The Jesse Puljujarvi saga continues. According to Jouni Nieminen, a trustworthy source based in Edmonton when it comes to Finnish hockey news, provided an update on the disgruntled young Oilers forward.
Jesse Puljujärvi tonight to Kaleva Newspaper at a charity game in Oulu: "I want a new start with some other team. Playing in North America is still my goal." "I will stay on Oulu until I have a contract. I will find a place to play somewhere".
— Jouni Nieminen (@OnsideWithJouni) August 2, 2019
Despite the change in general manager, coach, and sight shake-up of the dressing room that went down this off-season, Puljujarvi appears uninterested in giving life with the Oilers another shot. He appears very adamant that he wants a brand new opportunity elsewhere. While playing in North America is his goal, the former fourth-overall pick said that he’ll remain in Finland until he has a new deal with a different NHL team and that he’ll find somewhere to play in the meantime.
Ken Holland has been very steadfast in his handling of this tricky situation that he inherited. Holland has been adamant that he won’t deal Puljujarvi just for the sake of doing so and that he’ll look to make a trade that makes sense for the Oilers.
Puljujarvi, of course, is a restricted free agent right now and can sign in Europe, but the Oilers will maintain his rights. If he does play in Europe, he’ll be making substantially less money than he would be playing over here with the Oilers on a short-term, show-me deal.
While I empathize with Puljujarvi’s desire for a fresh start elsewhere, refusing to play in Edmonton is in no way helping his cause. Holland, as I said above, has made it clear he won’t rush into a trade and sitting out will only diminish Puljujarvi’s trade value, making it more difficult for the Oilers to find him a new opportunity.
Things might change as training camp approaches, but it’s starting to look like the young Finn has played his last game as an Oiler.