In an Edmonton Oilers news and rumors update, there is a lot of discussion surrounding the Oilers this week. Some of the talk is positive, other chatter isn’t.
Oscar Klefbom may miss some serious time with another shoulder injury and should that be the case, the Oilers might have a couple of other targets in mind. In other news, the team has reportedly begun negotiations on an extension with forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. So too, if the Oilers are in on a free agent goaltender, what does that mean for Mikko Koskinen? Finally, is the latest news on Jesse Puljujarvi something Oilers fans can actually believe?
Klefbom Could Be Out an Extended Period of Time
Elliotte Friedman reported that one of the situations the Oilers might be dealing with this offseason is defenseman Oscar Klefbom considering another shoulder surgery. If he undergoes that surgery, he could miss a huge portion of the season depending on when the 2020-21 campaign begins.
Mark Spector of Sportsnet picked up on the story and wrote, “The Oilers did not immediately return a request to comment Wednesday, nor did Klefbom’s agent, J.P. Barry.”
If Klefbom is out, what are the options? First, if Ken Holland has known about this, it could explain why he’s so heavily rumored to be in on Oliver Ekman-Larsson trade talks as Klefbom’s absence could create an opening with extra salary cap space to add Ekman-Larsson (nearly $4.2 million in cap space would open up).
But, if that doesn’t happen, Oilers Now host Bob Stauffer writes, “One potential UFA D to me that could be a good fit in Edmonton would be Tyson Barrie.” He adds that Barrie had a tough year in Toronto but he’s still an elite offensive right shot defenseman with multiple 50+ point seasons on his NHL resume.
Oilers Have to Move Goalie for Goalie?
Rishaug also reports on Thursday that if the rumors are true that Holland is going to be in on a goaltender — either via trade or free agency — he’s not sure how he goes about adding a $5-$6 million player without moving Mikko Koskinen out. The Oilers have been linked to multiple goalies in trade rumors, some of which are not the cheapest of options.
Rishaug also writes, “Don’t see Athanasiou being qualified, and Benning is a major question mark as well at this point. Caleb Jones is developing nicely and can play either side. May be given increased role with Klefbom potentially out.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Extension?
TSN’s Frank Seravalli writes “Talks continue to progress between Oilers and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on a long-term extension.” He adds that the deal is not done and not close, but that there are positive developments in last 24 hours.
There is some buzz that in a normal year, Nugent-Hopkins might have been looking at an eight-year extension around $8 million per. The comparable was Matt Duchene in Nashville. But, because of the tight salary cap and fear that it won’t increase for a couple of seasons, the new numbers might be between $6.5 and $7. It’s hard not to imagine that will be a sticking point in negotiations or trying to figure out how long to go on term.
If the salary cap increases in three seasons, perhaps Nugent-Hopkins is better off doing a three or four-year deal now, then trying to sign again at the age of 30 when he’s still go lots left in the tank and can land another three or four-year deal at better money. Rishaug says, “My best guess is the sweet spot is in the 7-7.5 range x8”
Jesse Puljujarvi Close to a Deal?
Seravalli also notes that it sounds like the Oilers have made progress in talks to bring Jesse Puljujarvi back. While this story has been told a few times now, Seravalli notes the only thing left is discussion about the hockey ‘fit’ part of it.
It sounds like a one-year deal in the $1.2-$1.5 million range.
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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.”