As we inch closer and closer to the the free agency market opening on July 1st the rumours as to who the Oilers are talking to are ramping up as well.
Instead of going on a wild-goose chase to track down all these rumours, I decided I do all the heavy-lifting for you! In this article you’ll find the latest reports about the Oilers from the most credible of sources within the hockey world.
So, without further ado, lets get into it.
Holland Ramps Up Goalie Hunt:
TSN’s Frank Seravelli through some fuel on the fire that is the Oilers goaltender hunt today by tweeting out that Edmonton has connected with, former Flames starter, Mike Smith and, former Detroit starter, Petr Mrazek.
Goaltending market remains fluid. #Oilers have connected with Mike Smith during interview period. Petr Mrazek still believed to be an option in EDM, as Smith would also be to replace Mrazek in Carolina.— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) June 26, 2019
Smith, of course, would have lots a familiarity under, newly minted Oilers head coach, Dave Tippett. Smith played under Tippett in Arizona between 2011/12 and 2016/17. Perhaps Tippett is feeding Holland the goods and trying to form a reunion right here in Alberta’s capital.
At the age of 37 Smith put up .896sv% and 2.72GAA in Calgary last season.
On the other hand, Petr Mrazek has reportedly been having issues in Carolina concerning his next contract and there have been reports that Edmonton was, at one point, trying to acquire his rights. Mrazek does have some history with Ken Holland, having played with the Red Wings early in his career. The 27-year-old Mrazek would also be a much younger option than Smith
Mrazek put up much better numbers than Smith last year, posting a .914sv% and 2.39GAA with the Hurricanes.
Edmonton’s Search For Wingers Continues:
Going into the summer it was evident what was at the top of the to-do list for the Oilers: Get competent wingers to play within the top 6.
While cap problems will make this difficult, it isn’t stopping Ken Holland from looking at his options. 630 Ched’s Reid Wilkins said the team as already had conversations with, Capitals forward, Brett Connolly.
Connolly has been a hot-topic around Edmonton, due to his most recent season in Washington. Connolly is coming off a career year in which he put up 22 goals and 24 assists, which is good for 46pts on the year. The conversation is boiling down to whether that production will continue or if last season was simply an out-liar for the 27-year old.
That isn’t all when it comes to Edmonton’s winger search.
In Elliott Friedman’s final edition of 31 Thoughts it was mentioned that Ken Holland isn’t leaving any stone left unturned. Zach Laing of The Calgary Sun tweeted out this summary of what Friedman had to say.
Sounds like Edmonton is "exploring everywhere for wingers." Friedman notes Brett Connolly, Brandon Tanev and AHL MVP Daniel Carr. Also links Jason Zucker to the #Oilers in rumors.— zach laing (@zjlaing) June 26, 2019
Brandon Tanev would represent a cheap bottom 6 player with the ability to cause some chaos and put some points on the board. At the age of 27, Tanev put up 29pts in 90 games with the Winnipeg Jets last season.
Daniel Carr is an interesting player to say the last. As Friedman mentioned, Carr was recently named the AHL league MVP (, but the 27-year-old has yet to find a spot in the NHL. signed as an undrafted player by the Montreal Canadiens in 2014/15, he now finds himself with only 100 NHL games played.
Lastly, Jason Zucker is somebody we haven’t heard connected to the Oilers until recently. Zucker was apart of a trade that never happened between Minnesota and Calgary during last year’s trade deadline, so there is a willingness from Minny to move him.
Zucker is coming off a great year with the Wild, notching 21 goals and 21 assists. If Edmonton found a way to lure him out of Minnesota, he would be a great addition to the top 9. However, his 5.5 cap-hit would require Edmonton to shed some money before bringing him on.
Donskoi & Nyquist?
The last rumour comes from another big-hitter in the hockey insider world. The Athletics’ Pierre LeBrun mentioned in his most recent Notebook article that Edmonton was sniffing around Joonas Donskoi and Gustav Nyquist.
Donskoi definitely makes sense as depth forward that could be had for cheap. In 80 games with San Jose last season, Donskoi put up 37pts.
Nyquist is a very surprising name considering he might be one of the better wingers hitting the market on July 1st. Of course, there is a history between Nyquist and Holland dating back to their time in Detroit and word is that Holland loves the game that he brings. Nyquist’s 60pts last season makes him the highest scoring player connected to the Oilers.
There is a lot happening around the Edmonton Oilers right now.
Everybody around the organization understands how crucial this summer is for the team and we will see what shakes down in the next week.