The NHL trade deadline is inching closer and closer, and with that, the trade talk is heating up. We take a look at some of the latest NHL rumours and analyze what they mean going forward. Today we look into the latest on Edmonton Oilers defenceman Oscar Klefbom, Carolina Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner, and Columbus Blue Jackets forward Boone Jenner.
Oscar Klefbom, Jeff Skinner and in Today’s NHL Rumours
Rumour: David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period suggests that the Edmonton Oilers are not shopping defencemen Oscar Klefbom and Adam Larsson, but that they are willing to listen to offers. He indicates that the Oilers would consider moving one of these defencemen for a scoring winger.
Analysis: The Oilers do need help on the wing, but this seems a backwards way of getting it; especially after trading a player like Taylor Hall to get Larsson, less than two years ago. Klefbom may not be having the season that the Oilers hoped for, but he is a good, young defenceman with a relatively cheap long-term contract. He’s part of the solution in Edmonton, not part of the problem. Unless its a monster return, the Oilers should keep him. Trading Klefbom would just open up another hole on the Oilers blue line, an area that is already in need of some serious patchwork.
Rumour: TSN’s Bob McKenzie appeared on Leafs Lunch on TSN 1050 and discussed Jeff Skinner. He was recently added to TSN’s trade bait board. McKenzie indicated that it isn’t necessarily that the Hurricanes want to move Skinner as other teams are calling to see if they can get him.
Analysis: Skinner has the rest of this season and one more year left on a contract that carries a $5.75 million cap hit. He scored 37 goals last season but is not producing at the same level this year. The Hurricanes, fighting for a playoff spot to end their playoff drought may feel the need to make some changes. Given the contract situation and the diminished numbers, other teams are looking to buy low on Skinner. The Hurricanes should only move him if they get a legitimate top-six centre back.
Rumour: Aaron Portzline of the Athletic speculates that the Blue Jackets could move on from winger Boone Jenner. Jenner scored 30 goals in 2015-16 but has just five goals this season. Portzline indicates that the Blue Jackets may have interest in Ottawa Senators Mike Hoffman and could use Jenner as the start of a package to acquire him.
Analysis: The Blue Jackets suffered another loss last night, falling to the Washington Capitals. This morning, Columbus finds themselves outside of a playoff spot. The team clearly needs to add some secondary scoring if they are going to make a playoff push. Adding a winger like Mike Hoffman, with two more years after this one, and a relatively cheap contract could make a lot of sense for the Jackets. It also makes sense that moving on from Jenner, and allowing him to have a change of scenery may work for both the player and the team.
One issue though, is that Jenner is a restricted free agent, with arbitration rights this summer. The Ottawa Senators motivation in moving Hoffman is to save money, even if his contract is reasonable. Given that Jenner is already making $2.9 million per season, and is due to get a modest raise, it is not clear that this makes sense for Ottawa. The Jackets may need a different package to get Pierre Dorion’s attention.
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