NHL Rumor Mill – March 8, 2018

by | Mar 8, 2018 | Rumors | 16 comments

Are the Oilers showcasing defenseman Oscar Klefbom? Will the Canucks overhaul their defense this summer? Read on for the latest in your NHL rumor mill.

Are the Edmonton Oilers showcasing defenseman Oscar Klefbom? (Photo via NHL Images)


EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman telling Hockey Central there’s some belief the Edmonton Oilers could be showcasing defenseman Oscar Klefbom for a possible trade. He noted Klefbom’s playing hurt, perhaps nursing a shoulder injury. The fact the Oilers haven’t shut him down for the season prompted talk he could be a player other clubs could be looking at. “And if you want to trade something that can get you value in Edmonton, Klefbom might be the guy,” said Friedman.

Friedman’s colleague Mark Spector pointed out the decline in Klefbom’s play this season “has crippled this team the most.” Citing the blueliner’s injury history, Spector believes the Oilers should move him if the right offer came along.

Staples notes Friedman’s comments are “speculative”, but points out the pundit has a solid track record. Until veteran defenseman Andrej Sekera can prove he’s fully bounced back from recent knee surgery, he feels trading Klefbom would be a risky, ill-advised move.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There might be teams with some interest in perhaps pursuing a Klefbom trade this summer. Still, with the Oilers playing out the string on another lost season, it doesn’t make sense to keep playing him if he is in fact nursing a shoulder injury. It’s certainly not going to improve his offseason trade value. I concur with Staples’ assessment that attempting to move Klefbom this summer might not be the wisest decision. 


VANCOUVER SUN: Jason Botchford recently weighed in on the status of the Canucks defense corps, suggesting a lack of blueline depth is holding the club back. He feels it’s contributed to their goaltending woes and believes changes could be in order this summer.

One trade candidate could be Ben Hutton, who’s been a frequent healthy scratch squeezed out by veteran Michael Del Zotto. Shopping Chris Tanev, however, could net the Canucks a return that includes a first-round pick. Botchford also wondered if the Canucks will try to move recently re-signed Erik Gudbranson leading up to the 2018 NHL Draft. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trade rumors dogged Hutton and Tanev leading up to the recent trade deadline. The talk was Hutton might be available but the Canucks were reluctant to part with Tanev. Perhaps Hutton didn’t have suitable trade value at the deadline, but maybe he’ll attract more interest in the offseason. Tanev could be moved for the right offer but I suspect Canucks management wants to retain him for next season.  

Gudbranson also featured prominently for a time in the rumor mill until he was re-signed. As he’s now under contract they could try to move him this summer, but I believe they signed him with the intent of keeping him. After all, if having Gudbranson under contract was a selling point, he probably would’ve been dealt at the deadline. 



  1. Klefbom this summer maybe. So why play him now if hurt. That makes zero sense and can’t be true. Watch some tape if you need to see something. It is not like amateur scouting

    • so can we expect Chiarelli to trade Klefbom to NJ for a roster player, only to see Klefbom win the Norris trophy next season ? 🙂

  2. My oldest son played his final intermediate A lacrosse season with a bum shoulder had surgery following. My middle son played his final season of PBL baseball with a broken scaphoid, both had surgery following their seasons as neither could get any worse & shutting them down solved nothing & as we wait for surgery it couldn’t accelerate that process regardless.

    Now Klefbom could have surgery immediately if required but if no chance of additional damage & the time line to recover isn’t going to seriously impair his future if surgery is even required why shut him down?

    Trading Klefbom away makes no sense to me, help is coming at forward. The worst thing to happen to Edm was exceeding everyone’s expectations in the 2016-17 season. Most didn’t have them to make the playoffs never mind make it past SJ & take Anh to 7 games in round 2. Edm wasn’t as good as they showed last season nor are they as bad as they are showing this season.

    All last season did was give false hope for Edm just like in Ott as well. You don’t move your #1 24 year old Dman who played thru injury in a brutal year for the team. Klefbom has 251 NHL regular season games played he is still 2 years due to injury from being fully developed at the NHL level.

    • Edmonton has given up 219 goals against that’s 7 goals more then all of last season and still 16 games to go. Talbot is on pace for worst GAA and SV%. Larsen was suppose to be the answer, last season he was a +21 this season +4, he isn’t a difference maker.
      Yes Edmonton goals for are also down, not been a good year all around.
      Still I don’t think it’s all gloom and doom for the Oilers, there is nothing in Talbots history to suggest that he doesn’t have a rebound next season. But I’m not sold on their defense and trading klefboom with a good cap hit and under until 22-23 makes no sense. If he’s hurt he should be shut down, injured players tend to over compensate other parts to relieve the pressure off the injury which could result in a different injury. Nothing to gain by playing him.
      As strange as the NHL is the Oilers could be a Stanley Cup contender next season, but I think they need to add a dman how about John Carlson?

