Latest on the Oilers and Sharks – January 8, 2018

by | Jan 8, 2018 | Rumors | 41 comments

Is now the right time for the Edmonton Oilers to trade Ryan Nugent-Hopkins?

Could there be moves afoot soon for the Edmonton Oilers and San Jose Sharks? Read on to find out in your NHL rumor mill.


THE ATHLETIC: Jonathan Willis recently suggested that if the Edmonton Oilers want to sell high on center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, now’s the time while he’s playing well. Willis examines the pros and cons of making this move. He concludes trading Nugent-Hopkins now “is a better idea than trading him a year from now. But that doesn’t mean it’s smarter than just keeping him.”

Willis also recently wondered if Oilers right wing Ryan Strome might become a dark horse trade deadline candidate. “His scoring has picked up markedly after a difficult October and he’s a right-shot centre/wing, all of which make him valuable.” Willis noted Strome, a restricted free agent at season’s end, needs to be qualified at his $3 million base salary this summer, which could prove difficult to peddle him to clubs with salary-cap concerns.

Allan Mitchell weighs in on what the Oilers might do with their free agents. He expects left wing Patrick Maroon, an unrestricted free agent in July, to be dealt. He wonders if the asking price is a younger player who’s already in pro hockey. He suggests the Boston Bruins could be a good fit.

Center Mark Letestu is another UFA who could go. Mitchell noted he has experience with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets, suggesting he could return to one of those clubs via trade for the right offer.

Veteran Mike Cammalleri might appeal to teams seeking scoring depth but the 35-year-old won’t fetch much of a return. As for Strome, Mitchell suspects he could be an offseason move given what the Oilers gave up to get him last summer. Anton Slephshev, Brandon Davidson and Matt Benning could also attract some interest in the trade market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Oilers become sellers, I expect a couple of their pending UFAs, such as Maroon, Cammalleri and Letestu, could hit the trade block in the coming weeks. Given the club’s current trajectory, I think that decision’s coming very soon. Strome could also be moved by the deadline.

Over the past two seasons, Nugent-Hopkins has frequently surfaced in the rumor mill. They could move him to get shed his $6 million annual cap hit but that’s not a certainty. I’ll be very surprised if he’s peddled at the deadline. I believe the Oilers want to keep him but it’ll depend upon how things shake out at the trade deadline, their salary-cap space this summer and what plans the club beyond this season. A change in management could see RNH hit the trade block this summer. 


NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: Marcus White wonders if the San Jose Sharks and Ottawa Senators might become trade partners. With the Senators in danger of missing the playoffs, winger Mike Hoffman is among the players believed to be available, which should interest the low-scoring Sharks.

Landing Hoffman, however, could prove difficult. He’s got a 10-team no-trade list, while the Sharks lack picks in the second and third rounds of the 2018 draft. They’re also unwilling to part with young forwards Kevin Labanc, Timo Meier, and Joakim Ryan ” and they don’t have an exceptional prospect pool.”

THE ATHLETIC: In a Jan. 2 mailbag segment, Kevin Kurz addressed a question regarding the possibility of the Sharks trading veteran defenseman Paul Martin, who’s missed most of this season to an ankle injury and is now the odd man out on the San Jose blueline. Kurz said we can only speculate over Martin’s future with the club but doesn’t believe we should assume he’s on the trade block just yet. 

Regarding the possibility of the Sharks pursuing a high-talent playoff rental such as Buffalo Sabres left wing Evander Kane, Kurz doubts they have the prospect depth available to make that move. He also notes their lack of picks in the second and third rounds of this year’s draft. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve suggested San Jose as a potential destination for Hoffman or Kane, but I must admit their unwillingness to part with their younger roster players and lack of available prospects and draft picks makes that unlikely now. They could add an affordable depth forward by the deadline but it now seems unlikely they’ll pursue bigger fish.

Martin, who turns 37 in March, isn’t likely to draw much interest. He’s on the downside of his career. 



