Welcome to another edition of NHL Rumours! Today features a great full slate of games! Boston and Toronto meet for the first time since the Timothy Liljegren incident and Nikita Zadorov makes his Canucks debut against his former team. The Battle of Pennsylvania opens a new chapter and hockey is in full swing tonight. However the rumour mill is churning and the buzz is alarming. Today we focus on the Nashville Predators and Edmonton Oilers.
Rumour: Elliote Friedman discusses the future of Tyson Barrie in Nashville
With Barry Trotz in the fold, he has never been shy to making changes. Trotz got a kings ransom for pending restricted free agent Tanner Jeannot. Also, he bought out the remaining seasons on Matt Duchene and Ryan Johansen. It is a new era in Nashville and another players future is in question.
Friedman discusses that the team has given Tyson Barrie permission to talk to other teams. He will be a healthy scratch against the Rangers today and is also a free agent at the end of the season. Allowing him to seek a better fit and obtain assets in his departure is good asset management.
It is surprising to see Barrie struggling under new head coach Andrew Brunette. Brunette has a strong offensive system, that has seen teams like the Florida Panthers and New Jersey Devils succeed under. Barrie is known as an offensive defenceman and can help quarterback a power play.
Last season he had 53 points and came close to surpassing his career high of 59. However, this season he has nine assists in 22 games played. He has three power play assists and for the first time since his rookie year has a 0% shooting percentage.
Nashville continues to shakeup its group and Barrie could be on his way out sooner than later.
The next set of NHL Rumours stays in the conference. It is no secret that the Edmonton Oilers need a goalie. The Oilers are similar to the Devils in the western conference and have the talent but need a goalie. Friedman mentions the potential fit between the Oilers and the Columbus Blue Jackets making a potential move.
Columbus has two goalies in Elvis Merzlikins and Spencer Martin. Martin would not be the type of upgrade they need in net but would cost a lot less than Merzlikins. Merzlikins has bounced back from last year in a major way. He is rocking a 3.04 goals against average and a .911 save percentage. What’s eye opening is his goals saved above expected is 0.6, which is light years better than last season. However, Friedman mentions that it could be more.
If there is another area lacking for the Oilers it is the depth scoring. As always, the big dogs are carrying the load for the Oilers. When it comes to the depth forwards, nobody has more than three goals. This has been a recurring problem for the Oilers and something that needs to be addressed.
With Columbus sinking to the bottom of the Metropolitan Division, trading with a contending team could be a likely scenario. It remains to be seen who the players are but Columbus has a young team with a lot of depth. It is depth that would be welcomed by any contending team, as they find ways to contribute.
Ken Holland has his work cut out for him, as he cannot rely on Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl to pave the way.
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