In today’s roundup ‘o fun: Claiming the Oilers and Islanders are seeking veteran help at forward, and speculating over an offer sheet for Drew Doughty. Enjoy!
HOCKEYBUZZ.COM: “Eklund” claimed the Edmonton Oilers and NY Islanders were seeking veteran depth at forward, with the Oilers a “solid two-way guy to fill in top six duty”. “Eklund” also claimed there were “murmurs” that a team was “working diligently” on an offer sheet for LA Kings defenseman Drew Doughty.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Interesting about the Oilers, since the talk in the Edmonton media is they’re more in need of a veteran puck-moving defenseman, not a two-way top-six forward. A quick look at the Oilers current depth chart suggests, if Ryan Nugent-Hopkins fails to make the cut for this season, Sam Gagner will move up into the second line center role, between Jordan Eberle (who leads the Oilers in pre-season scoring and by all accounts has been their best forward) and Ryan Smyth (top-six, two-way veteran forward). Really don’t see where there’s a need for such a move by the Oilers at this time. As for the Islanders, they appear set with Tavares, Okposo, Moulson, Grabner, Nielsen, Comeau, Bailey, and Parenteau, plus rookie Nino Niederreiter.
Perhaps that need to add a skilled two-way two-six forward might intensify for either or both clubs as the season progresses, but media indications suggest both clubs are set with what they’ve currently got at forward.
As for Drew Doughty and an offer sheet, while I’ll admit anything’s possible, it would have to be a whopping great offer, worth well over the $7 million per season the Doughty camp is believed to be seeking, otherwise the Kings will match. At this point, there’s few teams with the available cap space, and those who have it are clubs which tend to stick close to the cap floor. That means perhaps nine teams who can afford to make an offer sheet at this point who have the available cap space to perhaps offer up more than $7 million per season. Looking at that list, it would be surprising – nay, shocking! – if any of them were to make a big pitch for Doughty now.