Things are very quiet around the NHL. Most teams have spent their offseason money and most free agents have found their new homes for the 2021-22 season. The interesting part of this offseason is that some of the big-name trade targets that were available at the start of the summer still haven’t been moved.
The biggest name out there is obviously Jack Eichel and the latest news on the Sabres Captain is that there is no news. Both sides are still mad at each other and it seems like neither side would be too thrilled with the idea of Eichel being back in Buffalo once training camp rolls around.
The same list of potential suitors still exists with the Rangers still looking like the most likely landing spot for the 24-year-old superstar. The Ducks, Flames, Wild, and others have been connected to Eichel.
The other name still out there is @Vladamir Tarasenko. Before the expansion draft, there was talk that there were as many as four teams interested in him and some of them were willing to take on his full cap hit. That clearly isn’t the case anymore and there is some talk that part of the reason why is because teams aren’t liking what they’re seeing when it comes to Tarasenko’s shoulder.
That would make a lot of sense. There aren’t a lot of teams with enough cap space to take on his full salary and if a team was willing to, they would probably want to be 100% sure that his history of shoulder injuries won’t be an issue.
I suppose it is possible that the two sides will agree to put their differences aside and start the season together. If Tarasenko starts the season well and stays healthy, I bet the Blues could get a pretty good return for him at the deadline.
Here’s what else is going on around the league, starting with an Oilers story.
YAMO NEEDS A DEAL
A new contract for Kailer Yamamoto is the final piece of offseason work that Ken Holland needs to get done. The 22-year-old is coming off a down season and doesn’t have arbitration rights. Those two signs lead me to believe that he will sign a one or two-year deal and based on his production last season, I would imagine that it will carry a cap-hit just south of $2.0 million.
That number would line up well with how much money the Oilers have left to spend and gives Yamamoto a chance to put together a really good year or two and line himself up for a solid raise in a few years.
As for the idea of an offer sheet, we really haven’t heard anything along those lines so I would be stunned if it happened. The Oilers would likely match anything within reason.
We’re getting to that point of the offseason where we can start talking about some potential PTO’s! The Oilers roster appears to be pretty set but I think it would be smart for them to bring in a few veteran players for a couple of spots.
There haven’t been very many rumours about this, but I would like to see the Oilers bring a veteran right-shot defenseman into camp. They have Barrie, Bouchard, and Ceci on the right side and while both Russell and Koekoek could play that side if needed, it might not be a mad idea to bring in some extra competition.
Same thing down the middle where I think a veteran centre on a PTO would be a good move. Tyler Bozak could very well get a contract somewhere before the season starts but if he doesn’t that would be a nice name to bring into camp. He shoots right as well, which is something the Oilers could use.
Devan Dubnyk and Henrik Lundqvist are both still free agents and they both apparently want to play next season. The Oilers having Alex Stalock on their roster along with Koskinen and Smith probably means they won’t be interested in any of the veteran goaltenders on the market, even if it was just on a PTO.
- Bruce Garrioch is reporting that the Ottawa Senators have interest in Blackhawks forward Dylan Strome.
- Look for there to be some news on pending RFA’s that need new deals. Andrei Svechnikov in Carolina, Charlie McAvoy in Boston, and both Brady Tkachuk and Drake Batherson in Ottawa are some young players that will need new deals next summer and could be in for big tickets.
- Greg Wyshinski of ESPN is reporting that the Florida Panthers would like to have a new deal done with Aleksander Barkov before the start of the season. Will he get an AAV above $10 million? It wouldn’t surprise me at all if he did considering the fact that they’d be buying UFA years.
- Jason Gregor and Frank Seravalli both talked about the possibility of Zdeno Chara joining Joe Thorton in Florida. That move would make a lot of sense.
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