Another day, another Last Word on Hockey article covering your latest NHL Rumours. Every day, our team breaks down a selection of the latest rumblings from around the National Hockey League. As the trade deadline draws nearer, teams begin to turn their eyes to more specific targets in preparation for this season and next. Today, we’ll look at NHL Rumours from the Edmonton Oilers, Vancouver Canucks, and Colorado Avalanche. An all Western Edition.
Analysis: This seems to make sense for Edmonton as keeping it cheap is smart. Both in cap hit and in cost to acquire. Edmonton won’t want to go all-in on a rental. However, little pieces to help their wingers could be a great pickup. The Oilers currently have one of the best centre duos in the league. One of the best trios if Ryan Nugent-Hopkins isn’t playing wing. However, that leaves a ton to be desired on their wings. Picking up someone cheap like Ennis could go a long way.
Ennis is a solid player who can slide up and down the lineup and add some scoring. He has a skilled touch but won’t be a difference-maker. He will no doubt be an upgrade for Edmonton’s wings too. Purely a rental, he may even be a cheap option to re-sign. The cost of acquiring him shouldn’t be through the roof either. A mid-round or later pick seems like it would be the cost. Depending on the market, anything from a third to a fifth. LeBrun also mentioned that there are other names on the list. Picking up a few of these guys for a cheap price could go a long way for Edmonton.
As for the Ottawa Senators, Ennis was signed almost knowing he would likely be moved. Getting a pick for him is all they can ask for as they continue this rebuild. They will have tons of draft capital to work with. However, that is never a bad thing. Using those picks to move up, acquire someone else, or just draft players is a good way to keep a rebuild moving.
Rumour: Elliotte Friedman was on SN590 Radio and mentioned that the Vancouver Canucks are interested in Wayne Simmonds. However, he also mentioned Olli Juolevi is a piece that could be going the other way.
Elliotte Friedman says on SN590 that he could see VAN having interest in Wayne Simmonds. Benning said he won’t deal anymore picks but Friedman namedrops Juolevi as someone the Devils could have interest in.
— J (@Account4hockey) February 19, 2020
Analysis: This is a very intriguing proposition for both sides. For Vancouver, it will be interesting to see how hard they go for Wayne Simmonds. Kevin Wong looked at why Simmonds may not be a great fit for Vancouver. However, if they do acquire him it can’t be a big cost. Vancouver has already thrown around a lot of assets this season. Especially because they are still so close in a divisional race. With the purchase of Tyler Toffoli, they need to be careful about what else they spend.
Juolevi was a high pick that just hasn’t panned out for Vancouver. He was the fifth overall pick in 2016. However, he hasn’t played a single NHL game. He is playing in Utica right now and doing OK, but with the emergence of Quinn Hughes, there is much less worry about Joulevi being anything close to the future. He is an asset that the Canucks could afford to move on from.
For the New Jersey Devils, they could use Joulevi and see if he can’t flourish in a bigger role. New Jersey is clearly rebuilding, so giving him ice time wouldn’t be an issue. The Devils have done a solid job at trading assets so far if they can pick up a young enough defenceman for a rental in Simmonds that would be another win.
Rumour: David Pagnotta mentioned that Joe Sakic addressed the media and talked about his deadline plans. Among those were that they were looking for goaltending depth. As well, they would use their first-rounder for someone with term. They are looking more long-term here come this deadline.
Avs GM Sakic addressed local media earlier:
– Avs in market for goalie. “Ultimately, we’d like to see if we can add a depth goalie for protection.”
– Avs not against trading 1st RD pick, but “I’d rather not.” Prefers “hockey trade.”
– “We’re not here just looking short term.”
— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) February 20, 2020
Analysis: Let’s start with the goaltending. A depth goalie would likely be a cheap, more veteran type player. Jimmy Howard would have been a good name before but he has really struggled this year. Craig Anderson might be a name that interests them. Philipp Grubauer is a solid goalie but has had some injury problems all year. Getting some insurance behind him would be huge. If he goes down come playoff time the Avs may be in a tough spot. Looking for someone that won’t cost much is likely what Colorado will do.
As for the long-term stuff, that also makes sense. The Avalanche have one of the most exciting futures in hockey. Their backend is loaded. The emergence of Ryan Graves compliments Cale Makar, and Samuel Girard, among others, nicely. In the pipeline, they have Bowen Byram and Conor Timmins, who both look like they could be great NHL players. Their window looks to be open for a long time. Especially with Nathan MacKinnon on the best deal in the league. Rushing to go all-in on a weak rental market would be foolish.
Sakic clearly wants to add if something is there. However, that needs to be more than one year. Something like the Nazem Kadri pickup could be possible. Spend big assets but get a player who is very good and has term left. Names should be interesting. It will likely be for the forwards if they make a big splash. However, this roster is very good as is, there is no need to force a trade.
That’s all for NHL Rumours. Tune in tomorrow for more!