Rumor: Oilers linked to yet another overpaid and underproducing veteran
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Rumor: Oilers linked to yet another overpaid and underproducing veteran

Another Ken Holland Special? The latest from NHL insider Elliotte Friedman



The NHL Trade Deadline on March 9th is quickly approaching.

For the Edmonton Oilers and GM Ken Holland, the strategy is simple: Acquire depth without completely mortgaging the future. But, while this is a simple strategy, pulling it off is anything but simple. There will be plenty of bidders for top players and there have been mixed reports on whether or not Holland will use future assets like top picks and prospects in his efforts to solidify his roster.

If Holland wants to pick up a top guy like Noah Hanifin, Jake Guentzel or Jacob Markstrom he's almost certainly going to have to part with the Oilers' 1st round pick. But, if Holland wants to look for value, he might consider calling up an old friend. Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman reported today that there could be a fit between the Oilers and Washington Capitals forward Anthony Mantha.

Mantha's $5.7 million annual contract expires this upcoming offseason and he's almost certainly playing his last games with the Capitals. The 29 year old veteran has 18 goals and 31 points in 53 games this season and has been made a healthy scratch at certain points during the campaign.

From Friedman's latest 32 Thoughts podcast:

“There’s going to be someone who’s going to say ‘we’re going to take a chance cuz he’s playing for his next deal.’”

“Who knows Anthony Mantha better than anyone else? .. Ken Holland.”

- Elliotte Friedman

Honestly... I don't think Mantha provides the Oilers with anything that they're lacking. He's not really effective in a checking role and I can't see how he'd factor into their top six forward groupings. Maybe he could be a powerplay option, but... is that needed? At $5.7 million? Hard pass.

But we all know that Holland has a penchant for digging into his past for easy solutions, so I could definitely see Mantha wearing Oilers blue and orange by the end of the season.

Read below for our earlier report on Vancouver Canucks forward Elias Pettersson and a potential trade out of Vancouver.

It's been an absolutely dream season for the Vancouver Canucks and their fanbase.

The team is on top of the league and it finally looks like their core of Quinn Hughes, Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser, JT Miller and Thatcher Demko are turning into bonafide NHL superstars. The only question for the team now is... can they keep it up?

Out of all those players, only Miller is signed long-term. Hughes has three more seasons on his deal, Demko has two and Boeser has one. Pettersson's deal is up after this season and there's some real concern in Vancouver that the man they call 'EP40' could be on his way out of town.

The Canucks have made it clear that they would like to sign Pettersson long-term, but there's still no deal to be announced. Pettersson himself has been quiet when asked about his future, but it's believed that he essentially told the team that he's not interested in in-season negotiations. Still, NHL insider David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period reports that there's a eight year, $96 million deal waiting for Pettersson the moment he wishes to sign it.

From Pagnotta:

The Vancouver Canucks and centre Elias Pettersson are comfortable waiting for the end of the season to address the superstar’s contractual status.

The 25-year-old is on pace for a second-consecutive 100+ point season and is due for a nice raise. In fact, if he wants to commit to an eight-year extension tomorrow, he can.

According to a well-placed source tied to the club, the Canucks tabled Pettersson a long-term deal, believed to be eight years, worth $12 million per season at the beginning of the 2023-24 campaign. That offer has not been rejected; it’s there for the taking. Pettersson simply wants to take his time, see how the season plays out and revisit his future in the summer.

This isn’t about money; Pettersson is focused on winning. That’s why he shut down talks last off-season – he wanted to fully prepare for this year and help the Canucks bring a championship to Vancouver. His patience, so far, is paying off.

The Canucks aren’t feeling any heat, either. They control his rights, as Pettersson can become a restricted free agent July 1 (with arbitration rights), but they aren’t applying any significant pressure. The deal is there for him when he’s ready for it. Right now, his priorities are elsewhere and that’s winning.

- David Pagnotta

This past weekend though, Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman reported that teams are calling Canucks GM Patrik Allvin to inquire about Pettersson's availability. 

Now today, Canucks insider Rick Dhaliwal is reporting that the team is frustrated with Pettersson and the lack of any negotiations. Dhaliwal reports that a chance that the Canucks end up trading Pettersson if they can't lock him up.

From today's Donnie & Dhali podcast:

"Canucks aren't getting any indication from Pettersson that he wants to be here long-term. There's frustration there. I still have no intel he wants out. Up until now I always thought Pettersson would re-sign but I'm not so sure now. Vancouver's gotta do their homework... when it comes to a trade."

- Rick Dhaliwal

I, like Dhali, always just kind of assumed that Pettersson would re-sign with the Canucks. He's a perfect fit for the team and both he and the team are thriving. If indeed he does want out of town then there has to be something more at play here behind the scenes. Stay tuned, this could get spicy.

Source: Elliotte Friedman