Jim Parsons The Hockey Writers
Oilers News & Rumors: Holtby, Nygard, Haula, Kassian, Puljujarvi, More
In an Edmonton Oilers news and rumors update, the team has loaned another forward to Europe. This brings the list of loaned Oilers to seven. In the meantime, Edmonton is looking at a former forward who just signed in Europe as still potentially someone who could be at camp in November. Where would Jesse Puljujarvi slot if he returns? The Oilers might have an interest in Erik Haula and is there any chance the team might take a look at goaltender Braden Holtby?
Should Oilers Have Interest in Holtby?
Braden Holtby recently admitted that he might have played his last game in a Washington Capitals uniform and there is certainly buzz he could find a new home next season. Pierre LeBrun wrote that he’s likely left out of Washington’s future plans since the Capitals will stick with Ilya Samsonov between the pipes.
If Holtby is looking for around $4 million, is that too rich for the Oilers blood?
It sounds more and more like the Oilers are leaning away from re-signing Mike Smith. If they’re looking for an upgrade, there are plenty of options, but the other names LeBrun mentioned in Robin Lehner and Jacob Markstrom are going to be extremely expensive. For Holtby, if he comes in and has a good year, he could win another contract and the starting role from Mikko Koskinen whose current contract expires at the end of the 2021-22 season.
If not Holtby, perhaps the Oilers look at Anton Khudobin.
Oilers Interested in Erik Haula?
As per Bob Stauffer on his Oilers NOW radio show, the Oilers might have their eyes on Erik Haula. Haula spent this past season splitting time between the Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes. He is a pending UFA coming off of a 48-game season in which he scored 24 points. Prior to that, he scored 55 points in 2017-18 with the Vegas Golden Knights.
If the Oilers do land him, the expectation is that he’ll come in around the $2.5 to $3 million mark but there is said to be some interest in Haula’s side as well.
Related: NHL Rumors: Capitals, Canadiens, Blackhawks, Blues, More
Nygard Loaned to Europe
The Edmonton Oilers have confirmed that another player will be heading for Europe, this time it’s left-winger Joakim Nygard. He is temporarily headed back to Farjestad BK of the Swedish Hockey League but presumably only for the start of the season and is expected to rejoin the Oilers for training camp in November.
The Oilers are expanding their list of forwards heading overseas rapidly. The list now includes the following names:
- #2 Philip Broberg: returning on loan to Skelleftea AIK of the SHL for a second year
- #4 Raphael Lavoie: recently loaned to Rogle BK of the SHL (confirmation pending)
- #5 Dmitri Samorukov: loaned to CSKA Moskva of the KHL
- #7 Filip Berglund: loaned to Linkoping HC of the SHL
- #10 Kirill Maksimov: loaned to CSKA Moskva of the KHL
- #13 Theodor Lennstrom: loaned back to Frolunda HC of the SHL
- #15 Markus Niemelainen: loaned back to Assat of SM-Liiga
Added Interest in Puljujarvi Thanks to Kassian’s Playoff Series?
Sportsnet scribe Mark Spector wrote that the Jesse Puljujarvi saga is far from over as it pertains to him still potentially joining the team. His guess is that the former fourth overall pick will be back in Edmonton for training camp in the fall and that the deal he signed in Finland is just Puljujarvi’s backup plan.
If true, where Puljujarvi would play is a question. Spector writes there is a handshake deal between Edmonton and Puljujarvi’s camp that if he’s not successful upon his return, the team would trade him. Part of why Edmonton believes that won’t happen is because there’s thought to play him with Connor McDavid.
Typically Zack Kassian would take the right wing spot with McDavid, but Kassian was anything but productive versus the Chicago Blackhawks in the play-in series. If that’s going to be a concern for the Oilers, they’ll need a less expensive option to fill that hole if Kassian falters coming out of the gate in 2020-21.
The Oilers are committed to Kassian so it’s not likely this would be a permanent demotion. Think of it more as a wake-up call. It’s also a carrot to dangle for Puljujarvi who has argued he wasn’t treated fairly in Edmonton under past regimes.
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