NHL Rumor Mill – November 12, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – November 12, 2022

Could the Canucks attempt to move J.T. Miller or Tanner Pearson this season? Will the Bruins trade Mike Reilly? Are the Devils in the market for a goaltender? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

COULD THE CANUCKS SHOP MILLER OR PEARSON?

VANCOUVER CANUCKS INSIDER: Rob Simpson mused over the possibility of the Canucks shopping J.T. Miller if this season continues to go south and the franchise opts to shake up its core.

Vancouver Canucks center J.T. Miller (NHL Images).

Miller signed a seven-year contract extension in September that begins next season and carries a full no-movement clause until 2026-27. However, he’s in the final season of his current deal which lacks no-trade protection.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Simpson acknowledged the notion of trading Miller is hypothetical and unlikely to happen. Nevertheless, we can’t dismiss the possibility. Miller’s contract extension could make him more enticing for contenders looking for more than a playoff rental at the March 3 trade deadline.

Simpson believes Canucks winger Tanner Pearson is the most likely to be moved depending on his health. He suggested teams might be interested in Pearson’s Stanley Cup experience.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The 30-year-old Pearson is signed through 2023-25 with an average annual value of $3.25 million. He’s currently sidelined for four-to-six weeks recovering from hand surgery. Pearson is an inconsistent scorer but he could draw interest from contenders seeking an affordable and experienced depth winger.

ARE THE BRUINS SHOPPING MIKE REILLY?

NHL.com contributor Mark Divver reported Boston Bruins defenseman Mike Reilly didn’t play for their AHL affiliate in Providence last night and isn’t expected to do so on Sunday. “Word is he’s hoping for a trade,” writes Divver. “No idea whether there is something in the works or not.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Reilly cleared waivers and was sent down to Providence due to Charlie McAvoy’s return to the Bruins lineup on Thursday. It’s unusual that he’s not playing if he isn’t injured or sick. Perhaps they’re holding him out of the lineup as the parent club works on a trade.

DEVILS CONSIDERING THEIR OPTIONS IN NET.

NJ.COM’s Ryan Novozinsky reported New Jersey Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald is willing to explore all his options regarding his injury-plagued goaltenders. “We’ll explore anything and everything,” said Fitzgerald. “If it makes sense for us to keep from overworking certain goalies or if we prefer to keep our (young goalies) in the AHL.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perhaps Fitzgerald is in talks with the Dallas Stars? They had to keep Anton Khudobin buried in the AHL while Jake Oettinger was sidelined because they couldn’t afford to call him up. He’s in the final season of his contract and carries a $3.33 million cap hit but lacks no-trade protection. The Devils, however, have limited cap space ($1.2 million) so they might have to consider a more affordable option.

Then again, perhaps they’ll go with Jonathan Bernier if he is ready to return to action. He’s been recovering from hip surgery but has been recently spotted practicing with the Devils.










NHL Rumor Mill – November 8, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – November 8, 2022

In today’s NHL Rumor Mill: some suggested goalie trade targets for the Leafs, changes could be coming for the Canucks, the latest on the Senators’ efforts to land a defenseman, and what the future could hold for the Bruins’ Mike Reilly.

SUGGESTED GOALIE TRADE TARGETS FOR THE LEAFS

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli examine five potential trade targets for the Toronto Maple Leafs if they decide to bolster their goaltending depth. Injuries to Matt Murray and Ilya Samsonov left them with third-stringer Erik Kallgren and AHL call-up, Keith Petruzzelli, to man the nets.

San Jose Sharks goaltender James Reimer (NHL Images).

The Columbus Blue Jackets’ Joonas Korpisalo and the San Jose Sharks’ James Reimer topped Seravalli’s list. Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings, Dan Vladar of the Calgary Flames and Anton Khudobin of the Dallas Stars rounded out his list. He also had the Detroit Red Wings’ Alex Nedeljkovic as an honorable mention

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Korpisalo has an affordable $1.3 million cap hit but he’s struggled over the past two years since losing the Blue Jackets’ starter role to Elvis Merzlikins. Reimer is a former Leaf who could be welcomed back with open arms by Toronto fans. He’s put up decent stats and has a reasonable $2.25 million cap hit. However, the Sharks could hang onto him until closer to the March trade deadline to maximize his value.

