Oilers News & Rumors: Nugent-Hopkins, Nurse, Kessel, Chiarot, Price

In an Edmonton Oilers news and rumors update, Darnell Nurse and Devin Shore are on the ice for the Oilers full practice today, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins hit an incredible milestone, plus one scribe takes a look at a potential fit for Edmonton before the NHL trade deadline. Finally, should the Oilers consider Ben Chiarot or Carey Price from the Montreal Canadiens?

Nugent-Hopkins Reaches 500 Points

Nugent-Hopkins is the 10th player in franchise history to record 500 points all in an Oilers jersey. He was two points shy heading into Friday’s game against the Seattle Kraken. He got two more assists and with his 2nd period assist on Evan Bouchard’s 2-2 goal, he reached the 500-point mark.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Edmonton Oilers
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Edmonton Oilers (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

Nugent-Hopkins is the longest-serving current Oiler and only Leon Draisaitl, Doug Weight, Connor McDavid, Ryan Smyth, Paul Coffey, Glenn Anderson, Mark Messier, Jari Kurri, and Wayne Gretzky have reached that mark. Nuge also has 22 points in 22 games for the Oilers this season. While he’d love to be scoring more goals, he’s easily been worth the long-term extension he was given this offseason.

He was asked about how it feels to hit the milestone and he said, “Lucky to have played with some great players and been a part of the Oilers this whole time, so definitely happy to do it with these guys.”

Related: NHL Stat Corner: Oilers, Maple Leafs, Avalanche, Rangers, Panthers

Speaking of the number 500, Leon Draisaitl played in his 500th NHL game on Friday night.

Darnell Nurse On Ice for Full Practice

While he might not play in the next game, Nurse was on the ice for the Oilers Saturday and taking full participation in practice which is a great sign. The blue line has done an admirable job of trying to keep up with some important pieces off the roster (including Nurse), but it will be a welcome sign when he’s able to return.

When asked about how close Nurse is to a return, head coach Dave Tippett said, “We’re getting to the day-to-day mode. We’ll see where it goes.” Nurse has been Edmonton’s tops minutes guy prior to his injury and Duncan Keith went down a couple of games later.

Kessel a Good Fit for the Oilers?

While talking about the likelihood that the Oilers are in any way connected to Jake DeBrusk talks, Eric Duhatschek of The Athletic suggests that a player like Phil Kessel from the Arizona Coyotes would be a better fit. He writes:

Kessel will be an interesting player to watch because while he’s mercurial and inconsistent, he’s usually a popular teammate and he can do one thing very well — score goals. And eventually, the Oilers are going to need scoring from someone other than Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Hyman and Nugent-Hopkins. Are Arizona and San Jose selling at the deadline? Arizona, for sure. San Jose, probably yes.

source – ‘Duhatschek notebook: Jake DeBrusk trade scenarios, Evander Kane landing spots and Patrick Roy’s Montreal fit’ – Eric Duhatschek – The Athletic – 12/3/2021

Kessel would be a rental and motivated to play well in the hopes he could interest teams in signing him to a free-agent contract this coming offseason. He’s got playoff experience and some winning on his resume.

Should Montreal and Edmonton Be Talking?

With so many changes coming to the Montreal Canadiens, a couple of names from the Canadiens roster have been brought up when it comes to the Oilers. The most obvious is Ben Chiarot, a left-shot defenseman that would make a lot of sense to provide depth and play big minutes in light of all the Oilers’ recent injury troubles. The other is Carey Price, who might not want to go through a rebuild if the Canadiens choose to go that direction under a new Vice President of Hockey Operations and a new general manager.

Ben Chiarot Montreal Canadiens
Ben Chiarot, Montreal Canadiens (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

This isn’t to say the Oilers are in on either player but expect there to be chatter and speculation surrounding the two teams as the Canadiens make their changes and the playoffs creep closer.

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