Ladies and gentleman, we have actual hockey news.
The Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson reported Sunday that the Edmonton Oilers and player agent Dan Milstein, who represents Anton Slepyshev, have talked about a return for the Russian.
Believe the Oilers have talked to Slepyshev's agent Dan Milstein about a one-year contract to return but, of course, it's a "for how much?" question. They certainly want him back but as a role player, third or fourth-line.
— Jim Matheson (@NHLbyMatty) March 15, 2020
Originally drafted by the Oilers in the third round of the 2013 draft, Slepyshev played three seasons in North America between 2015-16 and 2017-18 appearing in 102 NHL games scoring 23 points, and 59 AHL games scoring 31 points.
Slepyshev’s time in Edmonton was brief, and even saw him on the trade block.
Edmonton gave him qualifying offer in 2018 which was declined, and thus, Slepyshev went to Russia where he’s had some solid production. In 110 games since his return, he’s scored 33 goals and 37 assists for 70 points. Rumours have linked Slepyshev to an Edmonton return with Ken Holland even meeting with him in late 2019 in Russia.
Nonetheless, it appears that the Oilers are very interested in bringing him back on a one-year contract, but as always, the dollar sign matters. Slepyshev played out his entry-level deal with the Oilers before heading home to Russia, so I would imagine the Oilers would be looking to sign him to a deal in the $1-million range.
His NHLe based off his last two years in Russia would be 42 points over a full NHL season, so there’s some promise that he could return and be successful.
I was always a fan of Slepyshev who when he was younger had a good mix of size and speed. As Matheson noted, Slepyshev would probably come in and fill a bottom-six role for the Oilers which I think would be perfect for him.
On Twitter: @zjlaing