In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news on the Edmonton Oilers, specifically some trade options, contracts for certain players and number crunching on all fronts. The Tampa Bay Lightning aren’t wasting any time getting down to business and the Ottawa Senators are making a top pick available in this year’s draft. Finally, the New York Rangers have officially said goodbye to goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. What’s next?
Oilers In On Three Players, Contracts Important
As per a report by TSN’s Darren Dreger, he has confirmed rumors that the Edmonton Oilers are in preliminary talks with the Arizona Coyotes about trading for defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson. He says their interest is serious, but notes that they aren’t the only team in the mix and that he’d needed to waive his no-move clause to join the team.
The Oilers are apparently working through different financial scenarios in the hopes of finally landing a top-tier first-pairing defenseman but need to be aware of the salary cap issues and for players like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins who will be up for a contract renewal at the end of next season.
Hart Levine of Puck Pedia was on Oilers Now and said Nugent-Hopkins could get as high as 8 years x $8 million on his next deal. More realistically, Nugent-Hopkins will come in around $6.5-$7 million but that’s still enough to force Edmonton to think about any signing they make.
Pierre LeBrun also noted that the Oilers might be looking at goaltenders Petr Mrazek and Jacob Markstrom. Mrazek is apparently Plan B.
Lightning Trying to Dump $10 Million in Trade
LeBrun also notes the Tampa Bay Lightning haven’t wasted any time trying to shed salary after winning the Stanley Cup. According to LeBrun, GM Julien BriseBois has already gotten on the phone and is looking to move players like Tyler Johnson and, potentially, Yanni Gourde.
The issue for the Lightning is that a number of players they’d like to move have no-trade or no-move clauses in their contracts and as such, it becomes a very difficult situation. The team could be prone to an offer sheet. Even if teams didn’t intend to actually scoop a player via an offer sheet, it would make BriseBois’ job extremely difficult because he can’t just sit on contracts for RFA’s like Mikhail Sergachev, Anthony Cirelli or Erik Cernak.
Speculation is that the Lightning could move a pretty significant piece and potentially a surprising name in the next few days.
Senators Willing to Move No. 5 Overall Pick
Ottawa Senators Chief Scout Trent Mann confirmed, in the right deal, the Senators second pick in the first round of the NHL Draft is on the table and GM Pierre Dorion is willing to make a trade.
Mann spoke to media in a Zoom call Tuesday and discussed the directive of the GM along with the seven picks the Senators own in the first two rounds of the NHL Entry Draft. Mann confirmed Dorion would be listening to offers and it is believed the Senators want to stay in the top 10, which means they’re likely having discussions with teams like Anaheim, New Jersey, Buffalo, Minnesota and Winnipeg.
Rangers and Lundqvist Say Their Goodbyes
The New York Rangers made the rumored buy out of goaltender Henrik Lundqvist official Wednesday morning and the veteran will be headed to free agency as an unrestricted free agent.
The Rangers issued a release after the news thanking him and Lundqvist spoke in a series of tweets about his time with the team and saying goodbye. “From the bottom of my heart, thank you!”, he said.
Where he’ll go next is unclear but his record in the NHL speaks for itself and there will be plenty of contenders looking to sign a veteran backup. The question will be whether or not he wants to win and try to sign with a Stanely Cup contender or try and squeeze out as much money as he can in his final seasons?
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