NHL Rumor Mill – August 30, 2019
The latest on Jesse Puljujarvi and Jason Zucker plus an update on the Canadiens in today’s NHL rumor mill.
LIGHTNING, HURRICANES INTERESTED IN PULJUJARVI?
NHL NETWORK: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports the Edmonton Oilers won’t trade Jesse Puljujarvi unless they get a deal that makes them happy. He claims their asking price for the unhappy winger is a player and a pick.
Friedman believes they’ve had lots of conversations with the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Carolina Hurricanes. He thinks the Hurricanes are willing to offer up one of their prospects like Julien Gauthier but not a draft pick. As for the Lightning, Friedman believes the Oilers know what Tampa Bay prospects they might be able to get.
There’s been little interest in Puljujarvi from Canadian teams. Friedman believes he prefers playing somewhere a little quieter in the United States.
If Oilers talking to Tampa re Puljujarvi for young player, most likely they would want C Anthony Cirelli or D man they wanted to draft in Jesse’s draft year Sergachev. Most likely prospect winger: Taylor Raddysh, who had 46 pts in first AHL season. Former jr teammate of McDavid
— Jim Matheson (@NHLbyMatty) August 29, 2019
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seems like the Oilers best return for Puljujarvi will be at most a prospect. With all due respect to Jim Matheson, they’re not getting Cirelli or Sergachev and I don’t see the Bolts parting with Raddysh.
Gauthier, 21, spent the last two seasons with the Hurricanes’ AHL affiliate in Charlotte. He’s big (6’4″, 227 lbs) and skates well but he’s not ranked among their top-five prospects. Gauthier has potential and perhaps a better attitude than Puljujarvi but the former first-rounder (21st overall in 2016) is not a certainty to crack an NHL roster this season.
UPDATE ON ZUCKER
THE ATHLETIC: In an interview with Bill Guerin, Michael Russo asked the Minnesota Wild general manager if he’d meet with Jason Zucker to ease his mind. Former Wild GM Paul Fenton twice attempted to trade the winger this year. “Yes. He’s safe. But if I can make the team better, I will,” said Guerin.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Guerin won’t be shopping Zucker but he could listen if a rival expresses interest in the 27-year-old right-winger. I’m sure he’ll do the same with most of the players on his roster.
It doesn’t sound like Zucker, who now has a 10-team no-trade list, is going anywhere this season. I expect Guerin will take some time to evaluate his roster before deciding what changes are necessary and which players he’ll move.
MORE MOVES COMING FOR THE CANADIENS?
TVA SPORTS: Montreal Canadiens head coach Claude Julien hinted his club might not be done making moves before the season opens in October. Julien declined to elaborate but said there were “still things going on” that were discussed.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With over $4 million in salary-cap space, the Canadiens have room to add a veteran player. They signed center Sebastian Aho to an offer sheet last month but that was quickly matched by the Carolina Hurricanes. I don’t see them going the offer sheet route again.
Concern over their left-side blueline depth has prompted speculation linking them to unrestricted free agent defenseman Jake Gardiner. Maybe a trade will address that issue.