NHL Rumours: San Jose Sharks, Buffalo Sabres, Edmonton Oilers, and Vancouver Canucks

NHL rumours
MONTREAL, QC - FEBRUARY 03: Milan Lucic #27 of the Edmonton Oilers skates against the Montreal Canadiens during the NHL game at the Bell Centre on February 3, 2019 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 in overtime. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

It’s time for another edition of our NHL rumours. We’re a maximum six games away from the start of the off-season and the speculation is already running rampant. We dissect possible moves by NHL clubs going into the off-season. Today we look at NHL rumours about the San Jose Sharks, Buffalo Sabres, Edmonton Oilers, and Vancouver Canucks.

NHL Rumours

San Jose Sharks

Rumour: Chelena Goldman of NBCSports reported that Joonas Donskoi wants to re-sign with the San Jose Sharks if the Sharks feel the same way.

Analysis: Donskoi has 37 points in 80 regular season games this year, he added three more in 12 playoff games. He is very clearly a depth player. However, the Sharks will need players like him. The Sharks have some massive decisions to make this offseason. Erik Karlsson, Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton, and Gustav Nyquist are all UFAs. As well, Timo Meier is a restricted free agent. They have just over $24.7 million to re-sign everyone, so they will need cheap depth.

Donskoi made $1.9 million on his last contract and if he wishes to stay in San Jose he can’t expect much of a raise. The Sharks have to find a way to pay some big guys up front which means they can’t spend too much on depth pieces. The Sharks would surely love to have a player like Donskoi back, it may just depend on the cap structure.

Buffalo Sabres

Rumour: TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported that Jeff Skinner and the Sabres have been talking, however, nothing is ready quite yet. Both sides want it to happen but just haven’t quite found the right spot.

Analysis: Skinner scored 40 goals this season, a career high. No doubt having Jack Eichel passing to him was a massive part of that. However, it’s easy to understand why the Sabres are hesitant to throw massive numbers at Skinner. A career year at age 27 is often when bad contracts are made.

Skinner has always been known to put the puck in the net but not at the rate he did last season. The Sabres obviously don’t want to overpay for one season but it is understandable why Skinner wants a big payday. It will be interesting to see if these two sides can reach an agreement before free agency.

Oilers/Canucks

Rumour: We end NHL rumours with TSN’s Jason Greger reporting that the Oilers and Canucks had discussed a Milan Lucic for Loui Eriksson trade, however, he also reported that those discussions didn’t progress past April or May of this year.

Analysis: Both of these players are on very bad contracts and not producing anywhere near what the teams were hoping for. The Oilers are starting to desperately need cap room and will need it from here on in. Eriksson makes $6 million for three more years while Lucic makes $6 million for four more years. So, unless Vancouver retained, Edmonton wouldn’t get any immediate relief but would benefit a year sooner.

Eriksson has had a long injury history but managed to stay healthy last season. However, he still only put up 29 points. Lucic, on the other hand, put up just 20 points. So, if this deal is rediscussed later it seems fairly obvious Edmonton would need to add something to sweeten the pot. Just the thought of a changeup likely isn’t enough.

The NHL has seemed to pass both of these players by. Despite this, both of them obviously have a love for hockey and want to keep playing. It is possible a shakeup would help but nowhere near guaranteed.

Tune in every day for more NHL Rumours!

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