Rumour Roundup: Edmonton Oilers showing interest in Nick Bjugstad, Brad Holland attends Columbus/Vancouver game and the latest on Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane
Photo credit:Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
9 months ago
We’re a little over a month away from the 2022-23 trade deadline. Could some trades happen before the all-star break?
A new player has emerged as an Oilers trade target, plus Edmonton has been scouting some sellers. We’ll also look at other notes from around the league.
According to Sportsnet’s Elliott Friedman on the 32 Thoughts podcast, the Oilers are interested in right-handed center Nick Bjugstad.
The 30-year-old currently plays for the Arizona Coyotes, and has 11 goals and 21 points in 50 games, the most he’s registered since the 2017-18 season. Furthermore, he has a 55.8 goal share, and an expected goal share of 51.4%, pretty impressive considering the team which he plays for.
Bjugstad has also seen some time on the penalty kill, as he’s played 110:13 minutes so far this season, which is a career-high. This season, he is making $900,000 and is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year.
It wouldn’t be a huge splash, but he could be had at a relatively low cost, and is arguably a better option than Derek Ryan, except in terms of faceoffs.
We polled Nation Network write Mike Gould, who keeps a close eye on the Coyotes, and this is what he had to say of Bjugstad’s game this season.
If Tage Thompson is a glass of red wine, Nick Bjugstad is a can of grape Bubly. In a very broad sense, all the same elements are there, and you can sometimes detect a hint of that distinct flavour, but one is clearly so much stronger than the other. But that’s not remotely intended as a shot at Bjugstad, who is both very tall and genuinely talented. He’s a lot more than just a bottom-six placeholder. Bjugstad has very good hands for such a big man and is extremely reliable in all three zones, having been used extensively by Coyotes head coach Andre Tourigny in pretty much every game situation this season. At his peak, Bjugstad was a quality second-line forward with the Florida Panthers who reached the 40-point plateau twice — and while he’s slowed down a little bit over the years, he’s also found a second wind this year in an increased role. Bjugstad certainly isn’t somebody I’d play with McDavid, but he’s done a pretty good job playing alongside the likes of Matias Maccelli, Dylan Guenther, and Lawson Crouse this season. He’ll do everything what you ask of him in a depth role, but he’ll kick it up a notch if he gets the chance to play with legit talent. I can totally envision Bjugstad thriving in the playoffs if he needs to move up the lineup to replace an injured player. Given the state of the market, I could *maybe* see Bjugstad fetching a second-round pick from the right team — but I think it’s more likely we see him go for a third-rounder and a prospect of moderate repute.
Brad Holland at Columbus vs Vancouver
Oilers assistant general manager, Brad Holland, was at the Columbus Blue Jackets/Vancouver Caniucks game on Saturday.
The Oilers interest in Columbus’ left-shot defenceman, Vladislav Gavrikov, has been well noted, especially in our Rumour Roundup articles. However, perhaps they have interest in a depth defenceman such as Vancouver’s Luke Schenn, who is cheap and has Stanley Cup experience.
It’s not out of the question that they’re looking at someone who plays for the Canucks, as Ken Holland, Bob Nicholson, and Jay Woodcroft all attended a Canucks game on Jan. 20. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.
Now let’s look at some quick notes from around the league.
Latest on Toews and Kane
Chicago was in town on Saturday, meaning it’s worth looking at the latest Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews rumours. According to this Edmonton Sun article, both players are open to being traded, but ultimately want what’s best for the Chicago Blackhawks organization, the only team they’ve ever played for. Both have no move clauses, so they’d have to agree to being moved if Chicago wishes to trade them. It’s also worth noting that there likely won’t be action on this front until after the all-star break.
Horvat is a fit for Boston
Per Frank Seravalli, Horvat is a option for the Bruins, as they’ve been interested in 27-year-old for quite some time. He also notes in this article that Horvat could be a long-term option to replace aging veterans like Patrice Bergeron and David Krejčí. However, they’d have to re-sign him as Horvat will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2022-23 season.
Devils in on many players
On the latest 32 Thoughts podcast, Friedman and Jeff Marek were discussing potential New Jersey Devil additions, and essentially, they’re interested in quite a few forwards. Wingers Vladimir Tarasenko and Timo Meier were brought up by name.
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