NHL Rumor Mill – July 20, 2017
Updates on Leon Draisaitl, Matt Duchene and Ryan Spooner in your NHL rumor mill.
TSN: If Edmonton Oilers fans are nervous about Leon Draisaitl’s contract situation, Dave Poulin says they have nothing to worry about. The 21-year-old restricted free agent has yet to put pen to paper on a new deal but Poulin believes it’s just circumstances.
Poulin feels the buzz surrounding Connor McDavid’s recent new contract (eight years, $12.5 million annually) put additional focus on Draisaitl’s negotiations. He believes a deal will get done. While a bridge contract seems logical, Poulin feels it’s better if the Oilers lock him up for the long term.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Draisaitl’s contract status prompted a bit of chatter speculating he could receive an offer sheet from a rival club. Several weeks ago, however, Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli said he’ll match any offer for the young forward. It’s possible Draisaitl might not be receptive to an offer sheet, which could also explain why there hasn’t been a big pitch made toward him yet.
This could take some time and there’s lots of speculation suggesting Draisaitl could get between $7 – $9 million annually. I doubt he’ll end up with a bridge contract. If he’s unsigned by September I expect we’ll start seeing some trade speculation but I don’t believe the Oilers will go that route.
THE DENVER POST: Mike Chambers recently fielded some questions about the Colorado Avalanche from his readers. Regarding center Matt Duchene, the fact he’s still on the market suggests he could open the season with the Avs. Chambers thinks Duchene could fetch a top-four defenseman.
Regarding college prospect Will Butcher, Chambers thinks he’ll become an unrestricted free agent next month. As for defenseman Nikita Zadorov, while he reportedly has a deal in place with a KHL team, Chambers believes the Avs will re-sign him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nothing really new here regarding Duchene. Butcher, winner of the 2017 Hobey Baker Award, isn’t garnering as much attention as Jimmy Vesey did last summer in the rumor mill. Probably because Vesey’s rights were dealt by the Nashville Predators to the Buffalo Sabres before he become an unrestricted free agent.
CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty recently made the case for the Boston Bruins to retain forward Ryan Spooner. The 25-year-old has a salary arbitration hearing slated for July 26 and was frequently mentioned in trade rumors last season. He notes veteran center David Krejci is slowing down and suggests sliding Spooner into the number two center role at some point.
Haggerty expects Spooner more than doubles his salary in arbitration and centers the Bruins third line this season if management can’t find a suitable return for him in the trade market.