NHL Rumors: Oilers-Yamamoto’s Agent Meet, and a Thomas-Coyotes Offer Sheet Makes Sense
Holland meets with Kailer Yamamoto's agent. Blues still need to re-sign Robert Thomas, and a Coyotes offer sheet would make sense.
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Holland meets with Kailer Yamamoto‘s agent

Dustin Nielsen: Edmonton Oilers GM Ken Holland met with J.P. Barry, the agent for restricted free agent forward Kailer Yamamoto, last night.

Though not confirmed (as of last night), it sounds like talks were positive.

It was a face-to-face meeting which is likely good news as the Oilers are a week away from opening training camp.

Blues still need to re-sign Robert Thomas … A Coyotes offer sheet would make sense

Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic: The St. Louis Blues still need to re-sign restricted free agent forward Robert Thomas. The Blues have only about $2.3 million in salary cap space (before they re-signed Tyler Bozak yesterday at $750,000 plus bonuses).

Earlier this offseason the Blues re-signed Jordan Kyrou for two years at $2.8 million and Thomas believes he’s worth more than that. A short-term/bridge deal is the likely outcome when the sides do reach an agreement.

A source said that internal comparables hold a lot of weight for agents and teams.

Thomas’ only leverage may be an offer sheet. Compensation for a contract between $2,055,364 and $4,110,732 is a second-round pick if the Blues wouldn’t match.

The Arizona Coyotes have five second-round picks and Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong drafted Thomas when he was the Blues Director of Amateur Scouting.

“It would make sense,” the source said. “If I’m looking at a chessboard, that’s a move that I could anticipate and say, ‘I’m not too surprised by this.’ Arizona has the picks and they’re rebuilding. From St. Louis’ perspective, it would be challenging to match a one-year, $4 million offer sheet, given their current cap situation.

“Should Arizona take a page from the way Carolina structured their successful offer sheet (to Kotkaniemi), Arizona could be willing to explore paying a premium on a one-year deal to acquire the player and then subsequently renegotiate an extension. But perhaps Arizona still feels they aren’t quite done maximizing the asset value of the roster and they have a continued focus on accumulating future draft picks.”

The Blues trading Vladimir Tarasenko would help free up some cap space to re-sign Thomas. Putting Oskar Sundqvist on the LTIR would give them the temporary space.

The source guesses Thomas will sign a two-year deal at a $2.5 million cap hit.