Usually, I drop a weekly rumours blog every Thursday but there is so much going on right now that I figured I should be releasing them on a more regular basis as we get closer to the NHL Draft. So here we go, another fresh set of rumours to discuss!
First off, we’re starting with more chatter surrounding the Edmonton Oilers. There is some talk that they’re trying to trade a right-winger for a left-winger. In the grand scheme of things, this will be one of the more minor trades they make this offseason, but it will still be impactful.
The biggest rumour flying around right now is the idea of sending Alex Chiasson to Boston for Anders Bjork. Chiasson, who has one more year left on a deal that pays him $2.1 million, has scored a combined 33 goals in the last two seasons. Bjork, who’s under contract for three more seasons at $1.6 million, has just 14 goals in 108 career games. Now, it is worth noting that he scored 8 goals at even-strength this past season, which is three more than Chiasson had. He’s also only 24-years-old, so there’s a chance that he could develop into a 15-20 goal player.
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I don’t hate this deal, but I think there might be a better move out there. Yes, Bjork is six years younger than Chiasson and the move would save the Oilers $500k against the salary cap, I just think I would rather see the Oilers move Chiasson for a draft pick and then look into bringing back @Tyler Ennis or used the saved money for a player with a little bit more offensive upside than Bjork.
Another option, if the Oilers could move out Chiasson’s $2.1 million cap hit, would be to re-sign @Andreas Athanasiou. TSN’s Frank Seravalli has said that it’s unlikely that the Oilers qualify either Athanasiou or Matt Benning. If they found some extra cap space in the next few days, I wonder if that would change. I would certainly take Athanasiou over Bjork, even if he cost more.
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There will be changes up front for the Oilers this offseason, but it’s far from their biggest need. They’ll definitely need to bring in a new goaltender and the market for puck stopper right now is incredibly complicated.

A FLOODED GOALIE MARKET

Oct 2, 2019; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid (97) scores a third period goal against Vancouver Canucks goaltender Jacob Markstrom (25) at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Pierre LeBrun recently listed off nine teams that could potentially need goaltenders. They are Edmonton, Detroit, San Jose, Minnesota, Ottawa, Carolina, and Washington. He also included both Calgary (unless they bring back Talbot) and Chicago (if they don’t re-sign Crawford). You can probably also add Vancouver to that list if they don’t bring back Jacob Markstrom.
That’s a lot of teams that are interested and when you look at how many options are on the market, you can see why many are saying it’s a buyers market.
On the UFA market alone, there’s Braden Holtby, Jakob Markstrom, Corey Crawford, Cam Talbot, Thomas Greiss, Anton Kudobin, and some lesser options like Jimmy Howard, Mike Smith, Laurent Brossoit, and Aaron Dell. Henrik Lundqvist might be an option somewhere as well.
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On the trade market, there’s Matt Murray, Marc-Andre Fleury, and one of James Reimer or Petr Mrazek out of Carolina. There is now also chatter, according to Pierre LeBrun, that the Columbus Blue Jackets could be willing to move one of Joonas Korpisalo or Elvis Merzlikins. 
LeBrun mentioned that the Blue Jackets would be looking for a top-six winger in return for one of their young netminders. Either one would be a great fit here in Edmonton considering their age and their performances this past season, but I don’t think the Oilers have the assets to make it work. I don’t think Athanasiou or Puljujarvi are enough to even start the conversation.
Petr Mrazek isn’t a great option, but I think he would be fairly cheap to acquire and you might be able to get the Hurricanes to take either a contract back or keep a little bit of money.
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TROUBLE IN TAMPA

They just won the Stanley Cup, so it’s hard to feel bad for Julien BriseBois or anyone in the Tampa Bay Lightning organization, but they are in a very difficult spot heading into this offseason. Mikhail Sergachaev and Anthony Cirelli are both key pieces and are both pending RFA’s. If the team wants to keep both of them and still fill out the rest of their roster, they’ll likely have to clear out close to $10 million in cap space.
To do that, they’ll need to deal two of their more expensive forwards. Alex Killorn makes $4.45m a season while Tyler Johnson, Yanni Gourde, and Ondrej Palat all make north of $5 million. Moving two of those players would solve their problems but the issue is that Killorn has a modified no-trade clause and the other three all have full no-trade clauses.
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In fact, the only forward on their roster making more than $5 million who doesn’t have an NTC is Nikita Kucherov because his clause doesn’t kick in until Friday.
We’ve heard that they might need to move on from someone that they initially weren’t planning on. I don’t think they’ll come close to seriously considering moving Kucherov. Some people have floated the idea of them moving Steven Stamkos but he also has trade protection and he’s the face of their franchise. I can’t see that happening either.
Elliotte Friedman, however, did float out the idea of them moving Mikhail Sergachev and if they’re open to doing that, the Oilers should be all over it. I wasn’t crazy about giving up the 14th overall pick and a prospect in a trade for Oliver Ekman-Larsson, but I would do it for Sergachev if he was signed to a good contract. The Oilers, of course, would have to clear out some money first.
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QUICK NOTES

  • There are rumours that the Florida Panthers could be interested in Alex Pietrangelo and if they sign him, it could lead to them moving Aaron Ekblad. Honestly, I can’t see why they’d sign Pietrangelo just to move on from Ekblad but if the 24-year-old d-man does become available, that’s another name I’m sure Ken Holland would check in on.
  • It will be very interesting to see if the rights to either Pietrangelo or Torey Krug are dealt in the next few days. I’d say it’s more likely that Boston deals Krug because it sounds like the Blues might take one more run at signing Pietrangelo.
  • Considering the recent news about Oscar Klefbom, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Oilers get involved in the free-agent market for defenseman. Tyson Barries’ name has been thrown around a lot, but I don’t hate the idea of going after Sami Vatanen either. They aren’t as good as Klefbom, but they would help fill the hole.
  • The Devils are reportedly open to moving one of their first-round picks for a controllable asset. There are a lot of rumours about teams being more willing to move first-round picks than they would be in previous years.
  • Is there a big name that the Bruins aren’t interested in? Insiders are connecting them to both Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Taylor Hall.
  • If Jake DeBrusk is available out of Boston, I would expect the Oilers to inquire, but I don’t think they’ll have the assets or money to make that trade work. Everything comes back to cap space with the Oilers and I believe Debrusk will want north of $4.5 million on his next deal.