NHL Rumor Mill – June 20, 2019
The Oilers’ Jesse Puljujarvi requests a trade, plus updates on Tyson Barrie, Nikolaj Ehlers, Chris Tanev, and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.
PULJUJARVI WANTS A TRADE
SPORTSNET: Mark Spector reports Edmonton Oilers winger Jesse Puljujarvi wants to be traded. According to his agent Markus Lehto, the 21-year-old is threatening to play in Europe next season if his request isn’t honored by the Oilers. The club has until Monday to sign Puljujarvi to a qualifying offer. A source indicates he doesn’t intend to sign it as a player under an NHL contract cannot sign with a European team.
Oilers general manager Ken Holland said he’ll do a deal if he can find one that makes sense for the Oilers. Otherwise, he indicated he has no problem with Puljujarvi playing in Europe. The Oilers will still retain his NHL rights.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson believes Holland would prefer Puljujarvi sign with the Oilers and return with the club next season. The Puljujarvi camp, however, believes the youngster would benefit from a fresh start elsewhere.
Matheson suggests the Winnipeg Jets and Carolina Hurricanes as possible trade destinations. However, he doubts Holland will shop Puljujarvi because his trade value is very low right now.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I can’t say I’m surprised by this news. Selected fourth overall in the 2016 NHL Draft, Puljujarvi struggled to reach expectations with the dysfunctional Oilers.
There probably isn’t a market for him right now. Still, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of a trade. Holland indicated he’d do it if he found a deal that made sense for the Oilers. Maybe he packages Puljujarvi in a larger deal.
AVALANCHE LISTENING ON BARRIE
THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports a source claims the Colorado Avalanche are listening to offers for defenseman Tyson Barrie. The emergence of promising rookie Cale Makar and the presence of Erik Johnson makes the right side of their blueline a crowded spot.
Barrie is eligible next summer to become an unrestricted free agent. It’s not a certainty the Avs will trade Barrie but LeBrun believes they’ll consider it if they get a top-six forward in return.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nothing wrong with listening to offers but that doesn’t mean they’re shopping Barrie or intend to move him now. If they don’t find something to their liking they’ll stick with him for next season and determine his future at a later day. I would expect they’ll want an established twenty-something scoring forward in return.
COYOTES EYEING MARLEAU
LeBrun also reports the Arizona Coyotes are keeping an eye on Toronto Maple Leafs winger Patrick Marleau’s situation. He believes the Coyotes would acquire the 39-year-old if the Leafs include a sweetener. Some believe it could be a winger like Kasperi Kapanen or Andreas Johnsson. Lebrun said he was told it doesn’t have to be that expensive.
There’s also talk of Marleau returning to the San Jose Sharks. LeBrun believes the cap-strapped Sharks would want the Leafs to absorb half of Marleau’s $6.25 million annual average value to make it work.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m not convinced there’s a place for Marleau with the Sharks now. While it would make a “feel-good” story to see him return to the Sharks, an aging, fading winger won’t improve their roster. They also have to find sufficient salary-cap space to re-sign Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton, Timo Meier, and Kevin Labanc.
LATEST JETS SPECULATION
WINNIPEG JETS: Ken Wiebe believes more moves are coming for the Winnipeg Jets after trading Jacob Trouba to the New York Rangers on Monday. Center Mathieu Perreault ($4.125-million AAV through 2020-21) could be a cost-cutting trade candidate. He could be appealing to clubs in need of reaching the salary-cap floor (Ottawa Senators) or clubs looking to add scoring, like the Vancouver Canucks and Carolina Hurricanes.
Wiebe also noted recent trade speculation swirling about left wing Nikolaj Ehlers. A recent report claimed he’d been offered to the Hurricanes for one of their right-shot defensemen. Wiebe believes Brett Pesce would be a perfect fit next to Josh Morrissey on their top blueline pairing. However, just because the Jets may be listening to offers on Ehlers doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll trade him. If they can’t get a significant return, they’ll keep him.
The Jets have expressed interest in re-signing pending UFA blueliner Tyler Myers. As he’s likely seeking a raise over the $5.5-million AAV of his current deal, Wiebe doubts he’ll be back.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff is planning another significant move. It could involve Ehlers or Perreault. He could swing a deal for a top-pairing rearguard or a reliable second-line center to skate alongside winger Patrik Laine.
Having traded away Trouba, Myers departure could put more pressure on Cheveldayoff to find a suitable replacement for Trouba. Neal Pionk, who came from New York in the Trouba deal, would be considered Myers’ replacement.
CANUCKS SHOPPING TANEV
VANCOUVER SUN: Patrick Johnston cites TSN’s Matthew Sekeres reporting the Canucks are shopping Chris Tanev. They point out the 29-year-old’s modified no-trade clause and long injury history could make him difficult to move. Johnston believes this feels like “too little, too late”, noting the decline in Tanev’s performance will affect his trade value.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I agree with Johnston. The time to trade Tanev was a year or two ago. Injuries have taken a toll on his play. He won’t fetch a first-round pick or a quality young player now.