Welcome to Inside The Rink‘s latest NHL News & Rumors column. In this episode, we will be focusing on a handful of rumors centering around the Edmonton Oilers, Philadelphia Flyers, Montreal Canadiens, and Ottawa Senators.
Insider Says Oilers’ Evan Bouchard Could Be Traded This Summer
Evan Bouchard is a pending restricted free agent (RFA), and he is due for a raise this summer because of his excellent play. However, according to NHL insider Frank Seravalli, the Edmonton Oilers are hoping to sign him to a bridge deal this summer due to their limited cap space. Following that, Seravalli said that “it is not out of the realm of possibility that he (Bouchard) gets traded this summer” if he is only looking for a long-term deal.
There is no question that the Oilers want to keep Bouchard around, as he improved his play significantly as the year progressed and showed that he is a legitimate top-four defenseman. However, if he does not want a bridge deal, we could very well see him moved based on Seravalli’s comments. In 82 games this season, Bouchard had eight goals, 40 points, and a plus-6 rating.
Flyers’ Kevin Hayes Garnering Interest From Division Rival
Before the 2023 Trade Deadline passed, Philadelphia Flyers forward Kevin Hayes garnered interest from the Columbus Blue Jackets. Although a move did not come to fruition, trade talks could resume between the two clubs this offseason. According to The Fourth Period’s Anthony Di Marco, a source told him that the Blue Jackets “are believed to really like Hayes as a player and would welcome him as an addition.”
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Any trade centering around Hayes would need to involve salary retention due to Hayes’ high cap hit. However, with the Blue Jackets needing help down the middle, there could be a great match here on paper. In 81 games this season, Hayes had 18 goals and 54 points.
Canadiens Considered Trading Joel Edmundson Before Deadline
Joel Edmundson picked up a lot of steam in the rumor mill leading up to the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline. However, the veteran defenseman ended up staying put, but that may not have been Montreal’s choice. According to Stu Cowan, the Canadiens would have likely moved Edmundson before the deadline passed if he wasn’t dealing with injuries.
With this development, it is fair to wonder if the Canadiens will shop Edmundson during the summer. They are in a rebuild, after all, and there would be a market for him due to his experience and physical style of play. In 61 games during the 2022-23 campaign, two goals and 13 points.
Insider Reports Alex DeBrincat Could Be Moved at Draft
Alex DeBrincat is a player to pay very close attention to this summer. The star winger is a pending restricted free agent (RFA) who is also just a year away from being a UFA. The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch reported something that also could concern Senator fans. He said that DeBrincat seemed non-committal about signing a long-term contract extension and that the 2016 second-round pick could be traded at this year’s draft because of it.
The Senators have a big decision to make when it comes to DeBrincat if he makes it known that a long-term extension isn’t in the cards. He is way too good of a player to lose for nothing next summer, so we will need to wait and see what happens with him from here. In 82 games this campaign, the 25-year-old had 27 goals and 66 points.
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