Nashville Hosts NHL Players and Draft Picks
Photo credit:© Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
By Jason Gregor2 months ago
For the second time in NHL history, and first time since 2003, when Marc-Andre Fleury went first overall, the NHL entry draft is in Nashville. It is also the first time one city will host the NHL player awards and the NHL draft since Vancouver had both in 2006. Hockey fans, and media, are hoping the hockey transactions will be as hot as the weather. The forecast is 32 Celsius today and the rest of the week will be 31, 32, 35 and 36 degrees.
It is hot and muggy in Nashville, and the trade rumours have been just as fierce.
I’m sure you’ve seen the proposed Philadelphia – St.Louis trade that didn’t go through due to Torey Krug not waiving his no-trade clause. The Flyers were also rumoured to be sending Tony DeAngelo back to Carolina, but that deal also didn’t transpire. I feel for Krug. He shouldn’t have been in that spot, publicly at least. Someone jumped the gun, and maybe the deal still happens, but it isn’t a good look.
The Pierre-Luc Dubois rumours to Los Angeles are still out there. I understand why LA. would want him, more for a succession plan when Anze Kopitar starts to slow down, but L.A. didn’t lose to the Oilers this year due to not having a solid top-three centre. Depending on who the Kings have to move to acquire him, I’ll be curious to see if he really makes them that much better next year. Montreal is also very interested, but Winnipeg wants NHL players in return, and L.A. has better options than Montreal.
Will any teams be busier than Philadelphia, Calgary, St. Louis and Winnipeg? Maybe, but those teams have players they want to move.
I don’t expect the Oilers to be super busy, but here is what I see as their options and possibilities this week.
Trade Kailer Yamamoto. Not earth shattering news. We’ve known for a month they’d like to move him. If he isn’t traded by Thursday, then I expect he will be bought out, unless they trade Warren Foegele instead. Personally, I’d retain Foegele, because I think he can help you more in the playoffs. Yamamoto has more natural offensive skill, but Foegele’s size, speed and style of play give him a better chance to be more successful in the playoffs.
I wouldn’t expect much of a return for Yamamoto. It will be a salary dump for the Oilers. Dealing Foegele for draft picks doesn’t help the Oilers in my eyes, so unless it is a hockey trade I don’t see why they would do it.
Philip Broberg needs to play next season, and with Darnell Nurse, Mattias Ekholm and Brett Kulak ahead on the left-side depth chart, if he remains in the organization he will start in the American League. If he was dealt, I’d expect it to be a package deal that involved Edmonton shipping out some guys with salary and bringing in a right-shot D-man or a right-winger. As of this writing, nothing is close. Dealing him for a young prospect or a draft picks doesn’t help the Oilers. The only way I see him being dealt is if it is for an established NHLer.
The Oilers have an offer on the table for Mattias Janmark. It is closer to $1m than the $1.25m he made last year, likely around $1.1m. Free agency begins on Saturday. Maybe he waits to see what else is out there, but the risk is the Oilers could move on to other UFAs once free agency opens.
I’m hearing Connor Brown would consider a bonus-laden contract to sign in Edmonton, especially if Yamamoto is dealt/bought out, as the RW depth chart would be wide open. I’ve seen some suggestions he’ll sign for $1m plus bonuses that push his salary over $3m. If I was the Oilers, I’d rather have a $2m base and $1m+ in bonuses. Edmonton will be a legit contender for at least the next two seasons, so why have too much dead cap space in bonus overages if you can avoid it? Keep in mind any bonus structure he agrees to will likely be very attainable, similar to Patrice Bergeron last year in Boston. But now the Bruins have significant bonus overages of $4.5m this year. A $1m base with $2-$2.5m bonuses is too short-sighted, cap wise. I’d want it more balanced if I was Ken Holland.
The biggest news of the week could occur tonight with Connor McDavid (Hart), Stuart Skinner (Calder) and Darnell Nurse (King Clancy) up for NHL awards. I expect McDavid to win, while the other two are too difficult to call. If Nurse wins he will be the third Oiler to win in the last 15 years, joining Ethan Moreau (2009) and Andrew Ference (2014). The King Clancy is awarded to the NHL player “who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and who has made a significant humanitarian contribution to his community.” It is a very important and under-appreciated award.
Skinner would be the first Edmonton player to win the Calder. McDavid is poised to win his third Hart and it would be the 13th time an Oiler has been named the NHL’s most valuable player.
And for those who love planning ahead, the NHL schedule will be released tomorrow.
THE NATION NETWORK DRAFT COVERAGE
Stay tuned to the website, social media, and our YouTube page for extensive coverage of the NHL Entry Draft. From instance analysis from Nashville to quick updates from the event, we’ll have you covered on all things draft all week long.
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