The middle of July is not exactly prime time when it comes to rumour talk around the NHL. Most executives and players are out at their cabins, enjoying what little offseason they get before things ramp up once again.
Thankfully, Jesse Puljujarvi’s agent is continuing to talk to the media and we got both a trade and a signing in the last few days. So there is a little bit to discuss.
MARKUS LEHTO: MAN OF MANY WORDS
Jason Gregor had a great recap of things yesterday, but basically, Puljujarvi’s agent has come out and said that it’s not a guarantee that his client will go play in Europe if he isn’t traded. Of course, this comes just a few weeks after he told Mark Spector that Jesse would go to Europe if he’s not traded.
He also said that the issue in Edmonton is not in the dressing room, it’s a confidence issue. This, as you may have guessed, comes just days after he told another media outlet that despite the new GM and Head Coach in Edmonton, Puljujarvi wouldn’t come back to the Oilers because “the team” was the same.
He seems to be talking out of both sides of his mouth and I can imagine that is frustrating for Ken Holland.
After seeing what Buffalo was able to get for Alex Nylander, a failed prospect who has averaged 0.18 fewer points per game than Puljujarvi at the AHL level in his career, you couldn’t blame Oilers fans for thinking that they should be able to get a decent young NHL prospect in return for Puljujarvi.
If Henri Jokiharu was offered to the Oilers in exchange for Puljujarvi, I would imagine that Holland would have jumped all over it.
We don’t know the reason why Buffalo was able to get something of value for Nylander while the Oilers are still holding onto their seemingly failed fourth overall pick, but I would imagine his agent continually running to the media isn’t exactly helping move the process along.
Bob Stauffer chimed in on Twitter the other day and mentioned Tampa Bay and Carolina as potential trade partners for a Puljujarvi deal.
From the Canes, we’ve heard the name Julien Gauthier mentioned a few times and honestly, I’m not a fan of that return. I’d see rather see someone who’s a more established NHLer or a prospect with a higher ceiling.
From Tampa Bay, I haven’t heard any names but if I had to speculate, I would say that the Oilers would probably be able to pry loose one of Tampa Bays forward prospects. It depends on how interested Tampa Bay is, but Mitchell Stephens, Taylor Raddysh, or even Adam Erne would fit the description. They aren’t high-end prospects, but their ceilings are better than Gauthier’s.
I still think the most likely trade outcome is we see Puljujarvi packaged with another asset for a decent NHL player.
I still wouldn’t rule out the possibility of Puljujarvi returning to camp either. I mentioned it a few weeks ago on the Real Life Podcast and based on his agent’s most recent comments, maybe the Puljujarvi camp has realized they shouldn’t be completely closing the door on Edmonton.
VANCOUVER SIGNS FERLAND, MOVES COMING
The Canucks dipped back into the free agent pool on Wednesday, signing Michael Ferland to a four year deal with an annual cap hit of $3.5 million. They gave Ferland, a player with noted concussion problems in the past, a lot of term but the cap hit is actually pretty reasonable to me. He plays the game hard, has posted back-to-back 40 point seasons, and he’s 27-years-old. It’s not a bad deal by free-agent standards.
This makes things interesting for the Canucks though as it leaves them with just $5.8 million in cap space (via PuckPedia) to sign RFA winger Brock Boeser. In his first 140 NHL games, Boeser has 59 career goals. That works out to about 35 goals every 82 games. Even on a bridge deal, I don’t think he’ll come with a cap hit of less than $4 million.
If the Canucks want to go long-term with Boeser, I would expect he’s going to get something close to what Timo Meier got with the San Jose Sharks.
So unless the Canucks go the bridge route with Boeser, they’ll likely need to move out a contract.
For an Oilers perspective, the signing of Ferland likely kills any potential of a Lucic for Eriksson swap. That’s something that a lot of Oilers fans probably don’t mind at all.
THE SABRES HAVE A LOT OF DEFENSEMEN
I have to give some credit to Jason Botterill who has completely overhauled the Buffalo Sabres defensive core in a matter of months. He gave up Alex Nylander, Brendan Guhle, a first-round pick, a second-round pick, and a fifth-round pick in exchange for Brandon Montour, Colin Miller, and Henri Jokiharu. That’s some very fine GM work.
Of course, if all three of those players are going to be in the NHL to start the season, they’ll need to do something with at least one of Rasmus Ristolainen or Zach Bogosian (who will start the season on the IR).
On the left side, they have Rasmus Dahlin, Marco Scandella, and Matt Hunwick currently under contract, so they could just run with their current group of seven and then deal with the overflow when Bogosian is healthy but I could also see them wanting to make a deal before the summer is over.
On the surface, Rasmus Ristolainen matches the description of what the Oilers need. He’s a young, offensively minded right-shot defensemen. However, I wouldn’t be making a move for him.
His advanced numbers show that he isn’t quite as strong with the puck as his reputation would lead you to believe and I’m just not sure he’s worth his $5.4 million cap hit.
The other side of this is that apparently, Botterill will be looking to add a second line centre if he moves Ristolainen. The only second line centre the Oilers have is Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and there’s is no chance I deal a player like Nugent-Hopkins away from a roster that is desperate for NHL calibre forwards.
After having such a blast over the past two years, we absolutely knew that we were going to organize another golf tourney for the summer and, after a few months of planning, we’re psyched to finally be able to launch our third annual golf tournament.
- When – August 29th, 2019 (Thursday). Tee off at 2 p.m.
- Where – Cougar Creek Golf Resort
- How much – $1000/team
- Teams – Groups of Four (4)
- How – Book your team here
As always, a portion of all proceeds from your ticket purchase will be donated directly to a local charity. This time we’ve partnered up with the Gregor Foundation to make sure that our kids are at their most handsome.