NHL Rumor Mill – October 18, 2019
Could the Oilers try to bring back Taylor Hall? Does Jonathan Quick face an uncertain future with the Kings? Are the Hurricanes shopping for a forward? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.
COULD THE OILERS PURSUE HALL?
EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman suggesting the Oilers could be a suitor for Taylor Hall if the New Jersey Devils decide to shop the winger.
“It would not surprise me at all if Edmonton is a big suitor here,” said Friedman. “I don’t know if they can make a trade, I don’t know if they have enough to make a deal, but it just wouldn’t surprise me. Put it this way: it’s long been believed that if Edmonton had a chance to correct and bring him back, that they would be interested. But there’s a new GM there now, so we’ll see.”
Hall is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July. With the Devils struggling, Friedman said the winger’s status is becoming a topic of conversation around the league. Staples notes Hall would have more value as a long-term acquisition. Re-signing him, however, would be very expensive. The Oilers would have to free up at least $10 million in salary-cap space.
For sure Oilers would love Hall back but not sure how they would make it work with their cap situation. Already have McDavid at $12.5mil, Draisaitl at $8.5 mil, Nugent-Hopkins at $6 mil… https://t.co/3NUlP5pZ0k
— Jim Matheson (@NHLbyMatty) October 16, 2019
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see this happening. If the Devils decide to shop Hall they won’t just give him away. I think they’ll want at least a good young player, a top prospect, and a first-round pick. Even if the Oilers came up with a suitable offer I don’t believe they can afford to re-sign him.
Cap Friendly indicates the Oilers have over $57.5 million invested in just nine players for 2020-21. Defenseman Darnell Nurse is a restricted free agent due for a hefty raise and they must re-sign or replace goaltender Mike Smith. There won’t be enough to sign Hall to what will likely be over $11 million annually. That’s assuming he’ll want to re-sign with the Oilers.
QUICK FUTURE WITH KINGS UP IN THE AIR
TSN: During last night’s “Insider Trading” segment, Bob McKenzie observed Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick’s poor performance has led to backup Jack Campbell seeing back-to-back starts. They also have promising Cal Petersen in their system but don’t want to bring him up yet, in part because Quick is on the roster but also because Petersen will have to pass through waivers next year. Quick seems the odd man out but he’s got four years remaining on his contract ($5.8 million annual average value) and isn’t tradeable right now. McKenzie feels his future is up in the air.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some readers suggested the Kings should swap Quick with a struggling starter on another club, like New Jersey’s Cory Schneider. Easier said than done. While their cap hit is almost similar (Schneider makes $6 million annually), the Devils goalie has a full no-trade clause. Even if Schneider waived it, the Kings probably wouldn’t be interested. I think they would want to trade Quick and replace him with Petersen.
UPDATE ON RISTOLAINEN
TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen was a frequent subject of trade speculation after telling management he’d welcome a trade following another losing season. However, Ristolainen indicated he’s happy playing under new Sabres coach Ralph Krueger. LeBrun doesn’t see a trade taking place at this point.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres are off to a good start and aren’t in any rush to make a trade. They’ll have to move a defenseman once Zach Bogosian and Brandon Montour come off injured reserve but that doesn’t mean they’ll trade Ristolainen. If the Finnish blueliner keeps playing well under Krueger they could look at other options.
HURRICANES EYEING HO-SANG OR PULJUJARVI
LeBrun also reports the Carolina Hurricanes are in the market for a top-nine forward. They’ve looked at New York Islanders winger Josh Ho-Sang and inquired into the Edmonton Oilers’ asking price for winger Jesse Puljujarvi.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Hurricanes sitting atop the Metropolitan Division they can afford to take their time. They may have kicked tires on Ho-Sang and Puljujarvi but that doesn’t mean they’re on the verge of acquiring either guy. LeBrun pointed out the Hurricanes are also looking at other players.
Of the two, Puljujarvi has the most value. The Oilers are reportedly interested in Hurricanes winger Julien Gauthier.