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Jim Parsons The Hockey Writers

Published on Thursday, April 23, 2020

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Oilers News and Rumors: Hall, Puljujarvi, Rogers Place, More

In an Edmonton Oilers news and rumors update, there is plenty of buzz surrounding the team. There is talk on how likely Taylor Hall might be as an option after comments Hall made that he’s looking for a long-term deal. Plus, there is talk about what Jesse Puljujarvi has for options. The NHL is considering Rogers Place as a destination for NHL games if the season resumes and there is interesting news on Kris Russell.

Taylor Hall Wants Long-Term Security

Speaking with Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic, pending free agent Taylor Hall says he’s looking to sign a long-term deal this offseason, even if it means sacrificing the biggest salary haul during this year’s free agency.

Taylor Hall New Jersey Devils
Taylor Hall, New Jersey Devils (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

He said:

I asked Hall last week about the notion of signing a shorter-term deal to get through the brunt of the damage to the industry and then signing a bigger deal in a few years on the other side of this. Hall didn’t hesitate, he said he’d rather go for long-term security now.

Source – ‘LeBrun: Alex Pietrangelo on chance to defend, his next deal and uncertain times’ – Pierre LeBrun – The Athletic – 04/20/2020

But, Mark Spector notes that Edmonton Oilers fans shouldn’t get their hopes up. He said in a recent mailbag segment, “Only Holland knows for sure, but I predict a zero percent chance Taylor Hall ever pulls on an Oilers uniform again.” He adds, “I think it’s a dream Oilers fans should wake up from. Hall’s not coming back.”

Kris Russell Not as Effective at His Biggest Positive?

David Staples of the Edmonton Journal looked at an interesting statistic regarding defenseman Kris Russell. It’s something that could factor in as the Oilers consider whether or not they try to trade him.

Staples writes:

If there’s one thing that is linked to the name of Oilers defensive d-man Kris Russell it is shot-blocking. Yet that’s one thing Russell didn’t do much of on the penalty kill this year, at least compared to other Oilers defencemen.

As the Oilers penalty kill got much better this year, Russell’s rate of shot-blocking on the PK was almost cut in half.

source – ‘Strangest stat of the year for an Edmonton Oiler? Kris Russell’s PK shot-blocking’ – David Staples – Edmonton Journal – 04/22/2020

One of the rumored reasons Edmonton has held onto Russell for so long has been his propensity to block shots and his effectiveness on the penalty kill. If he’s not as big a factor as he appears to be there, are the Oilers better off moving his salary this offseason?

Related: 10 Biggest Oilers Draft Busts Since 2000

Three Options For Puljujarvi

Mark Spector adds that the Oilers have three realistic options when it comes to the future of Jesse Puljujarvi. They can “let him play another year in Finland, making far less money, and hope he changes his outlook on Edmonton”, trade him at the draft, or convince him to sign a one-year deal and show the NHL he can play.

Jesse Puljujarvi, Edmonton Oilers
Jesse Puljujarvi (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The problem with the second option would be if the NHL decides to hold a virtual draft before the regular season resumes, it could take trading players at the draft off the table. That seemed like the most realistic option for the Oilers based on Puljujarvi’s comments.

On The Possibility The Oilers Will Bring Back Sam Gagner

Spector believes that Sam Gagner is a legitimate option for the Oilers next season. He thinks the team may sign him on a one-year deal for under $1 million and then let him continue to sign one-year deals as long as he’s effective.

After that, the idea would be to move him into a front-office position with the team to take on an executive role, something Ken Holland has history of doing with players during his time in Detroit.

Related: Top 3 All-Time Oilers Goalies

Rogers Place Under Consideration as NHL Host City?

After tossing out the idea of neutral site games, it was reported earlier today that Edmonton is being considered as one of the possible host cities for the NHL should the regular season or playoffs resume in the near future.

Emily Kaplan of ESPN tweets that the favorites to host these games at this point are Raleigh (Metropolitan), Edmonton (Pacific), Minnesota (Central), and a to-be-determined city for the Atlantic Division.

Catch up on all the latest NHL Rumors

The post Oilers News and Rumors: Hall, Puljujarvi, Rogers Place, More appeared first on The Hockey Writers.


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