NHL Rumors: Oilers goalie targets, Penguins UFAs, and could Toffoli help the Rangers?

nhl rumors oilers goalies
Jan 5, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Edmonton Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse (25) and goaltender Mike Smith (41) during a break in the action against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the third period at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Edmonton Oilers are sliding down the standings in the Pacific division. Last night’s loss to the Maple Leafs was their fifth straight and 9th in their last 13 games (2-9-2).

Once again, the Oilers found themselves behind the 8-ball early in a game as a puck was accidentally kicked in by goalie Mike Smith. Between him and Mikko Koskinen, Edmonton has not gotten a lift from their goaltending. This has speculation running rampant on what GM Ken Holland is going to do about it.

NHL Rumors: Oilers goalie targets

There are certainly plenty of goalie options the Oilers could trade for. Yesterday, we mentioned Dallas Stars’ Anton Khudobin as a possibility. He’s currently in the AHL awaiting a trade after clearing waivers. Edmonton’s limited cap space also means that Dallas would need to retain up to half his $3.33M salary.

Sportsnet’s Rory Boylen suggested six others with the most interesting being Joonas Korpisalo (UFA, $2.8M), Marc-Andre Fleury (UFA, $7M), and Chris Driedger (2 years, $3.5M). While Fleury would be a dream, it would require the Blackhawks to retain half salary and likely another team to retain some more.

Driedger is interesting as a long term solution but apparently the Oilers are eyeing a specific goalie in the trade market.

“Georgiev is out there. They are talking about him and there’s no way the Rangers are keeping him,” Kypreos said on his podcast. “He comes in at $2.5M the rest of the year. He wants to be a number one goaltender and he’s not happy in New York. I don’t think it would take much more than a third rounder (to get him).”

Georgiev, 25, is an RFA this summer and that means the Rangers will still own his rights. That makes a draft day trade more likely than one in March.

Penguins UFA’s

The Pittsburgh Penguins have a trio of key UFA’s coming up this summer that has many wondering what GM Ron Hextall will do. Evgeni Malkin, Bryan Rust, and Kris Letang will all hit the open market in July.

“The Penguins have deep respect for what they’ve accomplished. Age and injury history, not questions about their ability, make it a challenging target,” Elliotte Friedman wrote in his latest blog. “I think everyone knows where everyone else stands, and there’s still time.”

Regardless of those three, the Penguins also have Jeff Carter, Evan Rodrigues, and Casey DeSmith as important UFA’s. There’s simply no way for the Pens to keep them all.

Rangers and Tyler Toffoli?

nhl rumors toffoli
Dec 2, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens right wing Tyler Toffoli (73) waits for a face-off during the third period at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers have surprised many with their great start to this season and many experts are asking if they’re a legit Stanley Cup contender. If so, the team will be buyers at the deadline with a huge need up front for a scoring winger.

“Chris Drury has been looking for a forward to play top 9 or top six for weeks, if not months,” Darren Dreger said on TSN OverDrive. “Nothing is happening. That may speak to the parity, and we are a long way from who is a playoff team and who isn’t.”

One potential trade target that is starting to be discussed more and more is Tyler Toffoli in Montreal.

“One could make this case that they could try to get another top-six winger,” Weekes pondered to the NY Post. “Could they want somebody like a Tyler Toffoli maybe, from Montreal?”

Toffoli, 29, has a good contract with an AAV of only $4.25M, plus he doesn’t have any trade protection. This would allow the acquiring team flexibility to move him after this season. That is beneficial to the Rangers who will feel a cap crunch next season when Adam Fox’s and Mika Zibanejad’s big extensions kick in.

Toffoli has recorded 17 points (five goals, 12 assists) in 26 games this season.