With the Matt Duchene trade in the books for a week now, The Hockey News’ Lyle Richardson writes that the Edmonton Oilers are one of three teams to watch over the next couple of months when it comes to making a big move. Citing the league’s need for playmaking centers, the scribe suggests the team could try and move center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and his large contract ($6MM AAV through the 2020-21 season) and try to get a much-needed wing.
Richardson cites Edmonton as well as the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Buffalo Sabres as the three teams most likely to make the next big trade in the league. In fact, he suggested the Oilers attempt to move Nugent-Hopkins to Columbus, who were the losers in getting either Duchene or Kyle Turris via trade. However, could the Blue Jackets fit Nugent-Hopkins under their salary cap without Edmonton retaining some of that salary? The suggestion was the Oilers would either require Cam Atkinson or Josh Anderson in return to make that deal work.
Nugent-Hopkins has been playing well this year as he’s put up six goals and six assists this season. Known as a defensive forward, the former No. 1 overall pick could be a key asset for Columbus or any other team needing a center.
- Los Angeles Times’ Curtis Zupke writes that veteran forward Marian Gaborik got his first full practice under his belt Saturday after having knee surgery back in April. The 35-year-old is not expected to be activated soon as the Kings are taking a cautious approach with the injury-prone winger, who has had knee and foot issues over the last two years, which has seen him play 110 games in the past two-plus seasons. “I felt pretty good,” he said. “Things have been getting into flow. Obviously I’ve missed a lot of time so [I need to] get used to everything — my legs, just the whole body as a hockey player, to get back into things, and to just keep going and ramping things up, and get my timing back. It’s pretty much the whole package I have to get back.”
- Vegas Golden Knights’ goaltender Malcolm Subban was spotted skating at City National Arena today, tweeted SinBin. Subban, who went down with a lower-body injury, was deemed out for four weeks on Oct. 22, so it looks like he might be on target for a return within the next couple of weeks. The team has been forced to use their fourth-string goaltender, Maxime Lagace, for the past two weeks as the team has been decimated by injuries to Marc-Andre Fleury, Subban and Oscar Dansk.
- Sticking with the Golden Knights, The Canadian Press’ Darren Haynes points out that Vegas defenseman Deryk Engelland has more points (2-7-9) than quite a few defensemen, including San Jose Brent Burns, Nashville’s Roman Josi and Calgary Mark Giordano. Engelland, who played for the old Las Vegas Wranglers of the ECHL earlier in his career and made Las Vegas his home from that point on, has never put up more than 17 points in a season. Always known as a defensive player, the 35-year-old has been reborn in Las Vegas, who is just eight points away from a career-year.