Another Thursday, another chance to look at some rumours from around the NHL. To kick things off, let’s take a look at the first TSN Trade Bait board of the season, which dropped a few days ago.
From an Oilers perspective, we hadn’t heard a lot about potential defensemen that could be available. The TSN list had a few options.
They started with @Ben Chiarot at the top, who we have heard thrown around the rumour mill at least a little bit already this season. He’s a left-shot defenseman and he only carries a cap hit of $3.5 million, so he might actually be a pretty good fit for the Oilers.
So far this season, he’s been on the ice for almost 500 5v5 minutes and in that time, the Canadiens have been outscored 20-14. That isn’t a great number, but the Habs have been terrible this season and of their six defensemen that have played at least 200 5v5 minutes, he has the 2nd best GF%.
He would be a fine addition for the Oilers, but not if they have to give up their first-round pick.
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There were two other left-shot defensemen on the TSN list: Mark Giordano from Seattle, Nick Leddy from Detroit. The Oilers would have to have those respective teams eat half of those players’ salaries as Giordano has a cap hit of $6.75m and Leddy’s is $5.5m.
If Ken Holland wants to go out and add a veteran left-shot defenseman, there are a few options on the market.
There is also a goaltender on the list: @Anton Khudobin. The Dallas Stars recently sent Ben Bishop to the AHL for a conditioning stint and if he can get back to 100% health, then the Stars would have four NHL calibre goaltenders in their organization with @Braden Holtby and @Jake Oettinger also hanging around.
They would have to move one or two of them and it makes sense that Khuodbin would be on the market. Jeff Marek has also reported that the Dallas Stars have made Anton Khudobin available.
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Many think that the Oilers would be wise to go out and upgrade their goaltending, but I don’t think Khudobin is a good fit. First, not only are his numbers this year subpar, but his numbers last season weren’t great either. He isn’t a guaranteed upgrade on a healthy Mike Smith.
Also, Khudobin has another year on his contract and with Mike Smith already under contract for next season, it’d be silly for the Oilers to bring in a 35-year-old making $3.33m be their tandem for the next year and a half.
Other names on the list were Evander Kane, Jake DeBrusk, Tomas Hertl, Kevin Fiala, and Phil Kessel.

NHL & THE OLYMPICS

Yesterday on The Daily Faceoff Show, Frank Seravalli provided an update on the Olympic situation that’s currently brewing in the NHL.
Vegas Golden Knights goalie Robin Lehner has already told Team Sweden that he will not be going to Beijing and there are some rumblings that others may follow suit.
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Seravalli says that January 10th is the final day for the NHL to back out without financial penalty. He added “What’s going to happen in the next few days is that the Beijing 2022 updated Olympic playbook is going to come out and it should detail some further quarantine restrictions and requirements should you test positive for COVID-19 while in China. At the moment, the understanding is that players and/or staff would need to quarantine in China and in isolation for three weeks with a positive test. The question that NHL players have asked and the NHLPA is hoping to get an answer for, is can you be medically evacuated? Can you leave the country on a charter if you test positive? Or do you have to stay in China for that isolation?”
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It’s going to be interesting to see how this all plays out. Honestly, I’m a little bit nervous that the NHL will back out of things, but I sure hope I’m wrong.

QUICK HITS

  • Elliotte Friedman connected the Vancouver Canucks to longtime executive Jim Rutherford and said that if something is going to happen between the two sides, it will happen soon.
  • Pierre LeBrun wondered if the next step for the Canucks would involve giving the Sedin twins a larger role. 
  • Will Lou Lamoriolle make a hail mary type trade to try and salvage the Islanders season? Darren Dreger poured some cold water on that idea saying that while Lou is an active GM, he doesn’t see him pulling the trigger on a blockbuster move.
  • The Islanders do need scoring though. Fiala and DeBrusk would fit in my opinion but the islanders don’t have a lot of cap space and both Boston and Minnesota are playoff contenders. It would have to be a hockey trade.
  • There is talk about Carey Price being traded this season. Something to keep an eye on I suppose. Don’t really see him as a fit with the Oilers.
  • Jeff Petry could also be available in Montreal. There is talk that very few players should feel safe on that roster.
  • Tuukka Rask back in Boston? Wouldn’t surprise me at all. I wonder if they’ll try to lure David Krejci back to the NHL as well. Just get the whole band back together.

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