Everytime an NHL centre of decent pedigree is listed as possibly available, it seems someone connects the dots and suggests the Edmonton Oilers as a team likely to be interested in his services. This is especially true of restricted free agents. It happened with Ryan O’Reilly, Patrik Berglund, Lars Eller, and Derick Brassard, who all have since signed extensions with their previous clubs. The latest such connection has been made to Brandon Sutter, the Pittsburgh Penguins’ third-line centre who has rejected the club’s qualifying offer and remains, for now, a restricted free agent.

This time the possible connection to the Oilers comes right out of Pittsburgh, where Johnny Feulner of the SI.com “Fansided” blog Pens Labyrinth reported earlier today:

According to William DePaoli of Inside Pittsburgh Sports, the Penguins have reportedly offered Sutter an option of three different contracts, including a four-year deal, but his camp apparently wants a one-year agreement.

DePaoli is also reporting that both the Edmonton Oilers and Colorado Avalanche are keeping an eye on Sutter’s situation, meaning there’s a possibility they’ll pounce should he decline Pittsburgh’s offers.

The linked post from DePaoli claims in a subhead that “NHL Source: Oilers have keen interest in Sutter”, though unfortunately the full report beyond the opening couple of paragraphs is locked behind a paywall.

Sutter is an interesting case. The six-year veteran is a year away from unrestricted free agency, with his three-year contract having just expired. That called for an average annual value of $2.066 million, but paid him $2.7 MM in its final season, which would have been the value of the qualifying offer that Sutter declined. In a situation similar to that of the Oilers’ Jeff Petry, he held the arbitration hammer over the Pens but elected not to take the club to arbitration, but unlike Petry his negotiation for a renewal has not gone smoothly. The 25-year-old is said to be looking for a one-year deal, while the club has offered three different options up to four years in length.