Oilers, Blue Jackets, Stars, Red Wings, Maple Leafs

In today’s NHL gossip, just a day after the first round of the NHL Entry Draft, there’s a lot of gossip and speculation surrounding a number of teams. Among the juiciest rumours, there’s plenty going on in Edmonton, where the discussion is raging over who could replace Evander Kane, Duncan Keith may be retiring and more.

The Columbus Blue Jackets appear to be actively trying to add a defender, the Dallas Stars are looking to supplement their top six, and the Detroit Red Wings could be a surprise free-hand player. Finally, is Marc-Andre Fleury interested in the Toronto Maple Leafs?

Lots of moving parts in Edmonton

A number of NHL insiders all agree that the Oilers have a lot of balls up in the air when it comes to the July 13 draft and free agency. Bigger storylines include a report from TSN’s Ryan Rishaug that defense attorney Duncan Keith is “absolutely considering resigning,” and then a report from TSN insiders Pierre LeBrun and Darren Dreger about who the backup options might be if Evander Kane isn’t returns.

Duncan Keith Edmonton Oilers
Duncan Keith, Edmonton Oilers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

During the Got Yer’ Back podcast, LeBrun’s personal opinion is that Claude Giroux would have the Oilers in his top five teams that he would consider a free hand. He’s aiming for a two- or three-year term and has a young family to look after. Dreger noted that the Oilers have been looking at Plans A, B and C and said Kane and Giroux would be their priorities. He says the Oilers also did their due diligence on Phil Kessel. The Oilers think he’s up for a very reasonable short-term contract and are wondering if he can bounce back from an eight-goal season in Arizona. Kessel is a floating UFA.

As for Keith, the reason Rishaug says he’s certain the defense attorney hasn’t made up his mind yet is because he hasn’t informed the Oilers of his return plan. He was asked to notify the Oilers by July 1, and the deadline was extended. Unless he wasn’t sure, why would he need more time?

Stars want to add top six wingers

According to David Pagnotta from The Fourth Period: “As I mentioned earlier in the hour on @NHLNetwork, the Dallas Stars are looking to add a top six winger this summer and play with him primarily [Tyler] Seguin/ [Jamie] ben. They will explore both the commercial and free agent markets.”

The team has some wiggle room but is also required to sign a contract with RFA Jason Robertston which could affect the team’s ability to go big game hunting.

Blue jackets at Jakob Chychrun?

According to Brian Hedgerbeatwriter for the Columbus Blue Jackets: “On the chychrun front, two sources told me today that the #CBJ and #Yotes are speaking.” He adds, “Combine that with GM Jarmo Kekalainen saying the 12th Overall win could potentially be used to win a ‘young NHL player’ with tenure left… and maybe something’s brewing?”

Jacob Chychrun Arizona Coyotes
Jakob Chychrun, Arizona Coyotes (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

The Blue Jackets were a team rumored to have worked out a deal with Tampa to demand waivers from Ryan McDonagh if the defenseman didn’t accept a trade to Nashville, and it appears they’re trying to land another blueliner to be aggressive Drger added to this report, saying: “This is something to keep an eye on. No doubt CBJ performs chychrun with due diligence.”

Could the Red Wings take action against Nazem Kadri?

Jeff Marek said during Tuesday’s 32 THoughts podcast that he wonders about Nazem Kadri in Detroit. He noted, “I think Detroit is going to spend more money this offseason than people think, and I think Detroit is really going to try to compete in the NHL next season and they have the flexibility now to do that.” He added: “I wonder about Kadri there because I know they have a middle position to fill.”

Also See: San Jose Sharks News & Rumors: Grier, Kane, Puljujarvi & More

He also noted that the Red Wings might try to strike up a conversation with someone like Ryan Strome.

Miller to Rangers or Capitals?

As the discussion shifted from Marek and Elliotte Friedman to JT Miller and a possible Vancouver trade, Marek said, “If they make a deal, it’s with one of them [Washington] capital letters or [New York] Rangers, do you feel/seem the same way?” Friedman responded that he saw a team coming out of nowhere that few people talk about, but added, “but these two make a lot of sense”.

Maple leaves wave towards Marc-Andre Fleury

Friedman discussed the potential of landing Marc-Andre Fleury in Toronto as a free agent, and brushed off rumors that the netminder had no interest in the Maple Leafs. He said: “There were people who said he didn’t 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 Knies wanted and Toronto was. I’m not ready for that.”

Friedman notes that Fleury is now considering his options, including the Minnesota Wild, Pittsburgh Penguins and Colorado Avalanche (if Darcy Kumper moves on). He also noted that there was still something that could be done between the Leafs and Jack Campbell, but noted that he believes the Maple Leafs are set up in a punt formation and have decided it’s time to move on.

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