NHL Rumors: Oilers, Senators, Canucks, Penguins, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news out of Edmonton that the Oilers kicked tires on goaltender Matt Murray but are now out of the running. In Vancouver, the Canucks have left Jake Virtanens’ future with the team very much in doubt. It appears Mark Borowiecki and the Ottawa Senators appear to be headed for a breakup and are the rumors about Kris Letang expecting to be traded true?

Oilers Out on Goaltender Matt Murray

A couple of sources have now confirmed that the Edmonton Oilers had inquired about the cost to acquire Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray. But, those same reports now confirm the Oilers are out.

Matt Murray Pittsburgh Penguins
Matt Murray, Pittsburgh Penguins (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

According to both Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal and Pierre LeBrun of TSN, Edmonton has given up trying to trade for the two-time Stanley Cup winner. LeBrun writes:

The Oilers and Penguins have talked about Matt Murray, I’m told, but as far as I can tell, asking price too rich for Edmonton at this point (first-round pick?). I think Edmonton will be patient in its goalie search. And the Oil hasn’t ruled out bringing back Mike Smith, either.

In other Oilers news, the team has signed depth forward Adam Cracknell. The deal is for one year and it’s a two-way contract. The 35-year-old played with Kunlun Red Star of KHL in 2019-20, scoring 10 goals & 14 assists in 52 games.

Related: Revisiting the Oilers’ Jordan Eberle Trade to the Islanders

Canucks Suggest They’ll Move on From Virtanen

After being eliminated from the playoffs, Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning was direct when talking about forward Jake Virtanen: “…Jake was a guy I was expecting to do more for us…”

Benning while a guest on Sportsnet 650 on Tuesday afternoon:

“He can skate, he’s strong. He can get to the net. He’s a guy we’re going to have to talk about here going forward. We’ve been patient with him in his development…

We’re going to have to make some tough decisions maybe even on some young players.”

Virtanen will soon become an RFA, and this messaging suggests the team will be moving on. Unfortunately, with the team’s top six set up the way it is — Brock Boeser, Bo Horvat, Elias Pettersson, J.T Miller, Tanner Pearson, and potentially Tyle Toffoli — , Virtanen is the odd man out. 

Senators Mark Borowiecki to Test Free Agency

He’s spent more than a decade in the organization and is widely known for his work in the community, but defenseman Mark Borowiecki looks like he’s going to test the market for his services and leave the Ottawa Senators.

Mark Borowiecki Ottawa Senators
Mark Borowiecki, Ottawa Senators (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Borowiecki is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason and as Hailey Salvian of The Athletic reports, notes he’s going to be “testing the waters” this offseason. Salvian adds:

Borowiecki’s agent, Steve Bartlett, said some contract talks took place with the Senators over the course of the regular season, but that discussions eventually led to the decision that Borowiecki would seek other opportunities.

source – ‘Senators defenceman Mark Borowiecki set to test the waters in free agency’ – Haily Salvian – The Athletic- 09/10/2020

Borowiecki’s agent said this wasn’t really about the Senators undervaluing the blueliner but his desire to explore free agency.

This news comes after Senators GM Pierre Dorion told TSN radio that he wanted the depth defenseman to be a “Senator for life.”

Related: Prospects News & Rumors: Bouchard, Hajek, Michkov & More

Are Letang Rumors Legit?

TSN’s Darren Dreger isn’t sure the speculation about Kris Letang thinking he’s going to be trade is legit. Saying that Letang’s agent has pointed out his Letang doesn’t expect to be moved, he’s not sure where the source of the story is coming from.

Dreger did acknowledge that Letang could actually be trade, only that he’s not expecting it nor has he told friends he believes a trade is coming. According to Dreger, it is more likely the Penguins move other players. That could include Jack Johnson, Patric Hornqvist, and Zach Aston-Reese.

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