With news, comes more rumours. This week we got the news that Jesse Puljujärvi signed in Finland with Oulun Kärpät of Liiga. With that, we got some thoughts from Ryan Rishaug which sparked the rumour mill. That’s where I’m going to start with this edition of ‘Weekly Rumours’.
JESSE P & RISHAUG
An interesting wrinkle in this whole @Jesse Puljujarvi news is that his deal with Kärpät comes with an NHL out-clause before December 1st. This means that is the Oilers find a deal that they like, Puljujarvi can come back to the NHL and join his new team this season.
I would say it’s unlikely that Ken Holland finds a deal this year. I would imagine that if he hasn’t found a suitable return by now, he’ll have to wait until next offseason. I just don’t see why a team would suddenly want to meet the Oilers asking price now that he’s going to Europe, but Ryan Rishaug gave me a little bit of hope that we might get a deal done.
Sounds like there is interest out there for J.P. Discussions with several teams have happened in recent weeks, but unless the price is met, my guess is Holland won't pull the trigger. Sense on price is a prospect with top 9 F potential and a draft pick gets it done.. cont
— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) August 27, 2019
…Perhaps a player straight across, but would need to be someone who plays right away and has contract left. I don't believe a 2nd round pick straight up gets a deal done at this time. Oilers made several attempts to bring Jesse back into the fold, but player insists on change
— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) August 27, 2019
The idea of dealing him for a competent top-nine player and a second or third-round pick interests me. If they can get back a winger who’s capable of scoring 20 goals a year or a centre that can strengthen their third line, they should be all over it. Rishaug makes it seem like there is still interest and it’s clear that Holland has a pretty firm asking price. So for now, we’ll continue to wait.
RILEY SHEAHAN TO TOWN?
So we have some conflicting reports when it comes to UFA centre Riley Sheahan. Some in the Edmonton media have hinted that a deal is likely and I believe it would make a lot of sense. From the Ken Holland connection to the Oilers clear need for an established third-line centre with some upside, it seems like a really good fit.
Mark Spector reportedly threw some cold water on that during an appearance on 630 CHED. We know that Holland is pushing to add some depth to the lineup as Jason Gregor has mentioned a few times so the Sheahan rumours aren’t surprising and I wouldn’t be surprised if it does come to fruition at some point over the next few weeks but based on Spector’s comments, nothing is imminent.
@Thomas Vanek and @Patrick Marleau have been mentioned as well but out of those two, the former is the one I view as a realistic option. I still think Marleau will either sign in San Jose or somewhere in California. Vanek makes sense given his history with Ken Holland. Not sure if he’s a PTO candidate or if someone would give him a one-year deal.
STORYLINES AROUND THE RANGERS
There were some interesting headlines floating around the New York Rangers as of late.
@Chris Kreider had an off the record conversation with a reporter from The Athletic and let it known that he understands the trade rumours surrounding him and realizes he might be dealt this season. On the surface, he would be a perfect fit for the Oilers. The team needs a high-flying scoring winger in the prime of his career. Kreider has scored at a 20 goal, 50 point pace in each of his last three seasons. He would score even more in Edmonton.
The issue is that he makes over $4 million and is a pending UFA after this season. The only way the Oilers can make this work is if the Rangers agree to take back a contract like Sam Gagner’s. On top of that, the acquisition cost of Kreider will be very high. Are the Oilers going to be comfortable giving up a pair of nice assets to acquire a player who could bolt next July in unrestricted free agency? Doubtful.
I would imagine that a team that is close to a Stanley Cup or is hoping to make a push will give up a lot of Kreider at the deadline. I don’t think the Oilers are that team.
ARIZONA INTERESTED IN HOFFMAN?
We heard the Oilers connected to Panthers winger Mike Hoffman a few weeks ago and now Marc Savard has chimed in on the rumour.
A couple teams interested in Florida Panthers Mike Hoffman and I’m hearing @ArizonaCoyotes are making a real push to add him for a push to make the playoffs!!
— Marc Savard (@MSavvy91) February 24, 2019
I never viewed Hoffman as a realistic target for the Oilers. He’s a pending UFA, has a NTC, and likely doesn’t want to play in Canada again. Arizona would be a perfect fit for him. Right now, the Coyotes have under half a million in cap space, so they couldn’t afford Hoffman but if I understand things correctly, they’ll have around $5 million in space once Marian Hossa is placed on LTIR.
They could make a Hoffman deal work and if they do, that offence could be pretty lethal. Combine that with a seemingly solid backend and very underrated goaltending in Anti Raanta. This team could surprise a lot of people this season which isn’t good news for the Oilers.