In an Edmonton Oilers news and rumors update, there are potential developments on a trade for Jesse Puljujarvi. Also, there is no news on Riley Sheahan’s next deal, but that might be for good reason. Finally, who’s got the leverage in the Ethan Bear contract talks?
Two Trade Options for Puljujarvi?
According to Cam Lewis of Oilers Nation, two names have popped up in the past week as possible fits for a deal that would send disgruntled winger Jesse Puljujarvi to another team.
Based on Elliotte Friedman’s report that Florida’s 2016 first-rounder, Henrik Borgstrom, is looking at returning to Europe, there might be a play there for Edmonton. Borgstrom’s agent Markus Lehto is the same agent who reps Puljujarvi. Could the two forwards simply swap places?
Lehto acknowledged that Borgstrom’s priority is still to play in the NHL, thus perhaps a change scenery and a fresh start would do both players good. So too, Borgstrom is a big, skilled, two-way centre — a position of need for the Oilers.
The other name that popped up, thanks to Kurt Leavins at the Cult of Hockey, was Lias Andersson. After requesting a trade from the New York Rangers, Leavins wrote that he heard the Rangers were exploring an Andersson for Puljujarvi change of scenery swap, but that the Oilers would need a sweetener.
Edmonton is not opposed to the idea of receiving Blueshirts prospect Lias Andersson. But word in New York is that Ken Holland would also demand a 1st Round pick from the Rangers (with another mid-level Oilers prospect included in a 2-for-2 deal). Any fire here? Unsure. I have not heard the same from anyone in Edmonton.source ‘Edmonton Oilers prospect news, developing playoff picture and the future of a controversial former executive: 9 Things’ – Kurt Leavins – Edmonton Journal – 05/17/2020
Related: Best & Worst Oilers of the Decade
Still No Action On Riley Sheahan
Leavins also writes that there’s still no new information on a possible contract extension for bottom-six center Riley Sheahan. One of the reasons Edmonton might not be willing to go above a certain price point is because they have high hopes for prospect Ryan McLeod.
McLeod projects as a two-way center with superior foot speed and perhaps better offensive upside than Sheahan. McLeod is still young and they’ll be plenty of warts in his game but his cap hit will be comparable if not much lower over the next two years.
Oilers In the Driver Seat For Ethan Bear Extension
Ethan Bear has been nothing short of an amazing story. A late-round draft pick, there was no great expectations set upon him but he’s come to Edmonton and seized a role in the Oilers regular blue line rotation. It’s now time to talk extension.
Bruce McCurdy of the Edmonton Journal suggests that despite his great showing, the Oilers organization still “holds all the cards for now”. Citing that Bear isn’t eligible for arbitration, he expects a fair deal with a healthy raise. That said, because the Oilers don’t have great cap space, he also expects a bridge deal.
That would leave the club with two years of control over the player when it expired and possibly a lot better-positioned to pay him what he is worth by then. … The player has to pass some more stern tests, especially the ability to put together a follow-up season at the same or even-better level.source -‘Ethan Bear has the best “value contract” on the Edmonton Oilers, but it’s expiring. Now what?’ – Bruce McCurdy – Edmonton Journal – 05/18/2020
Clearly, the Oilers have high hopes for Bear, but also know one good season doesn’t mean he’s going to repeat it for years to come. A bridge deal might not be the worst thing in the world, even if a long-term deal with a reasonable AAV helps should he maintain his level of play.
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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.”