Dallas Stars, Edmonton Oilers, Evander Kane, John Klingberg, Ken Holland, Key Post, NHL Rumors, Philadelphia Flyers, Ron Hextall, San Jose Sharks

NHL Rumors: Oilers, Sharks, Flyers, Stars

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Edmonton Oilers are the consensus favorite to land UFA forward Evander Kane, with some sources suggesting a deal has already been reached between the player and the team. How accurate are these reports? Meanwhile, GM Ken Holland made other comments about the Oilers and their plans and the San Jose Sharks will have to decide what to do with the money freed up by Kane departing the team. A former Philadelphia Flyers GM got blasted by a member of the current regime and there’s news on why the Dallas Stars aren’t rushing to get the John Klingberg deal done.

Oilers Likely to Land Kane

While it isn’t confirmed (at least of the time of this writing), Kane is likely to become an Edmonton Oiler before the end of the week. A number of sources, including Darren Dreger of TSN, reports the Oilers are among the favorites to sign the winger. Dreger notes the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers are also in the mix, while former referee Tim Peel (not exactly a source known to break news) has been watching the situation closely and says the deal is done but the announcement hasn’t come yet and there are a few details to iron out.

I’m hearing Evander Kane will be signing in the next few hours. Destination: Edmonton Oilers. @EdmontonOilers #nhl #HockeyTwitter

Elliotte Friedman noted in his latest 32 Thoughts article: “Not sure Alberta’s capital was Kane’s first choice, but he could do a lot worse than lining up with Connor McDavid at even-strength and on the power play.” He adds that Edmonton is “very much in play here, if not the lead horse.”

Meanwhile, Dan Milstein’s agency (the agency that reps Kane) tweeted, “still interviewing with teams. No contract in hand. Salary not yet agreed. Many details to be worked out. No travel plans over 48 hours.”

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Holland did confirm in his media avail on Tuesday that he did reach out to Milstein, so it is known that the Oilers are interested and among the suitors. Holland also said he wasn’t going to go for a rental this season and wasn’t willing to give up valuable assets just to lose a player at the end of the season. Those comments make the Oilers going after Kane a lot more logical since it only costs money to acquire him.

Sharks Not Ready to Use Freed Up Cap Space on Hertl

Friedman also notes: “There was some speculation that the Sharks would use the cleared cap room (at least for now) to lock-up Tomas Hertl long-term. All research indicates that leap is premature at this time.”

Tomas Hertl San Jose Sharks
Tomas Hertl, San Jose Sharks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

That doesn’t mean the Sharks won’t do this eventually, nor that they’re ready to part with Hertl. It simply means their plans to wait until later in the season or when the 2021-22 campaign is done to talk with the pending UFA haven’t changed.

Jakob Chychrun: Four Teams to Watch

The teams worth watching when it comes to a Chychrun trade are Anaheim, Los Angeles and St. Louis, according to Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek. All three teams have made it known they are serious players if the Coyotes ultimately decide to move the defenseman.

Related: Maple Leafs Reportedly Interested in Evander Kane: Here’s Why

Friedman adds to watch for the Carolina Hurricanes on this trade as his contract is right in their wheelhouse. Speculation is that the Coyotes would rather trade Chychrun to the Eastern Conference, which means a Western Conference team might have to pony up a little more to get a deal done.

Bobby Clarke Throws Shade at Ron Hextall

In a surprising interview with Cam Janssen and Andy Strickland’s podcast, Philadephia Flyers executive Bobby Clarke absolutely blasted former team GM Ron Hextall for a number of draft blunders in 2017 and some terrible trades that Hextall apparently didn’t consult the scouting staff about. Clarke claims the team is still paying for those decisions and noted, “(Hextall) made some huge mistakes. … He made himself bigger than the team. That is something I would never ever have thought of with Hexy, because he was such a team player.”

Ron Hextall Philadelphia Flyers
(Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The specific examples Clarke cited were that Hextall went off the board and drafted Nolan Patrick (who no Philadelphia scout wanted), traded Brayden Schenn to St. Louis on his own, and chose not to trade for Ryan O’Reilly, who Clarke claims the Flyers had a legitimate shot at.

Friedman suggests that Clarke’s comments mean the heat is on in Philadelphia and the organization is considering breaking it all down. If so, Friedman writes, “Clarke would want current GM Chuck Fletcher to rebuild the team if that’s the chosen path. By taking this route, he’s trying to make sure that happens. He’d do anything to defend someone he likes.”

Age Is Reason Stars Aren’t Rushing to Sign Klingberg

As per Friedman, “Dallas’ decision to not extend Klingberg has a lot to do with the injuries and body wear” suffered by Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn. The Stars are concerned that Klingberg (30) won’t last through the length of a long-term contract.

Friedman added, “I’m not even convinced they were ridiculously far apart in discussions. But it got to a point where the gap couldn’t be bridged.”

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