  1. I miss Paul Martin, well the player he was 6 years ago any ways. He was always so steady. There is no concern with Stromes qualifying offer because the cap is going up so much for next year. If a team wants him and wants to keep him it should be no problem. I wonder if his brother will ever get any kind of a chance to actually play this year? They called him up once only to send him down again in favour of playing Josh Archibald.

    • Josh Archibald doesn’t play C.

  2. If I’m Boston I don’t want no ufa unless it’s for a third round pick or later and a third round pick isn’t going to get you much, so just do nothing unless a hockey deal is available.
    It’s amazing what one year can do, the Oilers were considered a cup contender heading into the season and now there is talking of replacing the coach and trade Maroon who earlier they were hoping to lock up.
    How is the Hall for Larson trade looking this year? Those who thought this was a smart trade by PC, still think that way? Does all the blame go to Talbot 901 sv% 3.12gaa sad how far they dropped.

    • You know something Caper I, for one, thought the Hall for Larsson deal was a great deal simply because of last year’s performance of both teams. I must say the deal looks completely the opposite this year. Nobody saw the Oilers having a season like this. Of course the reversal of fortune for both teams does not hinge solely on this one deal; however, it has certainly played a role. And to make things worse for the Oilers Hall is definitely one of the big reasons the Devils look so good this year. It is nice to see him have some team success as he was always a contributor on poor teams as well.

      • The biggest reason NJ looks better is the significant influx of speed, development of youth especially at D & influx of young NHL level talent. Hall is playing better as NJ can role out 3 decent scoring lines & a checking line.

        This years roster & last seasons are barely even comparable. It looks like a completely different team. They are actually fun to watch as they are hard on the puck every where & have people in place, kids, that can make plays, skate fast & finish, that weren’t there last season.

        I’m happy for Hall he got sent from 1 hell to another & NJ has turned the corner quickly. I had them to be significantly better but not a playoff team not even really in the playoff picture. I’m still not sold they make the playoffs but I hope I’m wrong.

        Well done Shero.

    • My take on why the Oilers are struggling:
      – PK is terrible. Like close to worst in history terrible. At home it is around 58%.
      – Agree Caper, Talbot has not been good. Their backup has also been bad.
      – Their prospect pool is weak. PC did not create this problem, but it didn’t help when he traded 2 2nd’s for Griffin Reinhart.
      – They went into this season with no answer at RW. Rolled the dice that either Strome, Jesse P, Slepyshev could step up and play consistent top 6 minutes. Didn’t happen. Forced to play Draisaitl there early in year. Now rolling with him, Mcd & RNH down the middle.
      – too many players under performing to historical norms especially on the blue line. Klefbom, Larsson, and missing Sekera all year.

      Starting to look like last year was the aberration, not this year. Simply missing to many pieces. Especially someone who can fire the puck on the blue line on the PP.

      • A good power play needs talent, especially at the blue line, but penalty kill, in my opinion, has a lot to do with coaching. If the Oilers are that bad on the PK, maybe they need to follow Ottawa’s tactic and switch the assistant coaches’ responsibilities. It seems to have helped the Sens.

      • It wasnt 2 seconds for griffen reinhart. It was the first they got from pittsburgh (matt barzel) and a second rounder.

      • I think I read somewhere that their PK on the road was #13? They issue was the PK at home was something like the worst…. definitely is more than coaching…. comes down to players holding themselves accountable and each other. IF their PK was at the bottom of the league road & home then I would definitely agree it was all coaching……at some point the players though need to step up. Watching it seems they just lose interest in playing and then on offense they watch McD with the puck to see what he will do rather than go get in the open lane to help him out….
        all about compete & heart…. and they are not showing it.

        I think they (the players) thought they would walk into this season without having to improve themselves and just skate past everyone like they did in the playoffs. Well surprise…everyone got better in the offseason. Definitely more than coaching can fix.

      • I stand corrected Twin.
        Looks even worse.

