NHL Rumours: Edmonton Oilers and Chicago Blackhawks

NHL Rumours
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Welcome to your Thursday edition of NHL Rumours. After the Edmonton Oilers were eliminated from the playoffs on Monday night there has been an oil spill of rumours surrounding the team. We will examine the futures of Jesse Puljujarvi and the Oilers’ goaltending position. We will also examine a rumour of the Chicago Blackhawks being open to trade talks with almost any player on their team except for Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Seth Jones. Let’s dive in!

NHL Rumours

Edmonton Oilers

Rumour: TSN’s Ryan Rishaug said on TSN 1260 radio in Edmonton that he expects the Oilers to prioritize players like Kailer Yamomoto ahead of Jesse Puljujarvi because the team and Puljujarvi might have a difficult time finding a fit financially. He said, “I’m not sure if Puljujarvi has played his last game as an Oiler, I think that is a real possibility.”

NHL free agent frenzy

Analysis: According to CapFreindly, the Edmonton Oilers have $7 million in cap space to re-sign players on expiring contracts like Ryan McLeod, Jesse Puljujarvi, Kailer Yamamoto, Evander Kane, Brett Kulak and find a starting goalie. That is not enough space and according to Rishaug, Puljujarvi could find himself as the odd man out. Rishaug’s reasoning is finding common ground on value may be difficult. Puljujarvi is a 40-point player with great speed and wonderful possession statistics. In the last two seasons, he was first and second among forwards in Corsi for percentage. The offensive numbers seem underwhelming because Puljujarvi was drafted to be a top-six scorer, which he hasn’t become. Edmonton could argue for a lower contract because of that, but Puljujarvi could argue more because of his possession numbers.

With the lack of cap room, Edmonton may come down to choosing between one of their two young wingers. Kailer Yamamoto scored 20 goals and 41 points this year, outscoring Puljujarvi. But if Puljujarvi would have played a full season, he was projected to outpace Yamamoto by five points. His size, speed and puck possession skills are valuable in the playoffs. Rishaug thinks the Oilers will lean towards Yamomoto.

Oilers Goaltending

Rumour: Sportsnet’s Mark Spector looks at the Edmonton Oilers’ goaltending options for next year. 

Analysis:  With Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen not being reliable starters for the Oilers, Spector writes that getting a number one goalie should be their top priority. From Spector’s available goalie list, Darcy Kuemper, Jack Campbell and Ville Husso are the most realistic options.

Kuemper is from western Canada, and Spector writes that they’ve targeted him before. He had a strong season this year posting a .921 save percentage in 57 games. However, the Colorado Avalanche will prioritize re-signing their starting goalie. Another option is Jack Campbell. In his first year as a starting goalie, he posted a .914 save percentage. If Ville Husso wants to be a starting goalie, playing for the Oilers will be a good way to do it. In 40 games Husso posted a .919 save percentage. However, he is rawer than the other options, with this being his second season in the league.

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If we look at the high danger shots Edmonton’s goalies faced compared to these three goalies, we see that there isn’t a large difference. According to Natural Stat Trick, Mikko Koskinen faced 6.3 high danger chances per game while Mike Smith faced 5.85 this season. Ville Husso faced 6.77, Darcy Kuemper with 6.26 and Jack Campbell with 5.91. If any of these goalies go to Edmonton this offseason, hopefully being used to a similar amount of high danger chances will help with their transition.

There will certainly be more content to come on NHL Rumours about Edmonton’s goaltending situation.

Chicago Blackhawks

Rumour: In 32 Thoughts the Podcast, Oil Spill episode, Elliotte Freidman reports that the Chicago Blackhawks will listen to trade offers for any players except for Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Seth Jones because they have no-movement clauses. 

Analysis: Freidman says just because Chicago will listen to trade proposals doesn’t mean they will do anything. They want to know the market for their players. However, Jeff Marek brought up that this could mean someone could trade for Alex DeBrincat,  Freidman said, “you can ask, but it will take a huge offer, but I don’t think it’s impossible.”

Which teams can make this huge offer for DeBrincat? The New Jersey Devils are a favourite because they’re willing to move the second overall pick for immediate help. One area they can use help is on the wings, imagine a 40-goal scorer in DeBrincat playing with Jack Hughes. The second overall pick will be a passive chip in a package for DeBrincat. The Ottawa Senators are another team looking for help on the wing that can offer intriguing assets. They can offer the seventh overall pick, and Chicago can pick from a boatload of young players and prospects, including Alex Formenton, Shane Pinto and Ridley Greig.

The Carolina Hurricanes are another team that wants scoring. They can offer some big names like Seth Jarvis, Scott Morrow and Jack Drury. The Los Angeles Kings also have a load of young talent like Alex Turcotte, Arthur Kaliyev and Rasmus Kupari to offer.

Thank you for reading NHL Rumours.

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