Jesse Puljujarvi might have no plans of playing for the Edmonton Oilers this season, but that doesn’t mean the team is simply going to give up his rights. Mark Spector of Sportsnet reports that the Oilers will issue Puljujarvi a qualifying offer before tomorrow’s deadline in order to retain his rights even if the young forward plays in Europe. This is obviously the expected move as even though he hasn’t worked out in Edmonton the Oilers invested quite a bit of draft capital in Puljujarvi when the selected him fourth overall in 2016.
A qualifying offer for Puljujarvi would only amount to $874,125 in NHL salary, but would still be a two-way deal because he has played so few games for the Oilers the last three years. It seems very unlikely that he would accept it at this point, even if he does still need to prove his worth at the NHL level. Puljujarvi has recorded 37 points in his 139 NHL games, including just nine last season.
- Tyler Myers is expected to be one of the top defensemen available this offseason now that Erik Karlsson has re-signed, and the Winnipeg Jets free agent may be in line for a huge contract. Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports was on Sportsnet radio today and suggested that Myers may get a seven-year deal somewhere between $6-8MM per season. The 29-year old is coming off a seven-year, $38.5MM deal ($5.5MM AAV) originally signed with the Buffalo Sabres, and has the added benefit of being arguably the top right-handed defenseman left in free agency. Myers recorded 31 points in 80 games last season for the Jets, while averaging more than 20 minutes a night.
- Goaltender Mike Smith has spoken to several teams now that the free agent interview period has opened according to Frank Seravalli of TSN, who notes that the “door isn’t completely closed” on a potential return to the Calgary Flames. Seravalli suggests that the Carolina Hurricanes could be a team to watch however, a team whose own goaltenders—Petr Mrazek and Curtis McElhinney—are also pending free agents.