Welcome to the next edition of NHL Rumours! There is so much buzz going around the league and with the trade deadline growing closer and closer it is warranted. The playoff races are getting tighter and teams will look to make a splash. Today we focus on the goaltending surrounding the New Jersey Devils and Edmonton Oilers.
New Jersey Devils
Rumour: David Pagnotta has reportedly linked the Devils to goalie Elvis Merzlikins
Times have changed for the Columbus Blue Jackets and maybe for the better. Elvis Merzlikins has requested a trade and with numerous teams needing help at the position, another name is now in the mix. A trade will likely not be easy, as he makes $5 million per season and retention will be needed to facilitate a move. However, Pagnotta has reportedly linked one team to Merzlikins and it’s an easy shoe in team.
The New Jersey Devils have been linked to Merzlikins and rightfully so. Things have taken a turn for the worst in the goal crease for the Devils and as it stands Nico Daws is the only hope for them. Akira Schmid has been sent down to the AHL to gain confidence. Also, Vitek Vanecek has been headed downwards. Vanecek has a subpar .882 save percentage and a 3.31 goals against average. Furthermore, he is right behind Ilya Samsonov for the leagues worst goals saved above expected (-13.4) and an upgrade is needed.
Merzlikins is enjoying a much better campaign this year. He has a .906 save percentage and a 3.22 goals against average and saw his goals saved above expected rise from -25.9 last year to 0.9 this year. He has a ten team no trade list and a change of scenery will be a boost of confidence.
Rumour: David Pagnotta reportedly has linked Jake Allen to the Edmonton Oilers
The next set of NHL Rumours takes us to the Western Conference. Goalies seem to be the hot topic and that will not be going away anytime soon. There are multiple teams that need goalies and there are teams that have a surplus of them. One of those teams is the Montreal Canadiens and one netminder that’s been linked in trades is Jake Allen.
Allen would be a nice grab for the Edmonton Oilers. The Jack Campbell experiment seems to be over and the team is riding Stuart Skinner. He has been much better as of late but with the Oilers making a surge up the standings, it’s important not to run him into the ground.
Allen is not the flashiest name on the block but he has one year beyond the 2023-24 season under contract. He has been good for the Canadiens this season, as he has a 3.49 goals against average and a .901 save percentage. It’s an upgrade in net and a good insurance policy behind Skinner.
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