NHL Rumors: Oilers make goaltending a priority, Toffoli wants to stay with Habs, and Chychrun to Rangers?
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Leon Draisaitl let his frustration out on an Edmonton reporter yesterday. The exchange was over a question if there was one thing in particular that the team needed to fix, alluding to goaltending.
While many in the media are discussing who may have been in the right from that interaction, Draisaitl was likely protecting one of his teammates from further criticism.
NHL Rumors: Oilers making goaltending a priority
“He’s the leader of the Edmonton Oilers and he’s defending his teammates and in some fashion perhaps specifically the goaltending struggles of Mikko Koskinen,” Dreger said on TSN Insider Trading.
Protecting a teammate is admirable, but the fact remains that Edmonton’s SV% (.898) and GAA (3.34) both rank 25th out of 32 teams.
“Well, goaltending remains a priority for the Edmonton Oilers – It needs to be better,” Dreger said. “Ownership and management, I’m told, are still on the same page. They believe in the group. You talk to anyone around the NHL who has played the Edmonton Oilers, they will tell you the Oilers simply need to be tougher to play against and they haven’t been that.”
Two possible options that could be had now are the Stars’ Anton Khudobin and Canucks’ Jaro Halak. According to Elliotte Friedman note on Halak, they’d have a better chance at Khudobin.
“I think Edmonton’s looking harder at acquiring a goalie. Remember: Jaroslav Halak has control in Vancouver and doesn’t seem inclined to move,” he said.
Other possible candidates that will cost more to acquire are Joonas Korpisalo in Columbus and Alexandar Georgiev in New York.
Tyler Toffoli wants to stay in Montreal
Tyler Toffoli, 29, has recorded 19 points (five goals, 12 assists) in 27 games this season.
The power forward has a good contract with an AAV of only $4.25M, but he doesn’t have any trade protection. This would allow the acquiring team flexibility to move him after this season. However, it appears Toffoli wants to remain in Montreal.
“I want to be part of the solution,” Toffoli said. “I want to be a guy who’s a leader, who’s looked up to.”
Chychrun to the Rangers?
Jakob Chychrun, 23, has just 7 points in 26 games but the Yotes’ this season and is dealing with an injury. Last year was a breakout for him with 41 points in 56 games. The left-handed rearguard has three years left on a cap friendly deal of $4.6 million.
“A couple of offers have given the Coyotes cause for pause,” Jeff Marek said on Sportsnet. “Here’s what they are looking for in exchange. It’s not unlike the old Brent Burns deal, which was Devin Setoguchi, Charlie Coyle, and a first round pick. So what the Coyotes are looking for is a young player, a high-end prospect, plus a first round pick.”
Marek noted that he believes the Blues, Ducks, and Kings are top teams to land him in a trade. I noted that the Rangers are also a perfect landing spot.
“New York is in (the playoffs) and Chris Drury keeps quiet, but I could see them taking a surprise swing (in the trade market),” Friedman said in his latest 32 Thoughts Blog.
The Rangers will certainly be buyers at the deadline and maybe Chychrun is someone they go for.
Friedman also added the Florida Panthers are one of the teams rumored to be involved in trade talks with the Coyotes for Chychrun.
Editor’s note: Updated for clarity to Friedman’s comments