      • 2 2nds? He gave up 16 Barzal & 33, the 3rd pick in the 2nd round. NYI flipped that pick to TB to move up to 28 to draft Beauvillier & also sent TB Flo’s 72nd pick.

      • EDM’s D has gotten a ton of shots on net both 5 on 5 & on the PP just not going in & no 1’s banging them in.

        Klefbom sits 8th in shots by Dman with 118. Nurse 25th with 98. Benning 73. Russel 60. Larsson 50. Add in missed shots Klefbom 52, Nurse 51 & that doesn’t even count blocked shot attempts.

        Part of the problem is no screens, no 1 in place to slam this shots home & taking to many low % shots from the outside.

        That is a huge portion of the problem.

      • to say their prospect pool is weak is a MAJOR understatement… yes they have a minor league tea, but unlikely any are NHL’ers

    • Caper.

      Fully on board with your assessment of Boston. Stay the course & do little to nothing unless an injury forces the issue.

      As for Larsson & Hall we can’t judge this trade on last season or this season. I’m glad NJ is playing well especially for Hall. Edm paid the price to get a Dman on a decent contract that cost them Hall. I liked the trade for both teams then. As I stated at point of trade NJ won the trade just looking at the trade but I liked the deal more for Edm as the got something they really needed greater than Hall who was partly replaced by nothing more than money in the signing of Lucic.

      It’s not as simple as last season or this season. Both teams acquired an asset each needed, it wassimiliar but different to Clb & Nas trading Johansson for Jones & you could argue similiar to Mtl flipping Subban to Nas for Weber.

      No 1 player can carry a team or make or breaks a team other than possibly a goalie, Price has carried Mon to the playoffs on his back at least once in his career. It takes at least 5 core players & 2 solid NHL players to be a really good team, if the quality of those 5 players is extreme you can compete for a cup for several years, add more depth & it gets even better.

      See Colorado this season. They added a ton of NHL quality talent, young but NHL ready, just inexperienced & raw. They couldn’t ice 2 scoring lines last, they only had 4 offensive players, now they can ice 3, that takes a ton of pressure off the #1 line, like NJ faced last season as well. You had Hall & Palmieri & Henrique.

  3. I am not sure what the Sharks would expect to land a Hoffman. Kevin Labanc and Timo Meier would have to be in the conversation.

    The Oilers have to do something but they should keep Maroon.

  4. The Oilers’ biggest problem is behind the bench. Consistently, Todd Mclelland has demonstrated an inability to take talent laden teams to the promised land, or at least past the second round.

    • True Skipper, but this is a regular season flop! Bad enough to choke in the playoffs, but he’s even worse here as he can’t get this team into the playoffs! The Oilers have a lot of questions to answer in the offseason.

      • I’ll trade you Scott Ariel for Todd McLellan =)

  5. I think Canada 🇨🇦 junior coach would look good in either Montreal or Edmonton excelled at all levels
    He was awesome when he coached the Mooseheads

    • Maybe in Mon but not sure about Edmonton. He’s used to coaching young guys who are hungry and passionate. How the hell would he manage an Oilers squad that appears to lack a pulse at times? I think PK often boils down to 4 guys just outworking the 5 they are up against. The Oil seem to be having a hard time finding 4 guys that want to work that hard.

  6. Mark Letestu is a 4th line center on the Oilers.

    The idea that he’s the answer to the Pens’ third line center needs makes no sense.

    I don’t think Strome is the answer for the Pens either, but he does fit the profile of what Rutherford looks for…high pedigree players that haven’t yet panned out approaching the end of their current deals who will still be RFA’s.

    That describes Cole, Schultz and Oleksiak when they got them.

    • You know something MG, you gotta hand it to Rutherford. He does seem to have a true sense when to sign a seemingly questionable player. Of course having Crosby, Malkin, Letang and perennially good goaltending makes it a little easier. He is a very creative and shrewd manager.

