A return to the Edmonton Oilers for restricted free agent Jesse Puljujarvi is getting less and less likely. Despite hope that new general manager Ken Holland and head coach Dave Tippett might be able to give the 21-year-old a fresh start, Puljujarvi hasn’t shown much interest in returning to the team since he requested the team trade him to give him a new start elsewhere.
“Although the Oilers have a new well-respected GM and a new coach the team is still pretty much the same,” said Puljujarvi’s agent Markus Lehto (in a Finnish publication via Edmonton Journal’s Kurt Leavins. “Sometimes a player and a team are not a fit. This seems to be the case here. Nothing radical about it.”
While Leavins leaves the quote open to interpretation, especially the part where he said, “… the team is pretty much the same.” However, it’s clear that Puljujarvi has little interest in returning to Edmonton, leaving him with two options, waiting for Edmonton to find a trade partner or allowing him to leave and play overseas next season. Finding a trade partner has been challenging as the team wants good value back for a player who has just 17 goals over three full seasons.
- A Swedish website, Hockey Svervige (translation required) reports that Edmonton Oilers first-round pick Philip Broberg, who recently signed his entry-level deal, will play for Sweden’s Skelleftea in the SHL this year alongside fellow Oilers’ prospect Filip Berglund, rather than come over to North America immediately. The Edmonton Journal’s David Staples adds that Holland’s main objective was to put him in a position to get the most minutes possible, which was the main reason for wanting him to come to North America and play in the OHL with the Hamilton Bulldogs. However, while there is no guarantee of playing time with Skelleftea, the team could always send him down to the Allsvenskan and have him return to his old team, AIK Stockholm.
- In a tweet sent out by Carolina Hurricanes newly signed forward Sebastian Aho, the 21-year-old makes it clear that he only hoped to settle his restricted free agency as quickly as possible and had no interest in leaving Carolina. “I am grateful for the offer from the Montreal Canadiens, but it was always my hope to return to the Hurricanes,” Aho said. “As a restricted free agent, I had limited options for moving along the process to get a deal done. It was always important to me to be on the ice for the first day of training camp. This entire situation has been difficult for me and my family, and I am happy it is at an end.”
- Patrick Johnston of The Province writes that it is becoming less and less likely that the Vancouver Canucks will be unloading the contract of veteran Loui Eriksson this offseason. The scribe writes that general manager Jim Benning has not been able to reach Eriksson to talk to him about the situation, it is clear he doesn’t intend to request a trade and isn’t planning on retiring. There are fewer and fewer options to find a team with the salary cap needed to take on his three years and $6MM AAV and with a full no-trade clause, he doesn’t have to accept a deal anywhere either. So unless, Benning can make an impressive maneuver, it looks like the Canucks are stuck with him.