We’ve got another edition of NHL rumorus to start your Friday. There’s plenty going on in the world, but we’re here with moves that have nothing to do with COVID. Teams are trying to add pieces for a playoff run or decide their futures. It’s the Western Conference bias edition of our NHL rumours. Today we have items on the Edmonton Oilers, Nashville Predators and Vancouver Canucks.
All NHL rumours come from the original source and are subject to change.
Rumour: Elliotte Friedman in the latest 32 Thoughts column stated the Oilers are looking at upgrades in goal, defence and a depth centre.
Late night, crazy day. 32 Thoughts written version: https://t.co/mjTuydBnzB
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) December 15, 2021
Analysis: General manager Ken Holland will want to give Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl some backup. However, one of the main stumbling blocks is the team’s cap space. Edmonton is always dancing on the line, they’ve got players like Mike Smith on long-term injured reserve. Columbus goalie Joonas Korpisalo would be a good option if the Oilers need to fix their goalie issues.
The Oilers offence can score, but they need to stop leaking goals. Smith’s return to the lineup would be huge and allow Holland to concentrate on filling other holes. However, Edmonton has to win some games and show some fight. They went from a hot start to falling away from the leaders in the Pacific Division. They now rank fourth.
Left defence seems to be a main concern right after goaltending. Duncan Keith is in the later portion of his career and there’s uncertainty surrounding Markus Niemelainen. Someone Jakob Chychrun would be a good addition, but do the Oilers have the space to make it happen?
Rumour: Dan Rosen of NHL.com said the Predators should try to re-sign Filip Forsberg instead of trading him in his latest mailbag.
MAILBAG: Why in the world would the Predators trade Filip Forsberg? Are the Rangers for real? What's the deal with the Olympics? Is Ovechkin gonna do it?https://t.co/aP22Q33HZU
— Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) December 15, 2021
Analysis: Nashville is in an odd place where they’re a decent team, but not among the West’s contenders. Forsberg’s contract comes up at the end of the season and he’ll command more than his current $6 million salary. The Swede came over from the Washington Capitals for Martin Erat in one of the most lopsided trades in NHL history.
Forsberg has proven his worth by scoring the team’s first ever playoff hat trick and 189 regular-season markers. However, general manager David Poile has to fit his deal under next year’s cap. Dealing the 27-year-old would yield an NHL player and a high draft choice, at least. A sign-and-trade deal could net even more.
However, Nashville may be in contention and Poile may work his magic to get the sniper to stay. There may be a rebuild in the Music City, but will it be a complete teardown or a competitive rebuild.
Nashville should try to keep Forsberg because he’s one of the faces of their franchise. However, the price has to be right.
Rumour: Interim general manager Jim Benning said he won’t trade high draft picks according to Thomas Drance of The Athletic.
“It’s not the cycle we’re in to trade high draft picks,” says Jim Rutherford. Further indicates that he’s targeting young players in particular. #Canucks
— Thomas Drance (@ThomasDrance) December 13, 2021
Analysis: Vancouver seems to have found its stride with new head coach Bruce Boudreau. There might be time for the Canucks to make a charge for a playoff spot. However, they won’t be looking for quick fixes to patch over the roster.
Rutherford is still looking for a full-time general manager that will help forge Vancouver’s future. There are good players on the roster, but there needs to be some changes made. Players like J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser could fetch a decent return on the trade market in picks and prospects. Boeser is a restricted free agent at the end of the season and will likely want a pay bump from his current $5.875 million salary.
Rutherford has built plenty of winning rosters, but will need time to undo the mess left by Jim Benning. Things won’t be solved overnight, but at least the on-ice product is better.