NHL Rumors: Oilers, Blues, Coyotes, Maple Leafs, More

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, Kailer Yamamoto’s agent met with Ken Holland on Tuesday evening and it sounds like the two sides took steps in a positive direction. Meanwhile, could the Arizona Coyotes tender an offer sheet to the St. Louis Blues’ final RFA in Robert Thomas? Finally, did the Toronto Maple Leafs lose another player to an injury at camp, and what does a bad start and more playoff losing mean for the team?

Yamamoto and Oilers Getting Closer to New Deal?

Some concern is growing in Edmonton that Yamamoto will be behind the eight-ball when it comes to skating and training camp because the player hasn’t come to terms on a new deal. Dustin Nielsen of TSN 1260 reports that GM Ken Holland met with J.P. Barry, the agent for the restricted free agent forward Tuesday night.

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Neilsen couldn’t provide any details of the conversation other than to say that it sounds like the talks were positive. The Oilers are hoping to get Yamamoto signed to a bridge deal in the next couple of days to avoid him missing the opening of training camp which is just a week away.

Holloway Undergoes Further Surgery

Also with the Oilers, Dylan Holloway has undergone successful wrist surgery with an expected recovery time of at least three months. The Oilers noted in their announcement that “During the recovery process of his previous wrist injury, it was determined by specialists that he required further surgery.”

It was believed something wasn’t sitting right with his original injury, which was a downer for the organization as many thought he’d had a strong chance of competing for a spot on the roster out of camp. It will be interesting to see if the Oilers try to find someone else to compete for a spot, perhaps signing a player like Tyler Ennis or Alex Chiasson to a PTO.

Coyotes to Offer Sheet Robert Thomas?

Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic wonders if the Coyotes might take a shot at Blues’ RFA Robert Thomas via an offer sheet. The Blues have very little cap space to re-sign Thomas, who believes he’s worth more than Jordan Kyrou, who just signed for two years at $2.8 million. The Coyotes have five second-round picks and GM Bill Armstrong drafted Thomas when he was the Blues Director of Amateur Scouting.

Robert Thomas St. Louis Blues
Robert Thomas, St. Louis Blues (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Rutherford writes a source told him an offer sheet would make sense. He notes:

“If I’m looking at a chessboard, that’s a move that I could anticipate and say, ‘I’m not too surprised by this.’ Arizona has the picks and they’re rebuilding. From St. Louis’ perspective, it would be challenging to match a one-year, $4 million offer sheet, given their current cap situation.

“Should Arizona take a page from the way Carolina structured their successful offer sheet (to Kotkaniemi), Arizona could be willing to explore paying a premium on a one-year deal to acquire the player and then subsequently renegotiate an extension.

source – ‘Why Robert Thomas remains unsigned and how Jordan Kyrou’s contract may be the divisive issue in the negotiations’ – Jeremy Rutherford – The Athletic – 09/13/2021

 Obviously, none of this is an issue for the Blues if they are able to trade Vladimir Tarasenko.

Justin Holl Leaves Maple Leafs Scrimmage With Trainer

First Morgan Rielly left practice this week, seemingly injured during a scrimmage. Now, as reported by Kristen Shilton, defenseman “Justin Holl has exited the #Leafs scrimmage early, accompanied by a trainer. Not sure what happened there.”

Rielly didn’t skate on Wednesday with the team but he did work out in the weight room. It would be really bad news if two defensemen were out to start the season.

Michael Traikos of The Toronto Sun looked at Rielly, among other players on this Leafs’ roster, and asked who else might be destined to leave because of their limited salary-cap space. Noting that Zach Hyman and Frederik Andersen departed this summer as free agents, Rielly could follow and potentially a player like Ilya Mikheyev or Jack Campbell soon. He adds that William Nylander might look at his options if the team doesn’t improve.

Traikos notes that the Maple Leafs’ inability to win in the playoffs is causing players to want out. He writes:

After five years of early post-season exits, it sounds like Hyman wanted out. Like he needed a change. It wasn’t so much about the money or the chance to play with Connor McDavid — although both were certainly huge factors — it was also about getting rid of a bad taste in his mouth that became even worse after blowing a 3-1 series lead to the Montreal Canadiens.

source – ‘TRAIKOS: Zach Hyman’s exit could be first of many if the Maple Leafs don’t start seeing playoff success’ – Michael Traikos – Toronto Sun – 09/14/2021