NHL Rumor Mill – December 30, 2019
Could the Oilers pursue Tyler Toffoli, Brandon Saad or Jean-Gabriel Pageau? Could the Predators shop Mikael Granlund? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.
LATEST OILERS SPECULATION
EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples referenced Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman telling 630 CHED’s Bob Stauffer suggesting Los Angeles Kings winger Tyler Toffoli or Chicago Blackhawks winger Brandon Saad as possible fits with the Oilers. He believes it could cost them a pick in one of the first three rounds to get either guy. He added there’s concern among Oilers management that they’ve given up way too many draft picks in previous deals. Friedman points out Saad has a year left on his contract, requiring some salary-cap work on the Oilers’ part.
Staples also cited Sportsnet’s Mark Spector predicting the Oilers could pursue Jean-Gabriel Pageau. Like Toffoli, the Ottawa Senators center will become an unrestricted free agent in July. Staples wondered if Mikko Koivu could be a trade target if the Minnesota Wild are out of playoff contention by the Feb. 24 trade deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the slumping Oilers once again in danger of falling out of playoff contention, management could face pressure to make a season-saving deal. Despite their reluctance to part with draft picks, they could be forced to part with a second-rounder if they’re seriously interested in Toffoli, Saad, or Pageau. They also have some depth on defense and the rights for winger Jesse Puljujarvi to use as trade bait.
With over $58 million invested in just 11 players for 2020-21 and Darnell Nurse and Zack Kassian due for substantial raises, there might not be room for Saad unless the Blackhawks pick up a chunk of his $6 million annual average value. As for Koivu, he’s got a full no-movement clause and shows no inclination to leave the only NHL club he’s ever played for.
COULD THE PREDATORS SHOP GRANLUND AT THE TRADE DEADLINE?
THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Adam Vingan was asked if he felt Nashville Predators winger Mikael Granlund could be traded again. He’s struggled offensively since joining the Predators in a mid-season trade last February.
Granlund is an unrestricted free agent in July and the Predators lack sufficient salary-cap space to re-sign him. Vingan feels the club has made enough “win-now” deals, suggesting any trade they make this season could be for draft picks and prospects.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Preds still in “win-now” mode, they could attempt to add an affordable rental player. Should they fail to gain ground in the standings by the Feb. 24 trade deadline, general manager David Poile could jettison a pending UFA like Granlund.