NHL Rumor Mill – January 15, 2024
Draisaitl, 28, will be entering the final season of his eight-year, $68 million contract on July 1, which is the earliest that the Oilers can open contract extension talks with him. His current deal became the most team-friendly among the Oilers given his rise as an NHL superstar.
Entering that final season, Draisaitl will have to choose between another eight seasons with the Oilers or perhaps moving on to a bigger market such as Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Boston or New York as an unrestricted free agent once his current deal is done.
Draisaitl could sign a short-term deal with the Oilers but Spector considered that to be unlikely.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This isn’t a rumor but it is worth noting Draisaitl’s contract situation.
Speculation about Maple Leafs forwards Mitch Marner and John Tavares has already started but there’s been very little regarding Draisaitl, who is a much bigger star. Where he plays following this contract and how much he’ll earn on his next deal will become hot topics for media conjecture later this year.
Swayman first praised his teammates for putting him in this position. However, he also revealed that his arbitration process last summer was not a pleasant experience, talking about having to deal with what he went through and “hearing things that a player should never hear.”
Murphy noted that Swayman got a one-year, $3.47 million contract award via arbitration. He also pointed out that the process is an uncomfortable one for players and teams. The 25-year-old netminder and his agent have declined to talk with the media this season about his contract negotiations with the Bruins.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman recently speculated that Swayman could re-sign with the Bruins in January. Murphy wonders if the goalie’s comments suggest things haven’t gone as Friedman expected.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Arbitration is bruising to a player’s ego and can sometimes cause irreparable damage to his relationship with management, greasing the skids for his departure to another club via trade or free agency.
Swayman is slated to once again become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights on July 1. It’ll be worthwhile to monitor his situation if he hasn’t re-signed by then.
NEW JERSEY HOCKEY NOW: James Nichols believes Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom is an unlikely trade target for the Devils. He reached that decision after hearing Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman’s report on Saturday indicating it will take a lot for the Flames to consider parting with their starting netminder.
Friedman noted Markstrom carries a full no-movement clause and the Flames have no intention of asking him to waive it unless it’s to a destination he wants to go to. Nichols thinks there could be more desirable locations than New Jersey for Markstrom.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils can free up $9 million in cap space by placing sidelined defenseman Dougie Hamilton on long-term injury reserve. They could afford Markstrom’s $6 million average annual value but not what would be a significant asking price from the Flames. If they go goalie shopping they could consider more affordable short-term options.