Before yesterday’s trade that saw Taylor Hall go to Arizona, the Oilers were suggested as a team that would be interested in bringing back the winger. Speaking with reporters including Postmedia’s Jim Matheson, GM Ken Holland acknowledged that he was involved with New Jersey in trade talks. However, the element that caused them to withdraw from the talks revolved around their first-round pick. Holland didn’t want to give up the selection unprotected which is something that Arizona came close to doing (the pick they gave up is only top-three protected). Making the finances work also would have been a challenge as even with the Devils retaining half of Hall’s $6MM price tag, Edmonton would have still needed to clear some salary to make the move.
Elsewhere out West:
- Still with Edmonton, the Oilers met yesterday with Rick Curran, the agent for winger Zack Kassian, to kick off preliminary talks regarding a contract extension, reports TSN’s Bob McKenzie in the latest Insider Trading (video link). The veteran is off to a very strong start to his season and will likely surpass his previous career highs in goals and points over the next few weeks which should give him some leverage in discussions. He currently carries a $1.95MM cap hit and should be in line for a raise on his next contract.
- Wild center Mikko Koivu has been sent back to Minnesota for more treatment on his lower-body injury, reports Michael Russo of The Athletic (Twitter link). He had accompanied the team on their current road trip with an eye on playing this week but it appears his return will now be delayed. Koivu has missed the last two weeks due to the injury.
- It appears that the Flames will soon have some roster decisions to make. Postmedia’s Kristen Anderson notes that wingers Sam Bennett and Austin Czarnik have resumed practicing with the team and are nearing returns to the lineup. Calgary only has one open roster spot at the moment and only Dillon Dube is waiver-exempt up front. However, with seven points in 13 games with the big club, it’s unlikely that they’ll want to send up down to open up the second roster spot which means a waiver placement for someone could soon be on the horizon.