      • It’s always a good move to get high pedigree players who haven’t yet been to a second team for cheap. aka oleksiak etc. When they pan out it’s awesome and when they don’t you bought cheap. Pens did it with Schultz… they were on the negative end with pouliot. problem is people then blame the teams that traded these players when it was almost always the case these players were never going to hit their potential on the trading team. Prime example poiliot. dude bombed for three coacjes and 2 gm’s on the pens… he was never going to hit his potential here… give him a shot in coover and viola.

  7. Good read Lyle. As an oilers fan i been wondering and asking other peoples oppinions on here the past few days.

    I strongly believe that after the price for hoffman goes threw the roof, same as kane that Maroon to the blues mskes alot of sence.stlouis does not have a first so it would have to be a young prospect or roster player.

    Before you jump all over me for my acessment of Maroon, a big winger that scored 30 goals last year please be cognizant of the fact that There are alot more buyers anticipating this year, from years past, and that will drive the price and demand

    The year is unfortunately a wash in Edmonton, they should be pummping players like Strome and lettsus tires on top 6 lines.

  8. Letestu is only a 4th line centre because of the depth at centre ahead of him. It’s a difficult time in oil land because everyone looks horrid right now. Maroon is as good as gone. All defence are up for grabs with the exception of nurse and sekera ( and maybe klefbom because of his cheap salary and “potential”)
    This message starts at the top though. You have a 19 yr old rookie ( who has been one of their top forwards since coming pooyarv) and any number of left wingers without that top end skill…..who are playing with the best player in the world. Mcdavuds line had more pop when it was McDavid Pouliot and Yakupov!
    Get end talent!
    Chiarelli is showing here how he got run out of Boston. Zero restraint with contracts ( Russell for 3 yrs, drai at 8.5 a year, Lucic for 6 yrs)
    And a complete lack of player evaluation…* See the Reinhardt trade and Eberle giveaway*
    Heads need to roll because the players are done. Zero leadership other than McDavid trying to rush it every time.
    Zero offense ( and I don’t mean goals and assists) from the back end. A lack of pucks to the net and ability to move the puck out of the zone have hampered the oilers offense. Give the puck to Hopkins…McDavid…or draisaitl and hope they carry it all the way in.

    I have yet to miss a game this year and it is shocking how much this looks like 2..3..and 4 years ago..

  9. 1 of the worst things to happen last season for the Oilers was exceeding everyone’s expectations, virtually everything that could go right did.

    How many had them to even make the playoffs when the 2016-17 season started? I did but just, they exceeded my expectations significantly.

    Very little has changed in Edm, they moved Eberle & that impact has been significant & had to play 30 games with out Sekera. Other than that that’s pretty much it.

    I had them winning the Pacific this season due to all the injuries in Anh to start the season. The chances they can even make the playoffs now don’t look good. They had really rallied upon Talbot’s return from injury but have since hit the wall again.

    I was at the Dallas game live Saturday, boy was that ugly. Lost to explain what is going on there, did Kevin Lowe come speak to the players about motivation or some such thing. Ha-ha!

    • Ya, it’s weird Striker and like Jrock says it is starting to look like 3-4 years ago. The dark cloud is back.
      They have some holes, but they also have talent in multiple positions, but most of the team is playing poorly.
      It is often too easy to say just fire the coach, but if they continue to play this uninspired hockey they will have no choice. The Oil have been down this road before with a new coach every 12 – 18 months, how did that go?
      I think they should go back to the blue uniforms at home.

      • I do not see them pulling the plug this early BUT if they did think about a major shake up…in part to see if they can salvage this season and in part to get ready for next years cap hit of McD’s contract….do they move RNH now to solid their bottom 6 and in the offseason work on getting McD a winger?

        Camm, Letestu & Maroon are all goners…. do they move them now?

        to OTT : RNH(24), Letestu(32) and Camm(35)
        to EDM : Pageau(25), Z.Smith (29), Dzingel(25) and a draft pick

        JGP & Z.Smith solidify the bottom six and 2 good players on the PK…and it gives them 2 players that combine for RNH salary whom are signed for a few more years… Dzingel has 13 goals for 1.8 million & can skate, with another year left. Cheaper option than resigning Camm(35) or Letestu(32).

