It appears left winger Linus Omark has played his last game for the Oilers.
The 25-year-old has spent most of this season playing for their American League affiliate in Oklahoma.
He recently took to Twitter to express his hope the Oilers would give him a chance with another NHL team.
Tambellini said Omark simply wasn’t good enough to be a top-six forward on the Oilers and added that he understood the young Swede’s frustration, but wouldn’t comment on his trade status.
Omark is a restricted free agent this summer, so the Oilers must qualify his rights this June or risk losing him for nothing to unrestricted free agency. It wouldn’t be surprising if Tambellini qualifies Omark to trade him, perhaps at the NHL draft in June.
STAYING THE COURSE IN EDMONTON?
Following Tuesday’s NHL draft lottery, in which the Edmonton Oilers landed the first overall pick for the third consecutive year, Oilers GM Steve Tambellini spoke about the status of his goaltending and contract negotiations with veteran left winger Ryan Smyth.
Tambellini said it would be “business as usual” for his goaltenders next season, leading Joanne Ireland of the Edmonton Journal to conclude the current tandem of Devan Dubnyk and Nikolai Khabibulin will return.
There’s been no progress in contract talks with Smyth, a pending unrestricted free agent, since Tambellini made a take-it-or-leave it offer prior to the trade deadline. He said it was ultimately up to Smyth to decide what he wants to do.
Tambellini is banking on the fact that Smyth, who requested a trade back to the Oilers last year, wants to finish his career in Edmonton.
CANES EXPECTED TO BE AGGRESSIVE
Earlier this week, Carolina Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford acknowledged his club will have the available cash to pursue a first line winger for Eric Staal’s line, stoking speculation he’ll pursue New Jersey Devils left winger Zach Parise if he becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
Rutherford couldn’t specify which player he has interest in, as doing so would violate the NHL’s tampering rules, but Parise is the best available forward in this summer’s UFA market so he’d be an obvious target.
But free agency won’t be Rutherford’s only avenue. He said if a top-line player became available through free agency or trade, the Hurricanes would do everything they can improve this year.
Heading into the off-season, the Hurricanes have about $42.3 million committed to 17 players.
Adding Parise would cost up to $8 million per season, plus the Canes must decide if they’re going to re-sign UFA defensemen Jaroslav Spacek and Bryan Allen. There’s also RFA defenseman Jamie McBain, due a significant raise coming off his entry-level contract, and center Jiri Tlusty, who finished the season strong playing right wing on the Staal line.
JETS WILL CONTINUE LONG-TERM APPROACH
Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff gave some indication of his off-season plans during his end-of-season interview with the local media on Tuesday.
Cheveldayoff said he’s spoken to several agents who represent his free agent players, which include RFAs Evander Kane and Ondrej Pavelec, plus pending UFAs Kyle Wellwood, Tanner Glass and Jim Slater, but there hadn’t been any exchanges of proposals or numbers.
He also said he wasn’t concerned about attracting unrestricted free agents to Winnipeg, citing the enthusiastic fan support in the city. He also let it be known he wasn’t adverse to trading the ninth overall pick in this year’s draft for the right offer, though he didn’t specify what that would be.
While Cheveldayoff expects to be active in this summer’s trade and free agent market in hopes of improving his team’s size, he stressed the franchise would maintain its goal of building long-term via the draft and player development, rather than sacrificing the future for quick fixes.
Rumor Roundup appears Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News and Kukla’s Korner.