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Photo Credit: © James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Weekly Rumours – Buyout windows and a surprise firing

The calendar has flipped to August and that means we are one calendar month closer to hockey season! The NHL has actually remained fairly active throughout the summer, which is rare.

A lot of that activity can be contributed to the fact that so many teams are struggling to manage the lower than expected salary cap ceiling and they’re being forced to get creative. There have also been a handful of teams who have had players go to arbitrations and that has opened up second buyout windows for some clubs. That’s where we start with this week’s set of rumours.

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RANGERS TO BUY OUT SHATTENKIRK

It’s now official, the New York Rangers will buy out the final two years of Kevin Shattenkirk’s contract. It’s an interesting decision as it gives them major cap relief for this upcoming season, but carries over $6 million in dead cap space for next season and then $1.4 million in dead space for the next two seasons after that.

This makes them cap compliant for now but it only leaves GM Jeff Gorton with about $1 million to sign both Tony DeAngelo and Brenden Lemiuex so I still think it’s worth keeping an eye on the Rangers when it comes to a potential trade partner for Ken Holland. They have a few young forwards that I think could really benefit the Oilers.

Of course, now that Kevin Shattenkirk is a UFA, lots are wondering if there is a potential fit between the 30-year-old defenseman and the Oilers. On the surface, it makes sense. He has a history of being a fairly productive offensive defenseman, which the Oilers would benefit from adding and he shoots right which is a clear need when you look at the Oilers depth chart.

But I just don’t see this happening. First off, there is the Oilers clear lack of cap space. Our friends over at PuckPedia currently have the team with $2.5 million in cap space and they need to leave wiggle room for Mike Smith’s potential bonuses. I would imagine that Shattenkirk will get north of $2 million on a one or two year deal, so if the Oilers wanted to make it work, they would need to move out a contract.

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It’s also important to remember that Shattenkirk is from the east coast. He and his wife just welcomed their first child into the world a few weeks ago, I just don’t see him wanting to leave that side of the continent. Combine that with the fact that he already nixed a move to Edmonton a few years ago when the Oilers and Blues agreed to trade Taylor Hall for the defenseman but Shattenkirk wasn’t interested in a contract extension with the Oilers.

On paper, this would appear to be a fit, but I just don’t see it as realistic.

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FENTON OUT, WHAT’S NEXT FOR MINNY?

Minnesota made a shocking move earlier this week when they fired GM Paul Fenton after just 14 months on the job. They don’t have a new GM hired as of yet, rumoured names include Ron Hextall, Dean Lombardi, and Peter Chiarelli, but whenever there’s a change in an organization’s front office, it always leads to a flurry of rumours.

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For the Oilers, players like Jared Spurgeon, Jason Zucker, and even Joel Erikson-Ek would be of interest but I just can’t see the Wild being very active this summer once they get a new GM hired.

It would be hilarious is the Wild hired Peter Chiarelli and he decided to deal someone like Spurgeon to the Oilers for a ridiculous package but I think we all know that isn’t going to happen.

While a new GM will usually stay pretty calm for their first few months on the job, if the Wild get off to a slow start, they might be in a position to make some moves and if I was the Oilers, I would be keeping a very close eye on Jared Spurgeon. His name has been floated around in trade rumours since the offseason began and considering the fact that he’s a UFA at the end of the season, if the Wild’s season doesn’t go according to plan, they might want to cash in on Spurgeon’s value rather than risk losing him for nothing.

NEW JERSEY KEEPS WHEELING & DEALING

Ray Shero has not put down his phone all summer. After drafting Jack Hughes first overall, the Devils have gone on to acquire the best defenseman on the trade market in PK Subban and the best player who wasn’t in the NHL last season, Nikita Gusev.

They’ve transformed their blueline with one addition and they added two good young forwards to an already impressive group. Now, if Ray Shero isn’t done, I think the Oilers should be looking at the Devils as a potential trade partner.

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Pavel Zacha is currently an RFA and considering the Devils already have Nice Hischier, Travis Zajac, and Jack Hughes down the middle, I wonder if the Oilers could pry Zacha loose. He would be a great fit as a third-line centre here in Edmonton and the Oilers have a good amount of future assets they could send New Jerseys way.


  • Dallas Eakins Hair

    Larry Brooks from the NY Post has said that when Shattenkirik had a list of teams he could be traded that NONE of the Canadian teams were on the list. Unless Shattenkirk cant find a job playing in the U.S. he might come to Canada but I doubt this, from what I read Shattenkirk would like to play in the East because of an easier travel schedule.

    I doubt Holland would go after Shattenkirk, too much money to have him sign for 1 or 2 years and the fact that has career is on a serous down swing the last couple years and we have a boatload of defencemen would mean it makes zero sense for the Oilers to have any serious interest in him

    Teams are still trying to get roster and cap compliant, there will be more guys getting there walking papers and teams trying to trade guys then buy them out but there will be some buyouts yet, Holland doesnt need to do a deal, buyout never know what could happen as we inch closer to training camp

  • D

    In school, whenever we took multiple choice exams, there was always one answer that was considered the “throwaway joke answer”. So A, B, and C could all be legitimate selections, and D was the teacher’s chance to make the test-taker laugh. Whenever I see Peter Chiarelli’s name come up in hiring rumours, I always wonder if he is letter “D”.

  • OilTastic

    I have been a big fan for a couple of years soon acquiring Zacha! He’s still young and hasn’t reached his potential yet and could be a guy we could indeed shake loose from the Devils. I could see Jesse going the other way but if teams are too concerned about his operation and lack of production so far, then we should NOT be afraid to use some of our prospects to get him here, especially back end ones as we have an over abundance of blueliners that are not all going to play here!

  • Ass Eatn Szn 69

    Trade Russel and sign shattenkirk to a one year deal for what it takes.

    This gives us at worst an equal player to Russel but actually right handed and can make a pass. We lose a year of paying 4m on a bottom d and it allows Bouchard bear Persson etc to stay down for a while. If we aren’t in playoffs you flip him for a pick.

    But he won’t come here

  • Abagofpucks

    I have a question for ON, now that looch is gone, Mcd’s so called protector. Should Mcd start to stick up for himself once or twice a year by dropping the the gloves, now im not saying he should just fight anybody but is it time he does. Crosby has 6 fights in his career so far heck even gretz had a couple tiffs on the the ice albeit nothing major in his, so what do you people think.
    Should Mcd have a fight now and then over the rest of his career?

    cheers for yes trash for no.

  • toprightcorner

    I would look to trade Gagner for Namestnikov. Saves NYR $850k. Namestnikov proved that playing with elite talent in TBL when he scored 22 goals and 42 pts in 62 games. He is speedy and was a typical 15 goal 35 pt guy on the 3rd line. I think he could do very well with Nuge and plays all 3 forward positions and is decent on the dot. Play him with skill, let him use his speed and he could score 20 goals for the Oilers.

    I would trade Gagner and Berglund for Namestnikov.

  • Kenny The Rat

    If Chia gets hired, Holland better call fast, or he will get the “all circuits are busy” message. Although looking at that roster, there isn’t a lot there to pluck.