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Weekly Rumours – Oilers in the market for a defenseman?

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Tyler Yaremchuk
8 months ago
We are less than two weeks away from the trade deadline and the rumour mill is heating up! 
The Oilers might not be very active ahead of March 21st, but there has still been a lot of talk about the goaltending market and who could move. 
One name that the Oilers had been connected to recently was @Semyon Varlamov of the New York Islanders. Fans were throwing this guy into a lot of fake trade proposals and there was some chatter that the Islanders were open to the idea of moving him.
While he would be a very solid target for the Oilers, he does have a 16-team no-trade clause and we got two reports this week, one from an Islanders reporter and one from Elliotte Friedman, saying that Varlamov would not waive his NTC to come to Edmonton.
The idea of the Oilers getting both Varlamov and defenseman Scott Mayfield was an idea that a bunch of people, myself included, had kicked around over the last week but that dream appears to be dead.
The goaltending market could very well be a buyers market though. Frank Seravalli had more on that earlier this week in this video:

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The big changes since that video are in Vegas and Toronto. Each team is now facing injury concerns between the pipes and that could change their plans leading up to the deadline. Would Fleury agree to a deal to either of those spots? That remains unknown.
I would fully expect the Oilers to be in the market for a defenseman ahead of the deadline and it sounds like it could very well be a bit of a buyers market too, which should help Ken Holland. The tough part for the Oilers’ GM will be getting money off the books. 
I would love to see them get someone like Calvin De Haan out of Chicago. Plays a defence-first style of play, can play either side, and shouldn’t cost a lot asset-wise. I also really like Carson Soucy out of Seattle as well but he might cost more.
They won’t take a big swing at someone like Chariot or Lindholm but I think the Oilers will have a new defenseman by 1pm on March 21.

OFF THE MARKET

I am stunned that the Philadelphia Flyers gave @Rasmus Ristolainen the deal that they did. He wasn’t worth the pair of draft picks that they traded the get him and he simply is not worth $5.1 million per year on a long-term deal. It’s a very bad move on their part.
They likely could have got a mid-round pick for him at the deadline, but he is now off the board.
With the news that Miro Heiskanen has mono, I would imagine that the Dallas Stars are even less likely to move John Klingberg now. He wants out and will likely walk in the summer, but they’re in the midst of a playoff push and are now going to be without their #1 defenseman. I would bet that Klingberg stays. It also sounds like @Joe Pavelski is going to get a new deal there. Doesn’t sound like the Stars will be offloading much at the deadline. @Braden Holtby still appears to be one player that they could cash in on though. They have Anton Khudobin to backup Jake Oetinger if they make a move.

THE DUCKS

I know the Anaheim Ducks aren’t in a full-fledged rebuild right now, but they could really set themselves up nicely for the future by selling off all three of Rickard Rakell, Hampus Lindholm, and Josh Manson. Those three could each get you close to a first-round pick, if not more in the case of Lindholm. With Zegras and other quality young pieces already in their organization, a number one goalie locked up, and cap flexibility, they could turn things around quickly, it would just involve biting the bullet this year.

QUICK HITS

  • Friedman brought up the idea that the Devils and PK Subban could mutually terminate his deal since he doesn’t have a lot of salary left but has a very high cap hit. He could potentially become a UFA ahead of the deadline. It’s certainly something to watch.
  • Phil Kessel, who just became a dad, is another interesting veteran to watch. Having a productive season but he carries a huge cap-hit. Even if Arizona keeps half, it’s hard to imagine a lot of contenders being able to fit him in. This could hurt his value.
  • I wonder if a team like LA gets the itch to pull the trigger on a big splash for Jacob Chychrun. It’d help them this year, and they’re good enough to win a round in the playoffs, and Chychrun would be a pillar of that blueline for a long time.
  • There were a few insiders reporting that the Sharks are taking a really good run at trying to get an extension done with Tomas Hertl. There was also an article in The Athletic about him being a good fit on the Bruins.
  • Frank Seravalli says that the Penguins and Kris Letang are not close to an extension but that it won’t impact their deadline plans. He added they may only be able to afford two of Malkin, Rust and Letang this summer. There’s more from Frank in Ice Breakers here:

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That’s a wrap on another edition of Weekly Rumours. Silly season is officially here and the next week should be an absolutely wild one! Can’t wait to be a part of The Daily Faceoff Show’s trade deadline coverage. We’ll have 3.5 hours of commercial-free hockey talk streamed LIVE on our Twitter, Youtube and Facebook. Hope you can join us!

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