While the Edmonton Oilers are focused on what to do next with their 10th overall pick prior to tonight's NHL Entry draft, there is a new trade rumour that is hitting them hard this afternoon. Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli may not be commenting on the recent trade rumors that have surfaced in Edmonton, but the chatter is getting intense.
Many people may think we are referring to veteran forward Milan Lucic, who has five years left with a $6 million cap hit and recently admitted he would accept a trade. While Chiarelli claims he has not lost his faith in Lucic, we could see a move in the coming weeks for his services. Of course, his value has diminished this season as Lucic struggled with every aspect of the game. Lucic initially signed a seven-year deal with the Oilers and he now has five more years left on that contract, any team looking to acquire him would be sacrificing $6 million against the cap over the course of those next five seasons. There's another complication as well for the Oilers as well: Chiarelli gave Lucic a full no movement clause when he signed his deal. That means that Lucic is in full control of the situation here...
However, we are talking about starting goalie Cam Talbot here. It seems like trade talks have escalated to the point where we could see a move today during the draft, as pointed out by David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period.
The Chicago Blackhawks might be pushing for a play here with the Oilers. The goaltending situation in Chicago was a complete mess this past season and starting goalie Corey Crawford’s injury was one of the main reasons the Hawks missed out on the postseason for the first time in 11 seasons.
On Thursday in Dallas, as the Blackhawks got ready for the NHL entry draft, general manager Stan Bowman commented on Crawford's situation and recovering, and his first statement sounded quite concerning for the die-hard Hawks fans, as reported by Mark Lazerus, Hawks insider for the Chicago Sun Times.
"I don't really have an update. ... We expect Corey to be back. We don't have any reason to think that's not going to happen."
The Hawks, or any team looking for a netminder like the New York Islanders, might be calling the Oilers for Talbot, but let's not forget that other goaltenders are available on the trade or via the free-agent market. The Buffalo Sabres have confirmed that they will not make a qualifying offer to Robin Lehner, while Carolina Hurricanes veteran goalie Cam Ward is expected to test free agency.
It was also revealed this morning that Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson could also be on the move. The Senators are said to be working with agent Justin Duberman to try and find a potential new home.
The rumour was also mentioned in NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman's 10 Thoughts article on this week's rumblings on Sportsnet:
"Senators GM Pierre Dorion made it clear the likely outcome is he keeps the fourth-overall selection and doesn’t give it to Colorado. Dorion wouldn’t discuss specific players on his roster, but one other name to add to Erik Karlsson and Zack Smith as trade potential is Craig Anderson."
Another goalie who is expected to be on the move is Philipp Grubauer, who could join his former head coach Barry Trotz with the Islanders.
“I think it’s going to be very interesting today. We’ve linked Philipp Grubauer, the Washington backup goalie, to the Islanders. I hear there’s a lot of teams who have asked about Grubauer, maybe as many as 10. A GM I spoke to during the week who said he was interested said he thinks the price is going to be higher than many of them expected because there is so much interest," explained Friedman on Friday morning on the air of Toronto Sportsnet's 590.
This is a hectic draft day, stay tuned...