What's Holland's next big move for the Oilers?
Ahead of a busy off-season that includes the Seattle Expansion Draft, TSN.ca keeps you up to date with all the latest rumours and speculation from around the NHL beat.
Oilers Cap Outlook
While Duncan Keith's move from the Chicago Blackhawks to the Edmonton Oilers Monday was not a surprise, many were caught off guard that the Blackhawks did not retain any of Keith's $5.5 million cap hit in the deal.
The Oilers gave up Caleb Jones and 2022 third-round pick (which can elevated to a second-rounder if the Oilers reach the Stanley Cup Final next season and Keith is among the top four in Oilers defencemen in ice time during the first three rounds) for Keith and prospect Tim Soderlund.
Oilers general manager Ken Holland said after the trade the cost would've been even higher if the Blackhawks had retained salary.
"If we were getting Duncan Keith at $2.75 (million) it would have been a lot higher price than it was today," Holland said. "End of the day, basically if we wanted to have the lower salary we would have had to put more assets with our offer.
"I don't know if this is a numbers decision. What I'm saying is I can't put a price on three Stanley Cups, two Norris Trophies, a Conn Smythe Trophy, two gold medals and his leadership, what he's meant to the Chicago Blackhawks franchise."
Keith, who turns 38 this week, is signed for two more seasons.
The trade leaves the Oilers with just over $11.5 million in cap space this off-season with 19 players under contract, per CapFriendly, and Holland said the team continues to discuss a contract with pending unrestricted free agent Adam Larsson, with the general manager stating money is set aside for the deal, but that "it's Adam's decision."
The Oilers, however, will likely have an additional $4.167 million to spend this off-season as defenceman Oscar Klefbom appears headed for long-term injured reserve once again next season. Holland said the chances of Klefbom playing at all in 2021-22 "are very very slim." The 27-year-old has been sidelined since undergoing shoulder surgery in December of last year.
Shelving Klefbom's cap hit would give the Oilers a total of more than $15 million to spend this off-season with eight players headed for unrestricted free agency, including goaltender Mike Smith and defencemen Tyson Barrie and Larsson.
Avalanche Free Agency Update
The Colorado Avalanche face several key decisions ahead of July 28 with captain Gabriel Landeskog and Vezina Trophy finalist Philipp Grubauer among players on their roster slated to reach unrestricted free agency.
Grubauer made it clear over the weekend he hopes to return to the Avalanche after having a career year with the team this season.
"One hundred percent," Grubauer told the Denver Post. "I think we have an incredible team next year too. (General manager) Joe [Sakic] and [assistant GM Chris MacFarland], they always do a great job putting a team together that's performing at a high level and playing in the [Stanley Cup Playoffs]. And I want to be a part of that.
"Everything is uncertain right now. Every team is waiting for the expansion draft. I would love to stay in Denver. Denver has become home. I love the team, love the organization. So it would be nice to work something out."
The 29-year-old netminder had a 30-9-1 with a .922 save percentage and 1.95 goals-against average in 40 games this season. He went 6-4 in the playoffs with a ,914 save percentage and a 2.61 GAA.
As for Landeskog, Lou Korac of NHL.com reports the St. Louis Blues are expected to make "a full pitch effort" for the winger if he hits the open market.
Landeskog, 28, had 20 goals and 52 points in 54 games this season, adding four goals and 13 points in 10 playoff games.
Selected second overall by the Avalanche in the 2011 NHL Draft, Landeskog has spent his entire career to date in Colorado.
Latest On Tony DeAngelo
When the NHL's buyout window opened last week, Tony DeAngelo was expected to be among the first to clear unconditional waivers, but it appears the New York Rangers are biding their time before making the move.
Larry Brooks of the New York Post reports the Rangers will wait until after the Seattle Expansion Draft to buy out DeAngelo, who meets the requirements to be exposed.
Each team must expose at least one defenceman who meets the requirements in the expansion and Brooks notes that with Jacob Trouba and Ryan Lindgren no doubt being protected, only DeAngelo and Anthony Bitetto are left to meet the requirements. Brooks adds that there's a chance the the Rangers could deal Bitetto before the expansion draft.
A buyout for DeAngelo has been long rumoured with the defenceman last playing for the team in January. TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reported in April that the 25-year-old rejected the Rangers offer to mutually terminate his contract, instead electing to be bought out this summer.
With DeAngelo signed through next season at a cap hit of $4.8 million, a buyout would save the Rangers $4.2 million next season, while adding a cap charge of $883,334 in 2022-23.