NHL Rumors: Oilers, Kovalchuk, Knights, Senators, Sabres and Maple Leafs

NHL Rumors: Oilers, Kovalchuk, Knights, Senators, Sabres and Maple Leafs

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James van Riemsdyk wants to remain with the Maple Leafs.
On the Edmonton Oilers, Ilya Kovalchuk, Vegas Golden Knights, Ottawa Senators and Buffalo Sabres …

Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet: Heading into Wednesday night, the Edmonton Oilers were 27th in defensemen scoring with 127 points. This will be a priority for them in the offseason.

One agent listed his top five free agent centers: John Tavares, Joe Thornton, Paul Stastny, Tyler Bozak and Riley Nash.

Any team can talk to Ilya Kovalchuk after April 15th but he can’t officially sign an NHL contract until July 1st.

Will the Vegas Golden Knights be willing to pay more than the $5 million that Reilly Smith is getting for James Neal and David Perron?

Doug MacLean said that if the Ottawa Senators see a drop off after the No. 7 spot in the draft. They could send their pick to Colorado if it’s below that.

Buffalo Sabres GM Jason Botterill on whether they will spend on free agents this summer to help fix their problems: “We’ll see.”

On the Toronto Maple Leafs …

Chris Nichols of FanRag Sports: Darren Dreger was on NBCSN and at one during his talks Toronto Maple Leafs pending UFA winger James van Riemsdyk. JvR is having his best season which is good for his next deal, but if becomes tricky if he wants to remain with the Maple Leafs. He sees the Leafs as being on the brink of doing some special in over the next couple season.

“He wants to be part of the ride, but the Toronto Maple Leafs are going to have cap issues, no question about that. He’s earned $6.5 million on a lengthy contract extension, but the Toronto Maple Leafs aren’t going to have the wherewithal to extend him.

“I think that the Maple Leafs undoubtedly are going to have contract extensions at the end of the year with James van Riemsdyk, and maybe van Riemsdyk is willing to be more creative in terms of a shorter term – just again based on his want to stay in Toronto and win a Stanley Cup. If he goes to market, then he’s going to get that seven-year term and he’s going to get upwards of $7 million per.”