        EDM shakes up their roster and brings in some PK help, youth and guys with grit and can skate. They also pick up a draft pick

        OTT gets the most of it by bringing in a young #1 or #2 center for a few more years that is cost controlled. Perhaps RNH will have good chemistry with Hoffman or Stone or Bobby “overpaid” Ryan to spark their season as well.

      • Constantly changing coaches isn’t the answer but somethings wrong. I have seen the Oilers play over 20 times already this season, 14 times live. In 1 game 4 players collapsed into the corner on 1 player, in another all 5 players collapsed on top of their own net with in reach of their goalie with their sticks but only 2 offensive players were? The missed assignments are shocking & those can’t be solely blamed on goaltending.

        These break downs in coverage are starting at the NHL level. This desire to just fire awe from the perimeter makes little sense, you need to find away to get someone into scoring position inside the triangle uncovered.

        Either a lack of foot speed, intelligence or skill is at play as those low % shots with no screen or player to to bang in the garbage has also plagued Carolina ability to score.

        I think a significant portion is mental, things are going bad, players are making mental mistakes trying t cover for someone else mistake & it’s gets ugly fast.

        In that game in Dallas on Saturday players I like & respect looked disinterested, gave up on plays, including Larsson. Bizarre.

      • Sorry startling at the NHL level.

      • When you see teams quit like this there is sometimes a culture problem, or serious rift in the room.
        That is the really concerning part if you like the Oil. Weak goaltending can deflate a team, been on those, but this seems different.
        There is a persistent rumor going around town that started early in the season that I won’t repeat. I shrugged it off as BS, now starting to wonder.
        Strange situation.

      • Striker…. think they do not like being challenged by their coach? or the multiple tirades is what is to blame? Do you know if their captains called a “players only meeting” to air out the conflict and see where their heads are at? All i hear is about how coaching and management is so bad (not saying they have not made blunders), but this to me is more on the players being mentally prepared. From what I read they do not even show up to practice mentally ready. A new coach will rejuvenate….then they will get bored with him and disinterested….so at the end of they day….it is the players and the leadership in the room setting the tone.

        Have their Stanley Cup alum sat in players only meeting and talked them thru what it takes mentally to be ready to win a Cup ? So many assets in that organization…. I think McLellan is not the problem (makes plenty mistakes as all coaches) but this HAS to be on the players.

        They are not coached to have 4 guys go into the corner for 1 guy LOL ..right?? lol

      • If you have to start bringing in dinosaurs from the alum, that would have no clue of how to win in today’s game….. start trading away players!

    • They didn’t just move Ebs. They got rid of a handful of players.

      • Who else left? Pouliot played 67 games last season, Pitlick 31 & Hendricks 42. Were they the difference?

  10. “OTT gets the most of it by bringing in a young #1 or #2 center for a few more years that is cost controlled. Perhaps RNH will have good chemistry with Hoffman or Stone or Bobby “overpaid” Ryan to spark their season as well.”

    funny that is what was said when Duchene landed in Ottawa.

    • Agreed….
      I was merely thinking they need to solidify cost controlled talent that is younger. RNH at 24 gives them a few more years & an option to trade Duchene next trade deadline if he does not rebound. They cannot walk into next season without a young center. Brassard, 30, would be a valuable trade chip to recoup draft picks….preferably a 1st or even 2 2nds…. He is not worth signing a 3 yr contract….

      What really is hampering their flexibility is Phaneuf & Ryan’s contracts. Unless they trade Ryan with a 1st for some prospects….they will be forced to trade Karlsson.

      • Bobby Ryan & a 2nd to AZ for Duclair get it done?

      • To NY Duclair
        To Arizona : Lias Anderssons precious silver medal!

      • NYR4LIFE… That was classic… LOL

    • Since Ottawa brought in Ryan they have been trying centre after centre with him hoping to make him something he isn’t. This didn’t start with Duchene