Update 1:40pm: Darren Dreger of TSN reports that the Oilers are not on the shortlist of teams that Ekman-Larsson would waive his no-movement clause to go to.
The Edmonton Oilers are a team to watch in the coming days and Frank Seravalli of TSN has some inside information on their plans as we head into the first part of the NHL offseason. On his latest Trade Bait board, Seravalli lists Arizona Coyotes captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson first and explains that the Oilers have had “preliminary discussions” on the star defenseman. Edmonton would need Arizona to retain some of Ekman-Larsson’s salary, while Seravalli suggests that top prospect Evan Bouchard and a first-round selection could be involved in any deal.
Now 29, Ekman-Larsson is under contract through the 2026-27 season and carries a cap hit of $8.25MM. He also holds a full no-movement clause but has been in the rumor mill for weeks now as the Coyotes are expected to have to cut payroll. Though some of the shine has come off his game over the last few years, Ekman-Larsson is still one of the most effective goal-scoring defensemen in the league, with 125 over his career and double-digit totals in seven of his ten partial seasons.
- Speaking of goal-scoring, the Oilers are also making progress on a long-term contract extension for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins according to Seravalli. The 2011 first-overall pick is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent following the upcoming season and currently carries a $6MM cap hit. Though he has settled into more of a support role behind Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl in Edmonton, Nugent-Hopkins is coming off his most effective season to date with 61 points in 65 games and is only 27. Just to set the Twitter machine alight, Seravalli also suggests that if a deal can’t be done with Nugent-Hopkins, the Oilers might look at bringing back Taylor Hall.
- Yesterday’s news of a repairing relationship between the Oilers and Jesse Puljujarvi puts the team into a bit of a bind on the right side, with too many right-wing options to fit into the lineup. Seravalli reports that the team has tried to make some wing swaps to balance out their lineup, including a potential Alex Chiasson-for-Anders Bjork deal. With so many balls up in the air at the moment, there’s no telling what will happen in Edmonton, but it will be a busy week to be sure.