In an Edmonton Oilers news and rumors update, the Oilers are feverishly working over the next 24 hours on a plan to move James Neal. Will he be bought out? Will he stay put or be traded? Meanwhile, the team has elected not to qualify forwards Jujhar Khaira and Dominik Kahun. Does that mean their time in Edmonton is over? Who are the most likely targets for the Oilers in free agency and what’s the latest on Zach Hyman? Finally, is there any chance Ryan Getzlaf could be on the Oilers radar?
James Neal Decision Coming
Jason Gregor of TSN 1260 offered a handful of updates on the status of Neal with the Oilers. The team could have placed him on unconditional waivers for the purposes of a buyout today. They chose not to. Tomorrow will be the final day they can do so.
Gregor notes that the Oilers were working on a trade over the weekend to move Neal but so far, nothing has materialized. He also suggests the team will do everything in their power before the deadline tomorrow not to buy him out. That’s not what they want to do and GM Ken Holland may elect to keep him on the roster. That decision still doesn’t seem to have been made yet.
Future of Jujhar Khaira in Edmonton
The Oilers did not give qualifying offers to Khaira or Kahun but it’s not clear if Edmonton is hoping to sign them anyways an unrestricted free agents. That will be an option on the 28th. The Oilers do like Khaira as a 3rd or 4th line center, but there’s some belief that Ryan McLeod will be given the first looks to fill that role, especially if the Oilers can’t make improvements in that area on the open market.
Jonathan Willis of The Athletic writes, “I think both Khaira and Kahun will have options in UFA. I don’t expect to see them back as Oilers, but I’d have time for either/both Kahun as a cheap 3LW and Khaira as a 4C/PK guy.”
The Oilers did extend qualifying offers to RFAs Tyler Benson, Cooper Marody, Stuart Skinner, and Kailer Yamamoto.
Getzlaf to Test Free Agency?
There’s a report circulating that Ryan Getzlaf could test free agency on Wednesday, which will come as a shock to a lot of people who expected he would finish his career with the Anaheim Ducks. If he does hit the market, there is chance the Oilers would show interest.
He would be a good mentor and useful depth piece for the Oilers in a third-line center role. One also has to wonder if the addition of Duncan Keith to the roster might entice Getzlaf to give the Oilers a bit longer a look that he might have otherwise.
Chalk this one up as just a rumor for right now. There doesn’t seem to be definitive reports that Getzlaf will actually leave Anaheim.
Latest on Zach Hyman
The Oilers deal with Hyman should be announced on Wednesday. It will be a seven-year deal worth $5.5 million per season, according to reports. There’s a ton of mixed reaction to the news, but in Toronto, it’s interesting to see how his exit is polarizing among fans.
Some are happy Kyle Dubas is sticking it to Edmonton by not accepting a late-round pick for his negotiating rights. Others are focused on thanking Hyman for all he brought to the team while he was a part of the organization. For Oilers fans, many are coming around to the idea that he’s the right add at the right time for a team that needs to string wins together.
The term of Hyman’s pending deal is still a point of contention for some, but not as much as it seemed to be, even a week ago. Edmonton is adding a quality two-way forward who had 33 points in just 43 games last season. As a 29-year-old, his deal will take him into his mid-thirties, but fans are hoping he turns into more of a Chris Kunitz than a David Clarkson or Milan Lucic.
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.”