In today’s NHL rumor rundown, the Edmonton Oilers may be having an internal debate regarding Jesse Puljujarvi, while in Vancouver, could the Canucks actually choose Thatcher Demko over Jacob Markstrom? Might the Montreal Canadiens be looking at Taylor Hall and have the Maple Leafs spoken to Frederik Andersen about a trade?
Oilers to Make Puljujarvi “Grind”?
According to Oilers Now host Bob Stauffer, if the Oilers bring back Jesse Puljuajrvi, it doesn’t sound like he’s going to be getting top-line minutes alongside Connor McDavid. Instead, Stauffer suggests the disgruntled forward will have to work his way up the lineup.
Typically, when Stauffer says something like this, he’s got it on good authority and he’s more a voice box to the fans than he is an analyst. As such, a debate was stirred up when he said:
“He isn’t going to get better playing another full season in Finland. He needs to return to N.A. in 20-21 and be prepared to GRIND, and work his way up the line-up.”
Apparently many of you think if Puljujarvi returns he should be “handed” top line minutes with 97 right from the get-go… FYI…He has 17G in 139 NHL GP. Successful players have relentless work ethic and grind. IMO…JP can start on 3rd line and hopefully work his way up!
If this is what the Oilers are telling Puljujarvi, one has to wonder if he’s more hesitant to return knowing that he’s less likely to produce big numbers in a bottom-six role and is really playing well in Finland right now.
Could Canucks Choose Demko Over Markstrom?
With the play of goaltender Thatcher Demko in Vancouver and the cost of retaining the services of Jacob Markstrom in free agency this offseason, there are some insiders looking at that situation and wondering if the Canucks could actually elect to go with Demko, and move Markstrom?
Among those insiders, Nick Kypreos was on Real Kyper at Noon and said:
There’s just no way it makes any sense for the Canucks to get a contract in on Markstrom here at $6, $6.5, $7 million for what we probably think would be three or four years when you can go to Demko’s salary and save all that money so you can go give it to Quinn Hughes, so you can go give it to Pettersson. There’s just no way that you’re going to be able to sign Markstrom based on what you’ve seen out of Demko. He looks like he could handle 45-50 games next season.”
His argument seems to be the long-term play of investing in Demko over Markstrom makes the most sense. He suggested taking the money and using it elsewhere.
Could Canadiens Be Eyeing Taylor Hall?
TSN’s Darren Dreger seems to think there’s a fit between the Montreal Canadiens and pending free agent Taylor Hall. On Friday morning, Dreger noted, “If we talk about destinations, I can certainly build a case for the Montreal Canadiens … I can,”
When he said this, he was on Montreal’s TSN 690 Radio and noted the Canadiens needed scoring and discussed Hall’s affinity for playing in bigger markets. He said, “He enjoyed his time in Edmonton. He’s not afraid of the media and all of those things.”
Dreger also noted that Hall and the Coyotes continue to talk and the team made a pitch and is waiting on a counter offer from Hall’s side. It doesn’t sound like that deal is really all that close to getting done.
Has Dubas Spoken With Andersen About a Trade?
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported Friday that he believes Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas has had a conversation with goaltender Frederik Andersen about the possibility of his being traded. Friedman noted that Dubas likely told the netminder he’s not shopping him but that teams have inquired as to his availability.
This comes after news from Chris Johnston that Andersen is actually expecting he’ll be traded.
Luke Fox suggests that the Carolina Hurricanes, Minnesota Wild, Calgary Flames and Buffalo Sabres “to name a few” are among the team who are interested.
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Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”