NHL Rumors: Tarasenko upset with Blues; Oilers closing in on Duncan Keith; may acquire Zach Hyman’s rights

The Stanley Cup was yet to be awarded last night when fireworks of another type went off. Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic broke the news that Vladimir Tarasenko requested a trade out of St. Louis.

Late in June, rumors surfaced that the Blues were shopping the 29 year-old scoring winger and now we know why.

NHL Rumors: Tarasenko upset with Blues over shoulder injury

Tarasenko has two years left on a deal that comes with a $7.5 million AAV. He also controls his fate with a list of 10 teams the Blues can trade him too. That really hinders their ability to get maximum return, but there will be no shortage of suitors.

As to why he wants out, it stems from how he feels the Blues handled his shoulder injury and subsequent surgeries.

According to sources familiar with the situation, he is upset with the team’s handling of his shoulder surgeries in 2018 and 2019 — his first two of three such surgeries, which were both performed by Blues physicians — and feels there’s no trust left between him and the organization.

The Athletic

What was found out in the third procedure by a non-club doctor was that the initial damage was not properly corrected. Apparently, Tarasenko doesn’t seem comfortable to continue his career in St. Louis and wants to move on.

Oilers closing in on Duncan Keith

nhl rumors duncan keith
Apr 23, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith (2) looks to pass the puck against the Nashville Predators during the first period at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Duncan Keith is the one who initiated the trade request out of Chicago. “We weren’t looking to move him, but it was initiated by Duncan,” a source told Scott Powers. “He’d like to be closer to his son. He’s getting older, and Duncan didn’t get to see him much last season. We understand that.”

The 37 year-old rearguard has two years left at $5.5 million per season with a full no-move clause. Darren Dreger provided an update yesterday as the two sides get closer to a deal.

“Still back and forth between the Oilers and Blackhawks, but there’s still mutual interest in getting something done,” Dreger said on TSN. Ultimately, the Blackhawks want to do right by Keith. It seems Edmonton is where he wants to go, but Chicago would like young a defenseman back in return. That’s why a deal has yet to be concluded.

Some believe Ethan Baer could be the young player Chicago covets, but it is unlikely Edmonton will part with him.

Oilers may try and acquire Zach Hyman’s rights from Maple Leafs

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Dec 28, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers forward Filip Chytil (72) battles to stop Toronto Maple Leafs forward Zach Hyman (11) from playing the puck in the second period at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

During a radio spot on Toronto TSN 1050, Darren Dreger indicated the Edmonton Oilers are targeting Zach Hyman this offseason. What he indicated is that they may trade for his rights in order to begin early negotiations prior to free agent frenzy on July 28th.

This is not out of the ordinary, and usually comes in the form of a conditional pick. For instance, Edmonton would trade Toronto a conditional 7th round pick. If Hyman signs with the Oilers, that could become a 4th round pick. It’s wise asset management, especially if Toronto already knows they can’t sign him.

The 28 year-old Hyman is UFA and will make substantially more than the $2.25 million AAV he earns now. Estimates have him looking at 7 years with an AAV around $5.5 million range.