Quick’s name keeps surfacing in the rumor mill in recent years in part because of his lack of no-trade protection. However, the Kings have shown no desire to move him, especially now that they’re a playoff contender again in the Western Conference. Until Cal Petersen finally steps up and seizes the starter’s job, I don’t see Quick going anywhere.

I don’t see the Flames being in any rush to move Vladar. They’ll want a reliable backup in case anything happens to starter Jacob Markstrom. The Stars would love to move Khudobin from their books. He’s playing well with their AHL affiliate but teams could prefer seeing him garner some NHL starts before pursuing him.

Ville Husso has outperformed Nedeljkovic thus far but I don’t believe Wings GM Steve Yzerman is under any pressure to shake up his goalie tandem.

ARE CHANGES COMING FOR THE CANUCKS?

THE PROVINCE: Patrick Johnston cited Jim Rutherford’s appearance Monday on Sportsnet 650 in which he expressed his ongoing unhappiness with the Vancouver Canucks’ performance. Rutherford, the Canucks’ president of hockey operations, called on his players to take more responsibility.

We have to make the players more accountable,” said Rutherford. “We’ll have to take the necessary steps to try to get the players’ attention.”

Rutherford indicated management attempted to make some trades during the offseason. However, they were hampered by cap space or high prices paid by other clubs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reported Rutherford’s goal for next summer is moving big contracts to clear salary cap space. “VAN is open for business,” tweeted Seravalli.

So who could become trade candidates for the Canucks by next summer?

They signed J.T. Miller to a seven-year extension with an average annual value of $8 million but he’ll also have a full no-movement clause. Maybe Miller gets shopped before his new contract kicks in as his current deal lacks no-trade protection.

Elias Pettersson is signed through next season with an AAV of $7.35 million and he also lacks no-trade protection. However, he’s also just 23 and supposed to be a foundation player unless Rutherford has soured on him. Defenseman Quinn Hughes is signed through 2026-27 with an annual cap hit of $7.85 million but it would make little sense to move out their best blueliner unless Hughes is pushing for a trade.

Defensemen Oliver Ekman-Larssen ($7.26 million AAV through 2026-27) and Tyler Myers ($6 million annually through 2023-24) could also become trade candidates. Both, however, are past their best-before dates. The Canucks will have to retain some salary or package them with sweeteners in order to move them.

Thatcher Demko is earning $5 million annually through 2025-26. Putting their starting goalie on the trade block, however, would leave a gaping hole between the pipes that could take years to fill.

Winger Conor Garland ($4.95 million AAV through 2025-26) surfaced in media trade gossip earlier this season. He seems a more likely candidate at this point. They could also shop Bo Horvat before the March 3 trade deadline if the pending free agent hasn’t signed a contract extension by then.

LATEST ON THE SENATORS AND BRUINS

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators GM Pierre Dorion admits he’s having difficulty finding some help for his defense corps in the trade market. He’s spoken to the Arizona Coyotes about Jakob Chychrun but they’ve set a high asking price for the 24-year-old blueliner that Dorion isn’t willing to pay.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Garrioch reported Dorion will continue to look for a top-four defenseman in the trade market. In the meantime, he’ll continue to look within his organization to plug the holes in his blueline.

THE ATHLETIC: Fluto Shinzawa recently reported Mike Reilly has not requested a trade from the Boston Bruins following his recent stint in the minors to make way for returning forward Brad Marchand.

An injury to Derek Forbort has kept Reilly in the Bruins’ lineup for now. However, he could become the odd man out when Charlie McAvoy returns from offseason shoulder surgery in the coming weeks.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 8, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 8, 2022

Recaps of Friday’s games, the Flames sign MacKenzie Weegar to an eight-year contract extension, the Blackhawks and Canucks make a trade and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Nashville Predators kicked off their regular season by downing the San Jose Sharks 4-1 at the NHL Global Series in Prague, Czechia. Juuse Saros made 30 saves for the win while Eeli Tolvanen scored what proved to be the game-winner early in the second period. Prague native Tomas Hertl tallied for the Sharks. The two clubs face each other again today.

