IN today’s NHL news and rumors rundown, Montreal Canadiens’ goaltender Carey Price has voluntarily entered the NHL and NHLPA assistance program. It’s not clear why, but general manager Marc Bergevin is slated to have a press conference, likely to provide further details. Meanwhile, Blake Coleman of the Calgary Flames will have a hearing for his hit on Winnipeg’s Jansen Harkins. The Ottawa Senators have signed forward Tyler Ennis and are the New York Rangers one of the favorites to go after Jack Eichel?
Rangers In on Jack Eichel?
It was reported yesterday that after some teams had started to see the medical reports regarding Jack Eichel‘s neck, a few teams were getting more comfortable with the idea of trading for the center and letting him do the surgery he wants. Among those teams, Darren Dreger said on That’s Hockey! that the LA Kings, Anaheim Ducks and New York Rangers, could be among the teams interested, even if most are denying their interest.
Hockey insider Nick Kypreos tweeted:
“Some @NHL teams like @NYRangers who are in on Eichel are passed medical issues. It appears #NYR will support Jack for artificial disc replacement surgery providing they can come to terms on a hockey trade with @BuffaloSabres. No indication they’re close on a deal. @FAN590”
The Rangers do have a number of young players the Sabres might find attractive and some cap space to make a deal work. At the same time, if they’re looking to be a playoff team this season, they’ll be giving up a lot of what could get them there.
Price Enters NHL Assistance Program
Carey Price will be taking some time away from the Canadiens while voluntarily taking part in the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program. There were no further comments regarding what is ailing Price, and offseason injuries may or may not have something to do with what is going on.
Bergevin is holding a press conference on Thursday to address the media. Price’s wife did write a post on Instagram that noted the struggle seemed to be about mental health and she noted she was proud of Carey for stepping up for their family. She writes, “No matter what is on the line, we hope we can communicate the importance of putting your mental health first not just by saying it, but by showing up and doing the work to get better.”
Still with the Canadiens, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet writes, “Think the Montreal Canadiens look to sign Nick Suzuki to a contact extension sooner than later. They may not want to deal with potential offer sheets next offseason.”
Blake Coleman to Have Hearing with NHL DoPS
According to a tweet by the NHL Player Safety Department, Coleman will have a hearing today for boarding Jansen Harkins during a game on Wednesday. It was during the second period, when Coleman was battling along the boards for the puck, that he hit Harkins who had fallen to his knees and was in a vulnerable position. Coleman continued to follow through on a hit while Harkins’ back was turned.
There was no injury on the play, so it is believed the penalty will not be severe. Jets’ head coach Paul Maurice said after the game, “It was a pretty solid check into the numbers. We’re fortunate that he’s healthy.” He added, “You don’t want to see anything happen from behind but then it’s hockey again. Everybody’s healthy, away we go, we’re fine. I’m not going to complain about it.”
Senators Sign Tyler Ennis
The Senators announced today that the team has signed forward Tyler Ennis to a one-year contract. The contract carries a value of $900,000 for the 2021-22 season. Ennis came into camp on a PTO after playing last season with the Edmonton Oilers.
This is not Ennis’ first go-round with the Senators and GM Pierre Dorion talked about that when commenting on the new deal. He called him an experienced veteran who has offers excellent leadership qualities and added, they “should prove as valuable as they were here two seasons ago.” He added, “He’s capable of generating offence both at five-on-five and on the power-play, and, with an ability to play both wing positions, he’ll be a good addition for us at forward.”
Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”