NHL Rumors: Sharks, Islanders, Oilers, and Ducks
Today’s NHL Rumors checks out the latest news and notes regarding the San Jose Sharks, New York Islanders, Edmonton Oilers, and Anaheim Ducks.
The NHL Trade Deadline set for March 3 is getting closer with speculation running rampant league-wide.
NHL Rumors: San Jose Sharks
The Sharks are fielding phone calls on forward Timo Meier. While he’s available at the trade deadline, Meier is not considered a typical rental because there’s a level of control for next season due to his pending restricted free agent status.
Of course, that control comes with a $10 million qualifying offer that many teams can’t afford. That being said, anyone looking to acquire Meier will want to negotiate an extension and we finally have an idea of what he’s looking for.
According to Pierre LeBrun, the extension for Timo Meier is expected to be at least $9 million per season.
Meier, 26, is having a great year with 28 goals and 48 points in 51 games. The New Jersey Devils are linked as the strongest suitor to acquire him but the Buffalo Sabres could also be a contender for his services.
NHL Rumors: New York Islanders
General manager Lou Lamoriello is open to making trades at the NHL Trade Deadline despite the Islanders looking like a team that will miss the playoffs. Currently, the Isles are two points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for the final wild card spot in the East. However, the Pens have three games in hand.
“I think if we can make ourselves better, whether it’s yesterday or the day before or today or tomorrow, we will definitely do that,” Lamoriello said. “You have to make sure that whatever you add is not subtracting.”
Recent speculation has the Islanders looking to acquire St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko. If they could acquire the pending UFA, it would finally provide Mathew Barzal with an elite winger.
One player that’s been rumored to be a possible move for future assets at the trade deadline is goaltender Semyon Varlamov. Whether that happens or not remains to be seen, but the goalie is hopeful to remain with the Isles beyond this year.
“I would love to stay here and then extend the contract,” Varlamov said via NY Post. “I’m aware after this year, I’m gonna become a free agent and then I’m gonna be 35 years old. And then, so we’ll see.”
Varlamov, 34, is 9-6-1 this season with a GAA of 2.67 and a .917 save percentage.
NHL Rumors: Edmonton Oilers
One team that is sure to be a buyer at the trade deadline are the Edmonton Oilers.
Two players the team is reported to be targeting are center Nick Bjugstad and defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov.
Elliotte Friedman indicated the interest in the Yotes’ Bjugstad during Saturday’s 32 Thoughts Segment. The 30 year-old veteran has 21 points in 50 games on the year and will be a UFA this summer. He only has a $900K cap hit.
When it comes to the Oilers, improving their blue-line for the playoffs should be priority number one. That’s where Columbus’ Gavrikov comes in and he’s aware of their interest.
“I’ve heard the rumours, yeah,” Gavrikov said via The Athletic. “It’s been unpredictable since the season started. Right now, it’s pretty sticky. We’ll see what happens.”
Gavrikov, 27, has 10 points in 49 games for a bad Blue Jackets team. He will be a UFA and has a manageable $2.8M cap hit.
NHL Rumors: Anaheim Ducks
A definite seller at the deadline will be the Anaheim Ducks, especially to teams looking for a defenseman. Here’s the four pending UFA defenders who will be available:
- John Klingberg ($7M AAV)
- Kevin Shattenkirk ($3.9M AAV)
- Dmitry Kulikov ($2.25M AAV)
- Nathan Beaulieu ($850K)
According to TFP’s David Pagnotta, GM Pat Verbeek has already taken calls from several teams regarding Klingberg and Kulikov.