Welcome to another special edition of Full Press Hockey’s NHL Rumors! The Stanley Cup Final is history and the Colorado Avalanche have won Lord Stanley’s Cup. Needless to say, leading up to the NHL Draft on July 7th, and free agency on July 13th, there are endless rumours abound. Clubs are always working to improve their rosters for next season. In this special edition of NHL Rumors, we will take a look at the Edmonton Oilers, Chicago Blackhawks, and the Detroit Red Wings.
Edmonton Oilers – Claude Giroux
Rumor: Per – Pierre LeBrun – theathletic.com. There are clubs lurking, hoping to have a chance at Giroux, 34, come July 13. One of those teams, I’m told, is the Edmonton Oilers.
It seems that all NHL general managers need to formulate backup plans should things go south. In the case of Giroux, the Florida Panthers would love to have him back. He did have three goals, and 20 assists in just 18 games in the sunshine state. For Oilers GM Ken Holland, he must have a plan in place if the team cannot re-sign Evander Kane pending his status with the San Jose Sharks.
If Giroux wants to play with a contending team, the Oilers may be his choice. The Ottawa Senators are also interested, but they are not a contender yet. Giroux wishes to stay with an Eastern Conference team, but that may not happen. He is an excellent possession and faceoff guy. His career faceoff statistic is impressive with a 55.8 percent win ratio.
Imagining Giroux on the same team with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl can boggle the mind. Critics will say the Oilers need to focus on their defence and goaltending, but passing on Giroux may be a mistake. Of course, the Oilers currently only possess a cap space of $7.13 million. The status of Duncan Keith ($5.54M) and Mike Smith ($2.2M) may change that number. Giroux seeks a two or three-year deal. Can Holland make it work?
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Chicago Blackhawks – Seth Jones
Rumor: Per – Bruce Garrioch – ottawasun.com. Garrioch suggests keeping an eye on Seth Jones. He said the rebuilding Chicago Blackhawks hope to move the 27-year-old defenseman’s hefty contract.
Remember that Jones has a disabling eight-year $76 million contract commencing next season. That would make such a contract almost impossible to move, yet GM Kyle Davidson has stated he’s willing to discuss any name on his roster. He may be especially interested in moving such huge contracts as Jones and Patrick Kane along with Jonathan Toews in the interest of conducting a rebuild. Little did Jones realize when got dealt to Chicago that he would be in the situation where the team was in a rebuild. It is assumed that he was going to be going to a contender. Oh my, how things can change. One can’t blame Davidson to consider clearing off cap space for assets so he may move on with the rebuild.
The issue becomes moving contracts like Jones, Kane, and Toews will be extremely difficult, if not impossible. The only path to that working is if the Chicago club retains some salary, and maybe then they would get some suitors. Until then, Jones remains stuck on a team where losing will be the goal so as to compete in the 2023 NHL draft, expected to be the best in a long time. It goes without saying that Davidson’s phone will be ringing quite a bit in the next week or so.
Detroit Red Wings – Nazem Kadri
Rumor: Per – Jeff Marek – sportsnet.ca. Marek thinks that the Red Wings may throw their hat into the ring for the Kadri sweepstakes. They need centers and have the cap space to get it done. With Steve Yzerman you never know.
The Red Wings do need to get the Dylan Larkin extension done, and Elliotte Friedman believes it will get done. Marek states that the younger guys will start stepping up and may be on the path to being a more competitive team. He believes that the Wings are going to spend a lot more money than most people think this offseason. They do have $35.8 million in cap space which is only exceeded by the Anaheim Ducks with $39.4 million. Even considering the Larkin extension, Yzerman has the budget to really make some noise this offseason.
Kadri will demand a huge salary increase starting at $8 million and going towards $10 million. He’s worth it, and he has made that known. One must admit going from a Stanley Cup winner to a team like Detroit may take some deep thought, but the paychecks will be outstanding.
That concludes this special edition of NHL rumors. We will go back to our normal Wednesday/Sunday schedule now. Keep your Full Press Hockey bookmark on your laptop handy, it’s going to be busy!
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