NHL Rumor Mill – October 4, 2019
The potential effect of recent RFA signings, the Oilers options to replace the sidelined Adam Larsson, and updates on Joshua Ho-Sang and Julius Honka in today’s NHL rumor mill.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM LATEST TSN “INSIDER TRADING”
TSN: Pierre LeBrun suspects the rash of recent signings by players slated to become restricted free agents in 2020 could be a sign of a trend. After watching the negotiations for many of this summer’s top RFAs drag on well into training camp, some teams are moving aggressively to re-sign their pending top RFAs coming off entry-level contracts.
The Chicago Blackhawks were the latest, re-signing winger Alex DeBrincat to an extension yesterday. Colorado Avalanche defenseman Samuel Girard, Arizona Coyotes center Clayton Keller, and Ottawa Senators blueliner Thomas Chabot were also re-signed in recent weeks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: We could see more over the course of this season. Those in the final season of their ELCs include DeBrincat’s linemate Dylan Strome, the New York Islanders’ Mathew Barzal (pictured), New Jersey’s Nico Hischier, and Columbus’ PIerre-Luc Dubois.
Bob McKenzie believes the Edmonton Oilers aren’t opposed to going outside their organization to find a potential replacement for sidelined defenseman Adam Larsson. However, he doesn’t think there’s a comparable defenseman available.
He pointed out New York Islanders rearguard Thomas Hickey is available and was recently on waivers but he’s not a top-pairing blueliner. Hickey also carries a $2 million cap hit.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers recalled defenseman Evan Bouchard from their AHL affiliate. If he struggles to fill the void, perhaps general manager Ken Holland will explore the trade or waiver wire.
Speaking of the Oilers, Darren Dreger observes a few teams expressed interest in Jesse Puljujarvi. The 21-year-old RFA winger is playing in Finland as he waits for the Oilers to honor his trade request. He’s playing well overseas but there’s nothing doable for the Oilers so far.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t doubt there’s growing interest in Puljujarvi but the Oilers asking price of a draft pick and prospect could be more than those clubs are willing to pay. Maybe one of those teams will get desperate if injuries strike or they struggle to score.
Dreger also notes New York Islanders winger Joshua Ho-Sang has requested a trade. He wants a fresh start elsewhere and isn’t averse to playing for another team’s AHL club. However, his fate remains in the hands of Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Arthur Staple doubts Ho-Sang will fetch much in return. Because he’s already cleared waivers he can be sent directly to the AHL if acquired via trade by another team.
McKenzie believes it’s not a question of if the Dallas Stars move defenseman Julius Honka but when. The restricted free agent is in Finland awaiting a trade. The issue with him isn’t money but an opportunity and a fresh start after three seasons in the AHL. Teams are speaking to Stars GM Jim Nill. McKenzie expects the Stars will get a draft pick in return.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Montreal Canadiens were reportedly interested in Honka, who’s also been linked to the Anaheim Ducks and Winnipeg Jets.