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (NHL Images).

In preseason action, the Pittsburgh Penguins crushed the Buffalo Sabres 7-1. Sidney Crosby scored twice and added an assist, Evgeni Malkin had three assists, Jake Guentzel a goal and two assists and Bryan Rust tallied twice for the Penguins.

Leon Draisaitl had a goal and three assists to lead the Edmonton Oilers to a 5-3 victory over the Seattle Kraken. Connor McDavid and Evander Kane each had a goal and an assist.

The Winnipeg Jets got a three-point performance from Kyle Connor and two goals from Pierre-Luc Dubois in a 5-3 win over the Calgary Flames. Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck kicked out 35 shots.

Detroit Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi scored twice as his club doubled up the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2.

Vancouver Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko faced just seven shots to shut out the Arizona Coyotes 4-0.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s not a typo. The Coyotes only mustered seven shots on Demko.

HEADLINES

CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: The Flames signed defenseman MacKenzie Weegar to an eight-year, $50 million contract extension yesterday. Weegar, 28, is in the final season of a three-year deal worth an average annual value of $3.25 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Weegar was acquired by the Flames from the Florida Panthers in the trade that also sent Jonathan Huberdeau to Calgary in July. The $6.25 million AAV on his new contract is a significant raise for the late-blooming defenseman, who tallied a career-high 44 points last season. The deal also comes with full no-trade protection for the first four seasons.

Weegar’s contract leaves the Flames with $80.3 million invested in 18 players for 2023-24. There’s no question they’re in “go-for-it” mode for the foreseeable future. Time will tell if they get good value for their expensive investments in Weegar, Huberdeau and free-agent addition Nazem Kadri.

THE PROVINCE/NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Vancouver Canucks trade forward Jason Dickerson and a second-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for defenseman Riley Stillman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks needed to add a defenseman as well as free up salary-cap space. Swapping Dickinson and his $2.65 million cap hit through 2023-24 for Stillman and his $1.35 AAV through ’23-’24 addressed both needs. The rebuilding Blackhawks, meanwhile, were able to add a second-round pick to give them six selections in the first three rounds of the 2024 draft.

TSN: Speaking of the Canucks, blueliner Tyler Myers is out two-to-four weeks with a lower-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks are also missing rearguard Travis Dermott, who is recuperating from a concussion.

THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Some good news for the Flyers as winger Joel Farabee has been cleared for contact and could play in the club’s season-opener. He underwent disk replacement surgery in June.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Red Wings defenseman Robert Hagg has been cleared to return to play. He’s been sidelined by a concussion.

DAILY FACEOFF: Carolina Hurricanes forward Jordan Martinook, Edmonton Oilers center Mattias Janmark and Dallas Stars goaltender Anton Khudobin are among the players to hit the waiver wire on Friday. Teams have until noon ET today to claim them.

NHL.COM: The St. Louis Blues released Tyler Pitlick from his professional tryout offer.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Hockey New Brunswick joins three other regional hockey organizations in withholding a portion of their player registration fees from Hockey Canada. Meanwhile, Nike joined a growing list of sponsors withholding support over a lack of confidence in the national governing body’s leadership stemming from its mishandling of sexual assault allegations levied against players from the 2003 and 2018 World Junior teams.

NHL.COM: Former goaltender Dave Dryden passed away on Tuesday at age 81. The older brother of Hall-of-Fame netminder Ken Dryden, Dave played in 203 NHL games with the New York Rangers, Chicago Blackhawks, Buffalo Sabres and Edmonton Oilers, as well as 242 games in the WHA from 1961-62 to 1979-80.

