NHL Rumors: Penguins, Oilers, Jets, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown there is news out of Pittsburgh that the Penguins have three possible players on their list that they’re willing to move to free up cap space. In Winnipeg, the Jets have a lot of work to do and there’s growing concern about an offer sheet and in Edmonton, there is a buzz as the team looks for another forward.

Penguins Possible Trades Focused on Three Players

Shelly Anderson of Pittsburgh Hockey NOW says because there are too many other players the Pittsburgh Penguins are unwilling to move, the discussion on possible player trades focuses on Patric Hornqvist, Nick Bjugstad, and Bryan Rust.

Patric Hornqvist Penguins
Patric Hornqvist, Pittsburgh Penguins, January 2, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The problem for the Penguins is, every team knows they need to move someone because of cap issues. The Penguins aren’t getting fair value. Signing Brandon Tanev for six years didn’t help the matter.

Related: NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs, Canucks, Flames, More

Edmonton Oilers Updates

Steven Ellis of The Hockey News took a look at teams who might be interested in trading for Golden Knights restricted free agent Nikita Gusev. Among them was the Edmonton Oilers.

Mike Smith, Sam Gagner
Edmonton Oilers’ Sam Gagner has his shot deflected by Calgary Flames goalie Mike Smith (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh)

The team could use a left-winger but might need to free up some salary space and Ellis suggested the possibility of the team moving Sam Gagner.Bob Stauffer of Oilers Now suggested the team will bring in one or two more forwards and thought that prospect Tyler Benson might get a long look.

Dennis Bernstein reports the Los Angeles Kings have inquired about Jesse Puljujarvi but the Oilers want to have Milan Lucic‘s contract attached to the deal. The Kings have declined.

Related: NHL Rumors: Golden Knights, Oilers, Islanders, More

Patrik Laine Offer Sheet?

We reported yesterday that whispers are out there about the New York Islanders or another team putting together an offer sheet for Mitch Marner. Marner isn’t the only one there is speculation about.

Patrik Laine, Bryan Little
Winnipeg Jets’ Patrik Laine (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period writes that the flood gates have opened with the Sebastian Aho offer. Brayden Point turned down an offer from the Montreal Canadiens to sign but Patrik Laine could accept one in the future if negotiations with Winnipeg go astray.

With the salary cap now at $81.5 million and Kyle Connor, among several other RFA’s to sign, and a serious need to upgrade their defense, that money will dry up fast and teams will see a struggle in Winnipeg to get everything done.

Related:NHL Rumors: Big-Ticket Free Agents, Flames, Penguins, More

Justin Williams Leaning Towards Returning

GM Don Waddell told Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer that he thinks Justin Williams may be leaning towards to the NHL to play one more season with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals and Justin Williams of the Carolina Hurricanes
WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 24: Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals and Justin Williams #14 of the Carolina Hurricanes shake hands after the Hurricanes defeated the Capitals 4-3 in the second overtime period in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Capital One Arena on April 24, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)

Waddell is hoping for a final decision in the near future. Williams is coming off a solid 2018-19 season that saw him collect 53 points in 82 regular seasons games, along with seven points in 15 postseason contests.  Part of the reason the Hurricanes haven’t done much in free agency is that they’re waiting on Williams.

Alexander writes:

If not, the only missing piece is Williams, who is still mulling things over and is an unrestricted free agent.

“He hasn’t given us 100 percent yet which way he’s going to go,” Waddell said Tuesday during a conference call. “I think he potentially could be leaning toward playing. We should know in the near future.”

source – ‘With Sebastian Aho’s contract settled, the Hurricanes can look ahead to next season’ – Chip Alexander – The News & Observer – 07/03/2019

Related: NHL Rumors: Devils, Oilers, Canadiens, More

Islanders Looking to Add a Center

New York Islanders GM, Lou Lamoriello told reporters, including Newsday’s Andrew Gross, the team was hoping to add to their center depth this offseason.

Brian Boyle #11, New Jersey Devils
Brian Boyle #11, New Jersey Devils, October 20, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Their top three of Mathew Barzal, Brock Nelson, and Casey Cizikas is strong but there is an opening that Lamoriello indicated they might have a prospect, seek a signing out of college or grab a player like Derick Brassard or Brian Boyle.

Gross writes:

But the Islanders’ offseason to-do list still includes identifying a fourth center after Valtteri Filppula returned to the Red Wings to finish his career following his one season on Long Island. And after elite playmaker Artemi Panarin spurned a larger offer from the Islanders to leave the Blue Jackets and join the rival Rangers on a seven-year, $81.5-million deal, Lamoriello is still likely looking for a scoring forward.

source – ‘Islanders were quiet in free agent market, but have work to do’ – Andrew Gross – Newsday – 07/02/2019 

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