    • Agree with most of that Striker, selling low on Klefbohm makes no sense. The injury concern is a little overblown as a significant amount of games missed was from a freak staff infection that kept coming back and then required skin grafts. Not sure where the forward help is coming from you mention. Do you mean Yamamoto? He has had a great 2nd half of the season in the W but I don’t think you want to be in a position where he is the only answer for your top 6 winger. He is still a kid and the Oil have been down the road of forcing kids into the lineup to early. They tried maybes this year with JP, Slepyshev, Cagguilla at RW and it was a fail. JP will/should continue to develop so that is a possibility for the top 6, but not a sure thing.
      It will be difficult for the Oil to address their needs without creating another one as they have no prospect depth. A problem he didn’t create but seems willing to repeat.

      • Chiarelli is three drafts in as the Oilers GM. In 2015 besides McDavid he also drafted Caleb Jones (4th round) and Ethan Bear (5th round), both d-men and are developing quit nicely. In fact Bear has played the last couple of games with the Oilers and is looking pretty good.
        2016 drafted Tyler Benson in the 2nd round and he is also looking good with the Vancouver Giants this season. Will probably spend next season in the AHL.
        Last draft he picked Ostap Safin in the 4th round and is also looking really good in the OHL. Still a good 2 years away.
        Not to mention 2 of his 3 first round picks are playing on the Oilers right now and are doing quite well. It takes a good 3 to 4 years for a GM to build up a prospect pool.

  3. I agree with Striker’s assessment, in that Edmonton wasn’t as good as they looked last year, and aren’t as bad as they look right now. That being said, they have massive issues as constructed, and PC has made some blunders with the assets he has been given. Edmonton’s issues aren’t just D, it’s their forward depth. Not just because of scoring, but at least forwards who can keep the pace up and sustain more pressure take pressure off a D that isn’t a strong point of this team. Overhauling a team’s D is a very hard and costly pursuit, and if Edmonton is banking on that being what turns things around, it could be a long wait. To that end, trading one of your better skating D to help an overhaul, when speed and defense are not strengths of your team to begin with, would be an astronomical error.
    The problem is that PC has already lost out in a deal massively by trying to force a trade for a player that wasn’t available, and if he does so again, he isn’t getting a top tier winger for Klefbom. If he goes to teams like Toronto or Winnipeg looking for a young winger for Klefbom, he isn’t getting a Nylander, Marner, Ehlers or Connor, he is probably getting a package around guys like Armia, Petan, Brown or Kapanen. This isn’t about value for Klefbom, but simply the fact that when you are the GM trying to make another GM take a trade for a player they weren’t considering moving, and offering a player that isn’t exactly what another team was looking for, you are going to lose the deal.

  4. Oilers & fans ….if you are not happy with Klefbom…I will certainly trade your 1st rd pick along with Smith and Beleskey for him….no seriously…I would……

    • ** a 1st rd pick…. not asking for yours.. sorry …typos….

    • IMO the Oilers aren’t deep enough at defence to be trading Kelfbom. It would just be creating a hole to fill a hole.

  5. Man… what is this… the dregs of summer? where is everyone?

    how about..

    that player pole rating gretzky as best ever was lame… obviously Lemieux


    how bout that slave labor in WHL?

    or at least someone call someone a name…

    Hey Shticky… You SUCK!


    • You forgot “Hello George”

      • Dear George… how are you? I am fine. Hope you don’t run out of bengay… your pal. Chris

    • Gretzky was better than Mario, more cups, more points regular season and playoffs, more records, won 4 scoring titles with his assist totals alone.

      And of course a Penguins fan would say “but Gretzky played with better players”…pure bull crap! Mario played with two hall of fame defensemen Coffey, Murphy, Ron Francis the best(2 way)and highest scoring two way center ever, Joe Mullen hall of fame, Jagr the second leading scorer of all time, Steven and Tocchet two great tough scoring wingers, etc

      • There was not one thing that Gretzky did better than Lemieux other than stay healthy and play a longer stretch of his career in the early 80’s when expansion watered down goaltending.

        Go back and watch most of Gretzky’s highlights and very few of those goals are scored today.

        Meanwhile go back and watch Lemieux scoring while two defenseman literally hung from his back for 100 feet down the ice and realize what he’d do in today’s roller hockey version of the NHL.

        Not even close.

        Not even close to close.

  6. The whole team, except for a few players,has had a bad year, it happens. The one weak area is the defense but their best three defensemen are Nurse,Larsson and Klefbom. The problem is that two of the other four have no trade clauses. So, who do you move? Who would want Sekera? Can you convince Benning’s uncle to take him in a package for Tanev?
    Bottom line is the Oilers need to improve their defense and find a scoring winger for McDavid.