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Weekly Rumours – Oilers Search for a Defenseman

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Tyler Yaremchuk
1 year ago
It may be August 12th, but Ken Holland is reportedly not done tinkering with the Oilers lineup. 
That shouldn’t really come as a surprise either. Even after the signing of Brendan Perlini, the Oilers are at 39 contracts (via PuckPedia) and while the eventual Yamamoto signing will bring them to an even 40, it’s fair to expect that Holland will make around four to six more signings before the start of training camp.
One of those deals, if not maybe two of them, will be for a third-pairing, left-shot defenseman. TSN’s Ryan Rishaug did some reporting on that earlier in the week:
Personally, I’d be a fan of bringing back Koekoek. He can play both sides of the ice, can kill penalties, and he’s familiar with Dave Tippett’s system. I really liked what I saw from him for most of last season and if it wasn’t for the shoulder injury he sustained in a game against Calgary, I think he would have had a great year.
As for Benn, he spent last season with the Vancouver Canucks and he was decent. His numbers were a little up and down but the Canucks had a very up and down season, so it makes sense.
There has been a lot of talk about potentially bringing in Zdeno Chara and while he’s certainly a famous player, I would prefer that the Oilers bring in someone younger with a little bit of upside.
Regardless, the Oilers desperately need to bring in a left-shot defenseman who can kill penalties, so expect a move to happen in that regard before training camp.
I also wouldn’t be stunned if he saw a forward or two brought into camp. Bobby Ryan, Evgeny Svechnikov, Tyler Bozak, and even Alex Chiasson would all be of interest to me. We’ll see if Ken Holland decides to make some cheap bets on the free-agent market before training camp begins.
Here’s what’s going on elsewhere around the NHL:

EICHEL TO NYR?

There hasn’t been a lot of news surrounding Jack Eichel, only that things still aren’t going well between he and the Sabres. Earlier this week though, Rick Carpiniello dropped a little bit of a bomb on Twitter.
Rick is a well-connected reporter and his wording in this tweet is very interesting. It’s been long rumoured that the Rangers would love to get their hands on Eichel and if they were willing to include a player like Zibenejad, you’d have to imagine that would go a long way in getting a deal done.
Zibanejad is a year away from unrestricted free agency so from a Sabres perspective, they could flip him before the season or at the deadline and bring in even more assets than what they’d get from the Rangers. 
I’m sure the Sabres would prefer to deal Eichel to the Western Conference so they don’t have to play him a bunch of times every year, but at the end of the day, they’d probably be wise to just take the best offer, no matter who it comes from.

KAPRIZOV DRAMA

Our very own Frank Seravalli reported earlier this week that Calder Trophy winner Kirill Kaprizov has an agreement in place with CSKA Moscow of the KHL in case he can’t agree to terms on a contract with the Minnesota Wild.
 
One big change in the negotiations according to Frank is that the Wild are now more open to a medium-term deal, where as before they were set on going seven or eight years with Kaprizov, something that the Kaprizov camp was not interested in.
This is going to be a fascinating negotiation to watch unfold over the next month. The Wild would be foolish to let the most electrifying player their franchise has ever had walk away but they also have a lot of dead cap space on their books after the 2021-22 season and they need to be very careful with how they spend their money.
Kaprizov has options outside of the NHL and the money is significant, which only makes this more difficult for Wild GM Bill Guerin.

QUICK NOTES

  • Luke Fox of Sportsnet mentioned that the Montreal Canadiens have shown interest in bringing back Alex Galchenyuk, who is currently a UFA. Galchenyuk once scored 30 goals for the Canadiens before they moved him to Arizona in a deal for Max Domi. He had some solid stretches for the Leafs last season on skilled lines as well. I wonder if the Oilers would look at Galchenyuk as well.
  • Vlad Tarasenko is still out there. I wonder what it will take for a move to happen now. It’s very clear that Tarasenko doesn’t want to be back with the Blues.
  • There are 12 teams with over $10 million in projected cap space, so there are a few teams with the ability to still make a bit of a splash.
  • The @Evander Kane situation is certainly not going to get resolved anytime soon. The NHL is reportedly still looking into the allegations that he bet on NHL games and while that’s going on, there are reports coming out of San Jose that some Sharks players don’t want to return if Kane is in the picture. It will be fascinating to see how the NHL handles this.
  • The Canucks need to get new deals done for both @Elias Pettersson and @Quinn Hughes before the season begins. Only Pettersson is eligible for an offer sheet and while that would be exciting (spark the rivalry, Seattle) I don’t think it’s going to happen. Pettersson made some rather bold comments in the media, but I didn’t take them as him saying he would like to sign elsewhere.

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