NHL Evening Rumor Update – June 30, 2019
Twas the evening before the NHL UFA market opens at noon ET tomorrow. Here’s a quick look at the latest speculation.
UPDATE ON THE OILERS
EDMONTON JOURNAL: In the aftermath of the Oilers buying out Andrej Sekera, David Staples speculated they could pursue winger Brett Connolly via free agency. He also suspects general manager Ken Holland could shop for a third-line center. Staples still “strongly believes” restricted free agent winger Jesse Puljujarvi is in play and will be traded.
TSN: Frank Seravalli reports former Calgary Flames goaltender Mike Smith is expected to join the Oilers tomorrow on a one-year, bonus-laden contract. His base salary is expected to be around $2 million with an additional $2 million in bonuses.
THE SCORE: Sean O’Leary cites Sportsnet’s John Shannon reports the Oilers are among four clubs pursuing former Anaheim Ducks winger Corey Perry.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Say what you will about Holland (and believe me, Oilers fans have said plenty following the Sekera buyout), he’s not wasting time laying the groundwork for tomorrow’s UFA frenzy.
As for Connolly, TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports “all signs” point to the winger inking a four-year deal with the Florida Panthers tomorrow. As we’ll soon see, it looks like they’re out of the bidding for Artemi Panarin.
CANADIENS PURSUING LEE?
Appearing on the NHL Network, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman said he wouldn’t be surprised if the Montreal Canadiens have left wing Anders Lee on their radar.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Friedman said he was told: “Montreal is going to do something.” Given their salary-dumping trade of Andrew Shaw and Nicolas Deslauriers today, that “something” could be a significant addition. It could be Lee. It could be Matt Duchene, who visited the Habs last week during the free-agent interview period. Maybe they’ll add a left-side defenseman via free agency (Jake Gardiner?) or trade (Shayne Gostisbehere). Whatever it is, Habs GM Marc Bergevin has set the table for a big move tomorrow.
OTHER NOTABLE RUMORS
TSN’s Bob McKenzie speculates Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky won’t be signed as a set. Suggests the NY Islanders are the favorites to land Panarin while Bobrovsky could end up with the Florida Panthers.
TSN’s Darren Dreger yesterday reported over 10 teams have checked in with winger Marcus Johansson. “Has to be looking forward to a raise on the $4.6 million he made this season.”
Dreger’s colleague Frank Seravalli tweets former Oilers and Philadelphia Flyers goalie Cam Talbot appears headed to the Calgary Flames.
NEWSOBSERVER.COM’s Chip Alexander yesterday tweeted Carolina Hurricanes GM Don Waddell confirmed goaltender Curtis McElhinney will depart via free agency. Meanwhile, TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports the Hurricanes (despite the addition of James Reimer) are still trying to sign Petr Mrazek. They’re also in on Semyon Varlamov.
COLUMBUS DISPATCH’s Brian Hedger reports winger Ryan Dzingel won’t be returning to the Blue Jackets. “No idea where he’ll land, but it’s not Columbus from what I’ve been told.