Alex DeBrincat, Edmonton Oilers, Erik Karlsson, Evan Bouchard, Key Post, NHL Rumors, Oskar Sundqvist, Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, St Louis Blues

NHL Rumors: Blues, Oilers, Penguins, Senators

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the St. Louis Blues are apparently signing Oskar Sundqvist to another deal. Meanwhile, the Edmonton Oilers got a good idea of exactly what Evan Bouchard is going to cost the team on a bridge deal. The Pittsburgh Penguins were apparently “this close” to trading for Erik Karlsson on July 1, and Pierre Dorion revealed everything that happened that led to the Alex DeBrincat trade into and out of Ottawa.

Sundqvist Going Back to St. Louis

Based on a non-descript tweet and some insider reports suggesting that tweet means he’ll be returning to the Blues this coming season, Oskar Sundqvist is set to sign a deal with the Blues. Jeremy Rutherford writes, “Hearing Sundqvist will be a Blue again. A couple weeks ago it looked like there would be a reunion, then it appeared off, but now back on again.” Elliotte Friedman posted after seeing a blue teardrop and a pair of emoji eyes, “Oskar Sundqvist’s way of letting you know he’s returning to STL on a one-year deal.” The player later released a video saying, “Hey St. Louis, I’m back.”

Sundqvist played a vital role in the St. Louis Blues’ journey to the 2019 Stanley Cup, making significant contributions to the team’s lineup. Throughout the playoff run, he showcased his skill set by recording four goals and five assists in 25 games, while also shouldering a significant workload, averaging over 16 minutes of ice time per game.

Bouchard Number Effectively Set by Other Bridge Deals

The recent signings of K’Andre Miller and Bowen Byram to two-year contracts worth $3.872 million and $3.85 million, respectively, have essentially given the Edmonton Oilers a guarantee when it comes to defenseman Evan Bouchard’s next contract. He’ll likely sign for around $3.85 million unless the team can convince him to take less so they can sign another fourth-line center.

Related: K’Andre Miller, Bowen Byram Bridge Deals Affect Evan Bouchard

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If Bouchard signs for around $3.85 million and Ryan McLeod for around $1.8 million, the Oilers will have to run with a 21-man roster, likely consisting of 12 forwards, seven defensemen, and two goalies.

Penguins Were Close to Acquiring Karlsson on July 1

Josh Yohe from The Athletic reveals that prior to this whole back-and-forth between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Carolina Hurricanes, the Penguins were on the verge of acquiring Erik Karlsson from the San Jose Sharks on the opening day of free agency. Yohe indicates that a significant trade almost materialized on July 1, but ultimately did not come to fruition.

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He writes:

As I mentioned recently, the Penguins were extremely close to landing Karlsson on July 1. A deal was close to being completed that morning, which would have rocked the hockey world on what is already a volatile day. I know Kyle Dubas likes him. A lot. Does that mean the deal happens? Your guess is as good as mine, but there’s obviously a real chance that it happens.

source – ‘Will the Penguins trade for Erik Karlsson? Kyle Dubas’ next move? Penguins mailbag, Part 1’ – Josh Yohe – The Athletic – 07/12/2023

He also notest that trade talks have calmed down, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen in the next couple of weeks.

Dorion Talks the Thought Process Behind the DeBrincat Trade

During an interview with TSN 1200, Ottawa Senators GM Pierre Dorion discussed the Alex DeBrincat situation that saw him traded to the Detroit Red Wings earlier this week. Perhaps acknowledging it might have been a mistake to do so, Dorion revealed that when the Senators initially acquired DeBrincat, the Chicago Blackhawks did not grant them permission to engage in contract discussions with him. However, the Senators proceeded with the trade regardless.

Alex DeBrincat Ottawa Senators
Alex DeBrincat, Ottawa Senators (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

DeBrincat expanded his trade list during the process of trying to move him and Dorion said, “I gave multiple teams permission to negotiate a contract with DeBrincat.” He emphasized that if they had waited until the trade deadline to move DeBrincat, it would have sent a message to their fans that they were giving up or “quitting.”

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