With the off-season now well underway, we investigate the latest NHL rumors
Things have been moving quickly in the NHL over the past month; teams were officially able to begin signing new players on Wednesday 28th July, sparking a flurry of activity as the best free agents were quickly snapped up by teams eager to boost their roster before the 2021-2022 season.
The new season is set to begin in October, composed of the previous divisional structure that was in place before the shortened season of 2020-2021. The NHL has also announced that they plan to return to the regular 82-game schedule this year too. This means that, barring any unforeseen surprises, fans can look forward to a full six months of action on the ice, concluding in April 2022.
Multiple sources claim the Edmonton Oilers are seeking a new Goaltender
Edmonton radio station 630 CHED’s regular Oilers Now program hosted David Pagnotta last week. David is affiliated with the respected NHL news outlet The Fourth Period and seemed happy to share his unique insights regarding the widely-reported rumor that the Oilers have been keeping a careful eye on the goaltending market.
According to Pagnotta, Ken Holland (General Manager of the Edmonton Oilers) remains committed to current goaltender Mike Smith and believes he is more than up to the task of defending the net next season. Nevertheless, as a former goaltender himself, Ken understands the importance of having a solid backup option better than most.
If these claims are accurate, we can expect to see Mike Smith occupying the goaltender position for the bulk of next season, so Holland is probably just keeping his finger on the pulse as to what other goaltending options might be available at the same time.
Pagnotta noted that there have indeed been conversations between the Oilers and the Columbus Blue Jackets regarding Joonas Korpisalo, but the Blue Jackets made it clear in those discussions that the Oilers would have to pay a very steep price to convince them to let him go.
Could the New York Rangers finally be about to pull the trigger on a deal?
We’ve been hearing seemingly endless rumors regarding the Rangers for months, yet we haven’t seen anything come of any of them up to this point. The names involved keep changing from week to week, fuelling a frenzy of betting on the NHL Vegas odds markets.
There’s talk of the Rangers acquiring Jack Eichel from the Buffalo Sabres, making trades involving Alexandar Georgiev and Ryan Strome, and extending the contract of Mika Zibanejad, to name a few. Despite all the talk, some insiders now believe that the Rangers will opt not to make any major decisions during the offseason at all.
Now, speculation has begun to focus on the possibility that the reason for the protracted period of rumors with little accompanying action may be related to the complexity of the deal being drawn up behind closed doors. The plan being suggested would involve the Vegas Golden Knights as well as the Sabres and the Rangers, with the headline news being Zibanejad going to the Golden Knights and Eichel moving to the Rangers.
Such a deal would need to incorporate several draft picks, prospects, and potentially several more minor players too if it was to make financial sense for all three teams involved. If this is indeed the plan, we can expect something to happen shortly.
Such a complicated and expensive deal would explain the continued rumors but also feels like something of a long shot. Perhaps the Rangers have just been making inquiries to keep people guessing, and will finally make a move between the start of the new season and the trade deadline.
Will he, won’t he? The ongoing saga of John Klingberg and the Dallas Stars
One of the Dallas Stars… “star” players last season had to be defensemen John Klingberg, who first made the NHL Network’s list of the top 20 defensemen in the league in 2018. The player has proven invaluable to the Stars, providing numerous first-class assists which resulted in fantastic goals from his teammates.
Today, Klingberg has proven himself to be one of the league’s best defensemen with the ability to drive pucks towards the opposition net, so there is no question that Dallas would like to keep him on their team. Talks have begun regarding a contract extension, but the question is can they afford to keep him considering all of the recent big-ticket blue line signings?
The stars know it is going to be a difficult contract to get rubber-stamped; their recent big-money deal for Miro Heiskanen could end up haunting them here, as it would be completely reasonable for Klingberg to ask for a similar deal.
With so many defensemen being handed huge contracts in recent weeks, John knows that he won’t have too much trouble finding a team willing to give him a big-money, long-term deal. We know Dallas wants to keep him though, so the question now will be if they can afford to do so.
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