any playoff run and the team can’t afford to lose him, even if they can’t keep him. 

Related: Boston Bruins Logo History

Dustin Byfuglien Issue Getting Complicated

It was recently learned that Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien had surgery on an ankle issue last week. The recovery on said surgery is expected to keep him out until the New Year, assuming he decides to return to the NHL — to this point, no decision has been relayed to the Jets organization.

Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien
Dustin Byfuglien (Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports)

Where this could get tricky, is around his contract situation, because he can argue he deserves to be paid while recovering from a legitimate injury. At this time, he’s being suspended by the Jets and not entitled to his salary for the season. Going on LTIR could/would change that.

Related: NHL Rumors: Josi, Ryan, Oilers, Avs, More

Blues and Pietrangelo Waiting in Each Other

Friedman also says, that while things could change with one phone call, negotiations aren’t going well in St. Louis where Blues GM Doug Armstrong and Alex Pietrangelo’s representatives are “circling each other like two elite cage fighters, waiting for their opponent to make the first move.”

Alex Pietrangelo St. Louis Blues
Alex Pietrangelo, St. Louis Blues, January 6, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The Roman Josi extension should have given both sides a better idea as to where Pietrangelo might sit, but the over $9 million on an eight-year deal given to Josi is considered high by many people.

Also with the Blues, Friedman notes that with the injury to Vladimir Tarasenko, the Blues might look to enter the marketplace and one name to watch is Chris Kreider out of New York. Friedman suggests he’d be perfect for them.

Related: NHL Rumor Shootdown: Hall To Oilers Not Likely

Taylor Hall Unhappy With Environment In New Jersey

While everyone keeps an eye on the situation in New Jersey as it pertains to Taylor Hall’s future, recent comments from Hall aren’t going to sit well. Corey Masisak of The Athletic noted comments Hall made post-game on Wednesday and speculation about his unhappiness is running wild.

Taylor Hall New Jersey Devils
Taylor Hall, New Jersey Devils (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Hall said, “We’re kind of battling our own fans right now. We were 1-for-3 on the power play and we are getting booed. It’s a tie game that we are getting booed.” He called it a tough environment to play in.

Masisak also notes that people shouldn’t jump to conclusions about the comments and that this isn’t an indication Hall wants out of New Jersey. Still, this has to be concerning to GM Ray Shero who is working hard to give Hall reasons to want to stay.

At the end of the day, the Devils need to start getting wins on the board or most will assume Hall’s time in New Jersey is likely over.

Red Wings Not Comfortable With Status Quo

Friedman is wondering if the Detroit Red Wings might dangle Andreas Athanasiou on the trade market. Friedman is not suggesting he’s heard the speedy forward’s name out there in trades, but noted that the Red Wings waiving Jonathan Ericsson indicates the team is not willing to simply lose games.

The Red Wings got a big win over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday and while Athanasiou didn’t score, he was one of the Red Wings best players. In 2018-19, and he still ended up with 30 goals despite a slow start and he could do so again. He’s worth keeping an eye on as he’s in a contract year and the previous negotiations didn’t exactly go smoothly.

Maple Leafs Looking to Move Marincin

Friedman notes that the Toronto Maple Leafs would be open to trading Martin Marincin. Marincin started the year on the third pairing, then was replaced in the lineup by Kevin Gravel and has now lost his spot to a returning Travis Dermott. 

Martin Marincin, Maple Leafs
The Leafs will have Martin Marincin back in the lineup when they take on the Senators on Saturday. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Oilers and Puljujarvi Reunion Possible?

While a guest on Bob Stauffer’s Oilers Now program, NHL insider Brian Lawton of the NHL Network said it’s possible the Edmonton Oilers and Jesse Puljujarvi work things out and that a Puljujarvi trade isn’t a foregone conclusion.

Stauffer didn’t know if the Oilers and Puljujarvi could get passed what has already transpired and maybe both sides are too far down the road but the best return for Edmonton would actually be for Puljujarvi to find a home on the third line in Edmonton.

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