Dryden left his mark on the game by pioneering the first cage combination goalie mask. He continued working on improving and refining equipment following his retirement.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Dryden’s family, friends and former teammates. Today’s goaltenders owe him a debt of gratitude for his efforts to improve their equipment.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 6, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 6, 2022

Recaps of Wednesday’s preseason games, Hockey Canada faces growing criticism as sponsors distance themselves from the organization, the Stars sign Jason Robertson to a four-year contract, and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I underwent surgery on Oct. 5 to repair damaged tendons in my left hand. It was similar to the procedure I had in February. As a result, it could take a little longer to post my daily updates over the next few days. Please bear with me. As always, I appreciate your support.

RECAPS OF PRESEASON GAMES

NHL.COM: A third-period goal by Mike Reilly broke a 4-4 tie as the Boston Bruins nipped the New York Rangers 5-4. Bruins forwards David Pastrnak and Pavel Zacha each had a goal and two assists. Mika Zibanejad and Kaapo Kakko both scored twice for the Rangers.

Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak (NHL Images).

The Washington Capitals doubled up the Detroit Red Wings 4-2 on third-period goals by Connor Brown and Alex Ovechkin. It was a costly win for the Capitals as winger T.J. Oshie left the game in the second period with an upper-body injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We could hear an update on Oshie’s status later today after he’s been reevaluated by the Capitals’ medical staff.

Winnipeg Jets goaltender David Rittich made 37 saves to backstop his club to a 5-0 shutout of the Calgary Flames. Kyle Connor scored twice and Nikolaj Ehlers had a goal and two assists.

Third-period goals by Logan O’Connor and Mikko Rantanen lifted the Colorado Avalanche over the Dallas Stars 2-1. Alexandar Georgiev got the win with a 32-save performance.

Vancouver Canucks center Elias Pettersson scored two third-period goals (including the game-winner) in a 5-4 win over the Edmonton Oilers. Canucks captain Bo Horvat collected three assists. Oilers captain Connor McDavid had a goal and an assist.

SPONSORS AND TWO PROVINCES WITHDRAW SUPPORT FROM HOCKEY CANADA.

CBC.CA: Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau said it “boggles the mind” that Hockey Canada continues to defend its leadership amid ongoing accusations of its mishandling of sexual assault allegations against a number of junior hockey players.

Parents across the country are losing faith or have lost faith in Hockey Canada,” said Trudeau. “Certainly, politicians here in Ottawa have lost in Hockey Canada.”

Canada’s sports minister Pascale St-Onge believed mass resignations by Hockey Canada’s leadership are necessary to restore trust in the organization. If they continue to dig in its heels, she called upon Hockey Canada’s voting members to clean house.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: Hockey Quebec and the Ontario Hockey Federation are pulling their support from Hockey Canada and moving to withhold registration fees from the national federation. Meanwhile, Tim Hortons, Telus and Scotiabank announced Wednesday that they will be suspending their sponsorship of men’s hockey for the 2022-23 season.

TSN: Rick Westhead reports a group of Hockey Canada’s sponsors is discussing the possibility of permanently suspending their business relationships with the national sports organization, using the “reputational damage” clauses in their contracts.

THE ATHLETIC: Ken Volden, a senior executive at TSN, acknowledged that the network’s business operations have been affected by its coverage of the Hockey Canada scandal. However, the network will continue to pursue the story.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The ongoing damage to Hockey Canada worsens the longer it continues to keep its head in the sand. Suppose the outcry by politicians and the public won’t force the organization to implement change in its leadership. In that case, the withdrawal of funding by the provinces and major corporate sponsors should do it.

IN OTHER NEWS…

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars signed winger Jason Robertson to a four-year, $31 million contract. The average annual value is $7.75 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Robertson gets a hefty raise over his entry-level AAV of $894K. He earned it by becoming one of the Stars’ top players. He was a finalist for the Calder Memorial Trophy in 2020-21 with 45 points in 51 games and tallied 41 goals and 79 points as a sophomore last season.

This deal also sets up the 23-year-old for a more lucrative payday on a longer-term contract. He’ll earn $9.3 million in actual salary in the final year of this deal, meaning it’ll cost the Stars that much to qualify his rights.

