We’re off and skating as the regular season commenced last week. With the start of the new season comes even more NHL Rumours! Last Word On Hockey is committed to bringing you the latest details from around the league every day. We’re kicking off your Sunday morning with NHL Rumours from the Edmonton Oilers, Winnipeg Jets, and St. Louis Blues.
All NHL rumours are taken from the original source and subject to change.
Rumour: Elliotte Friedman appeared on Sportsnet 590 and speculated on Connor McDavid‘s timeline for the Oilers to become a cup contending team. He mentioned that he believes McDavid’s patience with the organization could be wearing thin. He believes GM Ken Holland has two years to prove to McDavid that they are going in the right direction.
Analysis: McDavid has the patience of a saint when it comes to the Oilers franchise. He’s in the prime of his career and hasn’t thrown in the towel on Edmonton yet. Can you imagine?
Well, his magic eight ball is reading “outlook not so good.” If the Oilers don’t make some significant strides toward Lord Stanley within the next two years, McDavid’s patience could be a thing of the past.
After five seasons in the NHL, three coaches, and just one post-season appearance, the Oilers seem lackluster. A generational icon like McDavid expects to see the playoffs more than once. Edmonton can’t seem to get it together.
Currently, McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are carrying the team. In a perfect world, the Oilers would be able to split their two stars up. The team desperately needs more than one line with the ability to produce. If head coach Dave Tippett can help his two star players motivate their counterparts, the team could harness some serious scoring power.
However the pucks fall, it looks like McDavid’s timeline for the Oilers is shrinking rapidly. Should he spend his best years waiting to see if Edmonton can get it together? No. He’s dedicated five seasons to the team. If the Oilers aren’t going to get their act together, nobody should blame McDavid for jumping ship.
— Sportsnet 590 The FAN (@FAN590) October 4, 2019
Analysis: The narrative surrounding Byfuglien seems very back and forth. One day we hear his retirement is imminent, the next, it sounds like he could be back at any moment.
If the Jets find themselves without Byfuglien permanently, they’ll be facing a huge hole to fill. He plays big minutes for the team, and other players will have to step up during his absence. The club is already missing Jacob Trouba, Tyler Myers, and Ben Chiarot.
Byfuglien has had his share of concussions and ankle issues. If he does opt to retire, it’s likely a decision based on health concerns. At just 34 years of age, he still has some good quality years left in him.
On the upside, if Byfuglien does retire, that will free up some cap space for the Jets. They’d be able to add another blueliner to take his place. Between a new addition to the team, and asking the current players to step up, the Jets should be ok moving forward.
St. Louis Blues
Rumour: During the intermission of the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs game, the Sportsnet team discussed what negotiations between the St. Louis Blues and Alex Pietrangelo are likely to look like.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) October 6, 2019
Analysis: Pietrangelo is heading up the last year of his seven-season contract. The consensus seems to be that he wants to remain with the Blues. However, if you rewind to the beginning of last season, St. Louis was sinking. The team considered trading their captain at one point.
The team acquired Justin Faulk. They’ve gained some depth, sure. Is Faulk the insurance policy taken on in the event that Pietrangelo gets traded? Some fans seem to think so. In the grand scheme of things, trading your team captain is a severe statement for any organization.
On January 1st, 2019, the team was dead last in the league. Then, led by rookie goaltender Jordan Binnington the team made a comeback and secured their first Stanley Cup win in team history. The Blues were basically the Cinderella story of last season. To think they’d actually trade away their captain is a bit absurd.
As of now, the Blues have $145,000 in cap space. Coming into next summer, they’ll be grappling with $7.72 million. That leaves enough breathing room to lock down Pietrangelo and keep their roster intact.
Embed from Getty Images