In today’s NHL rumors rundown, just one day out from the first round of the NHL Entry Draft, there is plenty of talk and speculation surrounding a number of teams. Among the juiciest rumors, there is a lot going on in Edmonton where there is the discussion about who might replace Evander Kane, Duncan Keith possibly retiring, and more.
The Columbus Blue Jackets seem active in trying to add a defenseman, the Dallas Stars are looking to add to their top six and the Detroit Red Wings could be a surprising player in free agency. Finally, is Marc-Andre Fleury interested in the Toronto Maple Leafs?
Lots of Moving Parts in Edmonton
A number of NHL insiders have all agreed that the Oilers have a ton of balls in the air when it comes to the draft and free agency on July 13th. Among the bigger storylines is a report from TSN’s Ryan Rishaug that defenseman Duncan Keith is “absolutely considering retirement” and then a report from TSN insiders Pierre LeBrun and Darren Dreger about who might be the backup options if Evander Kane doesn’t return.
During the Got Yer’ Back podcast, LeBrun’s personal opinion is that Claude Giroux would have the Oilers in his top five of teams he would consider in free agency. He’s looking for a two or three-year term and he’s got a young family to worry about. Dreger noted that the Oilers have looked at Plan A, B, and C and said that Kane and Giroux would be in their priorities. He says the Oilers have also done their due diligence on Phil Kessel. Thinking he could be had for a very reasonably short-term contract, the Oilers are wondering if he can rebound from an eight-goal season in Arizona. Kessel is a pending UFA.
As for Keith, the reason Rishaug says he’s sure the defenseman hasn’t made up his mind yet is because he’s not informed the Oilers of his plan to return. He was asked to let the Oilers know by July 1 and the deadline has been extended. Why would he need more time unless he wasn’t sure?
Stars Want To Add Top-Six Winger
According to David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period, “As I mentioned on @NHLNetwork earlier this hour, the Dallas Stars want to add a top-six winger this summer and primarily to play with [Tyler] Seguin/ [Jamie] Benn. They’ll explore both the trade & free-agent markets.”
The team has some cap space but also needs to get a contract signed with RFA Jason Roberston, which could eat into the team’s ability to go big-game hunting.
Blue Jackets in on Jakob Chychrun?
As per Brian Hedger, beat writer for the Columbus Blue Jackets, “On the Chychrun front, two sources today told me the #CBJ and #Yotes are talking.” He adds, “Combine that w/ GM Jarmo Kekalainen saying the 12th overall pick could potentially be used to acquire a ‘young NHL player’ with term left … and maybe we’ve got something brewing?”
The Blue Jackets were a team rumored to have worked out a deal with Tampa to claim Ryan McDonagh on waivers if the defenseman didn’t accept a trade to Nashville and it appears they are trying to be aggressive in landing another blueliner Dreger did add to this report saying, “This is something to keep an eye on. No doubt CBJ is doing due diligence on Chychrun.”
Could the Red Wings Get in On Nazem Kadri?
Jeff Marek said during Tuesday’s 32 THoughts Podcast, that he wonders about Nazem Kadri in Detroit. He noted, “I think Detroit’s going to spend more money than people think this offseason and I think Detroit is going to really try and compete next season in the NHL and they have the flex to do it right now..” He added, “I wonder about Kadri there, knowing they have a center position to fill.”
He also noted that the Red Wings could try to get in on talks with someone like Ryan Strome.
Miller to Rangers or Capitals?
When Marek and Elliotte Friedman’s discussion moved to J.T. Miller and a possible trade out of Vancouver, Marek said: “If they’re going to do a deal it’s going to be with either the [Washington] Capitals or [New York] Rangers, does it feel/seem the same way to you?” Friedman responded that he could see a team coming out of nowhere that few people are talking about, but added, “but those two make a lot of sense”.
Maple Leafs Pivoting Towards Marc-Andre Fleury
Friedman discussed the potential of Marc-Andre Fleury landing in Toronto as a free agent and shot down rumors that the netminder is not interested in the Maple Leafs. He said, “There were people who said he did not want to go to Toronto, I don’t think that’s true, I just think the Leafs and Blackhawks couldn’t agree on the trade and that’s because Chicago wanted Knies and Toronto wasn’t willing to do that”.
Friedman notes that Fleury is now going through his options and among them are the Minnesota Wild, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Colorado Avalanche (if Darcy Kumper moves on). He also noted that something could still get done between the Leafs and Jack Campbell, but noted that he believes the Maple Leafs have lined up in punt formation and have decided it’s time to move on.
Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”