Speaking of the Stars, goaltender Anton Khudobin has a clean bill of health after recovering from off-season hip surgery. He could be showcased for a trade or placed on waivers and demoted to their AHL affiliate Texas.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Scott Wedgewood has nailed down the backup role behind young starter Jake Oettinger.

TSN: Montreal Canadiens captain Nick Suzuki and teammates Joel Armia and Emil Heineman are listed as day-to-day with upper-body injuries. The Canadiens also announced the signing of 2021 first-round pick Logan Mailloux to an entry-level contract. He will spend the coming season with his junior team in London, Ontario.

The Columbus Blue Jackets released center Victor Rask from his professional tryout offer.

THE SCORE: Seattle Kraken general manager Ron Francis isn’t ruling out Shane Wright playing the full season in the NHL. The 18-year-old center was considered the top prospect heading into the 2022 draft but was selected fourth overall by the Kraken.

DAILY FACEOFF: The NHL department of player safety fined Arizona Coyotes forward Michael Carone $2,027.23 for roughing Vegas Golden Knights forward Gage Quinney in a preseason game on Tuesday.










NHL Rumor Mill – September 20, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – September 20, 2022

The fallout from the Rangers shipping Nils Lundkvist to the Stars plus the latest on Jake Allen, Jesse Puljujarvi, Ethan Bear and Brett Ritchie in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

FALLOUT FROM THE LUNDKVIST TRADE

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks weighed in on the Rangers trading Nils Lundkvist yesterday to the Dallas Stars for a conditional first-rounder in 2023 and a conditional fourth-rounder in 2025.

Brooks feels Rangers general manager Chris Drury “has acquired a critical asset he can move for immediate help” at the March trade deadline. He suggests Drury will have potentially two first-rounders to play the rental market, or what Brooks calls “the Patrick Kane derby”.

New York Rangers traded defenseman Nils Lundkvist to the Dallas Stars on Sept. 19. (NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brooks has suggested the Rangers should pursue Kane if the 33-year-old Chicago Blackhawks superstar becomes available by the trade deadline. Having that extra first-round pick could give Drury an advantage if he decides to get into the bidding. Something to keep an eye on depending on how the Rangers’ season shakes out.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Matthew DeFranks reports the Lundkvist deal is the first time Stars GM Jim Nill has traded a first-round pick for a player. He also thinks that move could affect efforts to free up salary-cap space.

Perhaps the first-rounder rids the Stars of Anton Khudobin? Perhaps the fourth-rounder entices a team to bite on Radek Faksa?”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lundkvist could pan out for the Stars if the 22-year-old blossoms into a reliable puck-moving right-side defenseman. As for what else Nill could’ve used those picks for, maybe he’s working on something else that moves Khudobin or Faksa to clear the cap space necessary to re-sign restricted free agent Jason Robertson.

TEAMS CALLING ABOUT JAKE ALLEN

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marco D’Amico reports teams are continuing to ask Canadiens GM Kent Hughes about Jake Allen, who is in preliminary contract talks with the Habs. Given the interest in the 32-year-old goaltender, D’Amico’s source wonders if Hughes could be weighing the pros and cons of extending him.

D’Amico also reported Hughes continues working the phones in search of a defenseman. He’s reportedly willing to draw from his depth of forwards for trade bait. Mike Hoffman, Joel Armia and (to a lesser extent) Christian Dvorak are those who could be available.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As D’Amico also observed, it would be shocking if the Canadiens traded Allen now with Carey Price expected to miss the coming season. Maybe that’s a move that happens later in the season (perhaps by the March trade deadline?) if Allen decides to test next summer’s free-agent market.

UPDATES ON PULJUJARVI, BEAR AND RITCHIE

SPORTSNET: Mark Spector wonders if the Edmonton Oilers will move Jesse Puljujarvi if Jake Virtanen impresses during his professional tryout offer. The 24-year-old winger is earning $3 million this season. Spector doesn’t believe the Oilers can get anything of value for Puljujarvi and lack depth on right wing to deal for a draft pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see how Oilers GM Ken Holland handles this. They must clear cap space if they’re to sign RFA forward Ryan McLeod and become cap compliant when the season begins. They could ice fewer players for the coming season but it would be better to either demote or trade someone.

