NHL Rumors: Canucks, Stars, Ducks, Sabres, Maple Leafs

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, many of the Vancouver Canucks players are not happy about being asked to play Friday. Might there be any change to their scheduled game against the Edmonton Oilers? Meanwhile, the Toronto Maple Leafs have signed one of their top-end prospects and are trying to get him to the roster as soon as possible. There’s talk about a couple of players who didn’t move at the NHL Trade Deadline and what is the status of Jack Eichel, and when will he return from injury?

Canucks Voice Unhappiness to NHL About Playing Friday

As per a few sources on Thursday, Canucks players had a Zoom call with NHLPA last night. Many of them are not at all happy that they are being asked to play already and there’s some discussion about postponing Friday’s game against the Oilers.

Considering how hard the team got hit by the COVID-19 virus, obviously there are concerns about the team not being ready to play Friday-Saturday. Pierre LeBrun of TSN notes, “Medical testing for some players before practice today will be an important factor in what comes next. Fluid situation to be sure.” John Shannon writes, “League source confirms that the Canucks’ weekend games might change again…Based on medical evaluations being done today with players and staff.”

J.T. Miller was among the most vocal of players and said, “I’m a very competitive guy, but at the same time, this isn’t about hockey right now. It’s about the health and safety of our players and their families. We have to make sure our priorities are in the right place.”

Stars Didn’t Want to Move Oleksiak

Mike Heika reports that Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill decided he would hold on to pending free agent Jamie Oleksiak at this year’s trade deadline despite talk that multiple teams were interested in the player. Nill said, “Jamie’s a big part of our core… Unless somebody made me an offer I could not say no to, he was not on the table.”

Also with the Stars, Nill said Tyler Seguin and Ben Bishop are about two weeks away from playing. Alexander Radulov will see a specialist to determine next steps (surgery, playing, etc.).

Getzlaf Deal Never Close, Vegas Discussed

While it doesn’t sound like the Anaheim Ducks where ever close to trading veteran Ryan Getzlaf, Andy Strickland notes that is is believed Getzlaf had told the Ducks a few days before the trade deadline that he would accept a trade to the Vegas Golden Knights as it is still close to his move.

There was chatter a couple teams inquired, including the Montreal Canadiens.

Eichel to Get Surgery Soon

The Buffalo Sabres announced that forward Jack Eichel will undergo surgery to fix a herniated disc in his neck. The club announced on Wednesday that they expect him to make a full recovery and be ready for the first game of next season.

Jack Eichel Buffalo Sabres
Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

There was talk surrounding an Eichel trade earlier this season and while that didn’t happen, insiders will be watching closely to any talks connected to the center this offseason. It’s not likely he’s moved while recovering from an injury, but the Sabres are likely to undergo some serious roster changes and Eichel may be among the names the team considers moving if the right return is there.

Amirov to Join Maple Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today they have signed forward Rodion Amirov to a three-year entry level contract for the 2021-22 season. With his Ufa is now complete, Amirov will be joining the Marlies and Maple Leafs development program after visa and quarantine requirements are met. 

As per Chris Johnston of Sportsnet, Amirov becomes the latest Leafs prospect to forego performance bonuses in his entry-level contract, which will make him easier to recall to the NHL when he’s ready. Deal includes $92,500 signing bonus and $832,500 NHL/$80,000 AHL salary.

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