Speculation about Leon Draisaitl leaving the Oilers for the Bruins is refuted

An interesting rumour circulated earlier this week, that Leon Draisaitl would not re-sign with the Oilers, but the apparent source is denying this is the case.
Los Angeles Kings v Edmonton Oilers - Game Five
Los Angeles Kings v Edmonton Oilers - Game Five / Codie McLachlan/GettyImages

The Edmonton Oilers have dispatched the Los Angeles Kings for the third consecutive season, after Wednesday night's 4-3 win at Rogers Place. As you'd anticipate, Leon Draisaitl proved to be integral in the proceedings, scoring two goals on the night.

For the NHL playoffs as a whole, Draisaitl is second among all players with 10 points, just one behind teammate and overall leader Connor McDavid. To proclaim the German will be key in the Oilers' quest to win a Stanley Cup this season, is a significant understatement.

However, while Draisaitl was helping the Oilers advance, it was set against the background of a particularly interesting rumour regarding his future in Edmonton. More specifically, that he could well be leaving at the end of his current deal which expires following the conclusion of next season, and heading to Boston.

As per Trade NHL Talk's Jim Parsons, Jimmy Murphy of Boston Hockey Now referred to apparent comments from former NHL player George Laraque during an appearance on BPM Sports 91.9 FM in Montreal. Murphy claims Laraque said Draisaitl is interested in playing for the Bruins, if he doesn't agree an extension with the Oilers.

Part of the perceived appeal in Draisaitl joining the Bruins, is so that he can be their first line centre. He is understandably 'only' on the second line in Edmonton, due to presence of McDavid.

Laraque denies the speculation

However, things then took a intriguing turn, when Laraque took to social media to advise the speculation was made up. In other words, it seems the former Oiler and Montreal Canadien enforcer is alluding to Murphy manipulating/twisting what he said during his interview on BPM Sports 91.9 FM.

So what should we make of it all? The reality for Oilers fans, is that speculation such as this is only going to increase, as we get closer to the end of Draisaitl's current contract without an extension being signed.

The 2020 Hart Memorial Trophy winner's current deal has an annual cap hit of $8.5 million, which he will undoubtedly want an increase on to remain in Edmonton. In theory the Oilers would like to get him re-signed before his present contract runs out, but it is no secret they have struggled with their salary cap of late and are projected to continue doing so into next season.

In respect of Laraque specifically, and what he might or might not have said, it's probably alludes to Draisaitl just keeping his options open, as any professional athlete should do. Our best guess is that while he would prefer to remain in Edmonton for the long term, he probably views the Bruins as a good second option which is regularly in contention. (We're talking about a team which has only missed the playoffs seven times since 1967.)

There should be some solace in the fact the Oilers will do whatever they can, to re-sign the 2020 Art Ross Trophy winner to an extension. After all, we're talking about a player who is regularly among the top five-10 in the NHL and is tied all-time in NHL playoff history with McDavid for the second-most average points per game, at 1.611 as of Thursday morning.

Next. Round 2 here we come!. Round 2 here we come!. dark

Overall, while we won't go as far as calling the speculation much ado about nothing, there is still no need for Oilers fans to panic, at least not yet. For now, it's best to focus on Draisaitl and the Oilers' quest to win a first Stanley Cup since 1990; there will be plenty of time in the future to consider any rumours concerning the five-time NHL All-Star.

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