Iain MacIntyre reports the Vancouver Canucks could have Ethan Bear on their radar in their search for a defenseman before the start of the coming season. The 25-year-old blueliner is on a one-year contract worth $2.2 million and becomes a restricted free agent with arbitration rights next summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear struggled in his first season with the Hurricanes. He suffered a bout with COVID-19 that subsequently hampered his performance. If he’s no longer suffering any lingering ill effects, he could be a worthwhile pickup if available.

Eric Francis reported hearing the Flames are closing in on a one-year contract for Brett Ritchie.










NHL Rumor Mill – September 14, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – September 14, 2022

An update on Jason Robertson’s contract talks with the Stars plus the latest on the Canadiens and Oilers in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

LATEST ON JASON ROBERTSON

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Matthew DeFranks reports Stars general manager Jim Nill remains hopeful that Jason Robertson will be at training camp when it opens next week. Contract negotiations continue between Stars management and the 23-year-old restricted free agent winger.

Dallas Stars forward Jason Robertson (NHL Images)

Robertson is coming off his entry-level contract and a career-best 41 goals and 79 points in 74 games. Nill indicated he’s in constant communication with the winger’s representatives. The club has around $7.2 million in salary cap room depending on the final roster makeup.

DeFranks suggests that means a long-term contract is off the table, speculating Robertson could get an average annual value of $7 million on a three or four-year deal. The Stars can create more cap room for the coming season by carrying a smaller roster or trading players such as goaltender Anton Khudobin ($3.33 million) or forward Radek Faksa ($3.25 million).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The bridge deal seems the most likely option here. How much Robertson gets could depend on whether Nill can find a taker for Khudobin or Faksa.

Their respective AAVs aren’t that expensive. Nevertheless, it’ll be difficult finding a trade partner at this time of year when most clubs have limited cap room.

UPDATES ON THE CANADIENS AND OILERS

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy cites TVA Sports’ Renaud Lavoie reporting Canadiens defenseman Joel Edmundson is garnering interest in the trade market as training camp approaches. Lavoie claimed there’s a lot of interest around the league for a blueliner like him.

Lavoie doubts Edmundson, 29, will be traded now but thinks the 6’5”, 229-pound rearguard is drawing some attractive offers and could garner more as the season progresses. He missed most of 2021-22 with a back injury but can bolster his trade stock with a healthy, productive season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Murphy suggested, it’d doubtful he’ll be moved before the 2023 trade deadline. Unless the Canadiens get a mind-blowing offer they’re not trading Edmundson now. They recently made him an alternate captain and value his experience and leadership among their young blueliners.

TSN’s John Lu took to Twitter reporting Canadiens goaltender Jake Allen admitted he’s “had communication” with management regarding a contract extension. However, he offered no further comment on the subject.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given Carey Price’s uncertain future and the ongoing development of Cayden Primeau, it’s unsurprising the Canadiens are interested in discussing a new contract with Allen. They’ll need some veteran stability in goal beyond this season if Price’s career is over and Primeau isn’t ready for prime time.

Lu’s colleague Ryan Rishaug tweeted on Monday that he thinks the Edmonton Oilers are waiting to hear an answer from winger Jake Virtanen regarding a professional tryout offer.

He also indicated they’re exploring all cost-cutting trade options for winger Jesse Puljujarvi. They can still start the coming season with what they have if they don’t move Puljujarvi but it could create salary-cap complications later in the season.

Rishaug doesn’t see Tyson Barrie as a trade candidate. He expects the Oilers will start this season with what they’ve got on their blueline and see how things go.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: On the one hand, avoiding arbitration with Puljujarvi by signing him in July to a one-year, $3 million contract provides cost certainty when attempting to trade him. It seems no team wanted to take on an unsigned restricted free agent with consistency issues with arbitration rights.

On the other hand, most teams have limited salary-cap space. Puljujarvi’s $3 million cap hit is a tight squeeze for many clubs right now.