Jesse Puljujarvi has been pretty clear about what he wants out of the Edmonton Oilers: trade me or I will play in Europe.
While we don’t know if the kid is bluffing to pressure Oilers new general manager Ken Holland into pulling the trigger on the first trade offer to come, it seems like it could backfire quickly.
Meeting with media members on Thursday in Vancouver in advance of the NHL Draft, Holland was loud and clear about not feeling rushed or pressured into making a bad deal just to satisfy a player who scored four goals last year.
He is prepared to let the 21-year-old leave the club, and play in Europe before making a bad deal just to please him.
“I am good with it, yes,” said Holland per the Edmonton Journal, when asked about how he felt about Puljujarvi going back home and playing in Finland.
“If I can get a deal that I think makes sense to the Edmonton Oilers we’ll do something. I’m talking to a lot of people and if there’s a deal to be made we’ll pull it. But, if not, I’ll double back and talk to his agent (Markus Lehto) next week.”
Puljujarvi might have to realize that he has a chance for a fresh start in Edmonton. A new GM, a new head coach, a new identity: it gives him what he needs to make a new impression on his team.
“If I can do a deal I’m going to do a deal. If there’s no deal to be made there’s no deal to be made and we’ll have to deal with the situation next week.”
The bluff might have to come off the table for Puljujarvi. Let’s hope he can figure out what he truly wants ahead of this meeting.