Oilers News & Rumors: Kane, Puljujarvi, Barrie, Smith, Woodcroft

In an Edmonton Oilers news and rumors update, Ken Holland spoke with the media on Wednesday, as did head coach Jay Woodcroft and there was a lot of information to digest from those two media scrums. We got updates on Evander Kane, Jesse Puljujarvi, and Mike Smith. There’s also talk about a possible Tyson Barrie trade and Woodcroft discussed the potential of him signing on to stick with the Oilers as their head coach.

Update on a Potential Woodcroft Coaching Extension

When asked where discussions were at on talks to remain on as the permanent coach in Edmonton, Jay Woodcroft said, he expects to talk with Oilers GM Ken Holland soon. He talked like he was making plans for this team for next season and said, “I’m sure we’ll sit down early next week and work through it.”

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Holland said that he plans to sit down with Woodcroft Monday or Tuesday of next week and talk about where Woodcroft sees himself. Holland is interested in bringing him back next season. He thought the coach did a wonderful job.

Evander Kane Extension Talk

The Oilers are interested in signing Kane to an extension, but it’s not clear what the winger will want to do over the summer. Some insiders believe he’s not likely to return, while others believe he’d give the Oilers the best odds of re-signing him but that he’s looking for a number that is extremely high.

Evander Kane Edmonton Oilers
Evander Kane, Edmonton Oilers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Kevin Weekes suggest an extension could be in the $7 million or more range if Kane signs with the Oilers, while Kane signing with another team could put his number in the $8 million range per season. Ryan Rishaug of TSN said he didn’t think the odds were good and didn’t see a fit based on Kane’s options.

Related: Oilers’ Re-Signing Kulak Should Be a High Priority This Offseason

The belief by many is that this situation — Kane coming to the Oilers for three months — was mutually beneficial for both parties and what Oilers fans witnessed was the extent of his run in Edmonton. The Oilers aren’t likely in a situation where they can commit a ton of money and term and the other holes on the roster are a priority.

Holland and Woodcroft Seem Mixed on Puljujarvi

Holland didn’t seem sold yet on the idea that Puljujarvi is the answer for the Oilers while. When asked if the player was part of the solution, Holland responded, “I’ve got to figure that out.” He added, “I think he lost his confidence. I’ve got to sort out Jesse.” Meanwhile, Woodcroft was complimentary of Puljujarvi saying, “We have a strong belief in the young players … and Jesse Puljujarvi is one of them.”

Jesse Puljujarvi Edmonton Oilers
Jesse Puljujarvi, Edmonton Oilers (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Sportsnet analyst and NHL insider Elliotte Friedman said on a possible Puljujarvi extension, “I’ve been talking to a couple of people about him and his arb case is very good. How does the Oilers feel about that and how does Puljujarvi feels about that?”

A lot of people are making comparisons to Valeri Nichushkin when it comes to Puljujarvi and the fear in trading him away is that he explodes somewhere else and becomes a fantastic hockey player that puts it all together.

Possible Tyson Barrie Trade

Because the Oilers need to give Evan Bouchard an opportunity to be the first option to run the Oilers’ power play, Friedman said during Wednesday’s The Jeff Marek Show that the Oilers may shop defenseman Tyson Barrie. He noted, “It’s going to be interesting to see what happens in his particular case.”

Meanwhile, Marek threw out a couple of potential landing spots and said, “We wonder about Seattle, we can also maybe wonder about Montreal there with that player if they decide to move away from Tyson Barrie”.

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Mike Smith Isn’t a No. 1 Says Holland

When speaking with the media, Mike Smith said, “I don’t know where I’m going to be four months from now. I got a lot of stuff to deal with.” He shot down reports of him contemplating retirement when he said, “I don’t know where that came from. I don’t know. It’s too early to tell. But that’s media for you, I guess.” He did admit it’s a quick turnaround for him at his age to be ready for next season.

Meanwhile, Holland talked about needing to address his goaltending situation because he suggested he didn’t have a No. 1 goalie, and that includes Smith in the equation. In fairness, Holland did say there are very few actual No.1 goaltenders in the NHL and he’s not sure one will be available this offseason. Even if Smith is likely to return, the Oilers will probably seek a starter this offseason to take some of the load off of the veteran and how much the team will ask him to play.

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