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Rumour Roundup: Oilers eyeing Flyers winger, Connor Hellebuyck not interested in extension with Jets, and more
8 months ago
It’s almost time for Silly Season, so let’s revive the Rumour Roundup.
The last time we looked at some rumours involving the Oilers, it was all the way back near the trade deadline. Although we’re now in June, building a team never stops, and there are some interesting players available on the trading block.
Connor Hellebuyck likely won’t re-sign with the Jets:
In my opinion, the tandem of Jack Campbell and Stuart Skinner has some issues.
Skinner could develop into that homegrown goaltender the Oilers have always wanted, but he could just as easily plateau. I don’t know what they were thinking when they signed Campbell to a 5-year, $25 million deal at the start of the 2022 free agency.
Less than a year later, one of the best goaltenders in the league is reportedly available, per The Score article here. He has one-year remaining and will make $6,160,000 before heading to unrestricted free agency. Hellebuyck had a .920 save percentage and a 2.49 goals-against average in 64 games played with the Jets this season.
It’d seemingly be very hard for the Oilers to trade for him, and even harder for them to re-sign him given the cap crunch they currently have. Furthermore, they’d have to send Campbell the other way, who has a negative value at the moment given his brutal season.
Still, he’s one of the top trade candidates, and he sort of fits the Oilers’ needs.
The Flyers are selling, could Travis Konecny be in play?
Per this The Athletic, Pierre LeBrun linked Travis Konecny to the Oilers, noting that he’d be a perfect top-six forward for a contender.
Last season on the abysmal Philadelphia Flyers, he scored a career-high 31 goals and added 30 assists, tying his career-high 61 points. For his career, he has 141 goals and 332 points in 448 games.
The 26-year-old right wing has two seasons remaining, making $5,500,000 in each of those years.
Konecny would be a significant upgrade over Kailer Yamamoto, who finds himself 12th on The Athletic’s trade board. Goaltender Carter Hart ranks fifth on that board and would be the goaltender I’d go after over Hellebuyck.
Brett Pesce may be traded if no contract can be reached:
Imagine the Oilers with Brett Pesce on the blueline.
According to the same The Athletic article, the 28-year-old right-shot defenceman recently switched agents. The Carolina Hurricanes are hoping to sign an extension with him, but if his demands aren’t met, they could trade him.
The 2023-24 is the final season of his contract, where he’ll be making $4,025,000. Afterwards, he’s set to become a free agent and is due for a serious upgrade, as he’s a great Top 4 defenceman.
If the Oilers were to add Pesce without moving any of their current defensemen, they could have these pairings:
Mattias Ekholm – Evan Bouchard
Darnell Nurse – Brett Pesce
Brett Kulak – Cody Ceci
That would be absolutely fantastic. The challenge, of course, is making things work financially.
The Oilers have roughly $7 million in salary cap room this summer and Evan Bouchard, Klim Kostin, and Ryan McLeod are in need of new deals as restricted free agents. If the Oilers are going to add names like Hellbuyck, Konecny, or Pesce, other contracts are going to need to move the other way.
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