In today’s NHL rumors rundown, what really happened behind the scenes as it pertains to the Vancouver Canucks postponed return to play? Meanwhile, Ryan Getzlaf talks about how close a trade out of Anaheim actually was and the Edmonton Oilers may have a clear line in the sand when it comes to two pending UFAs. The Ottawa Senators plan to talk with Ryan Dzingel about a contract extension and there’s news on the how the playoffs will work for whatever Canadian team makes it to the Semifinals of the NHL Playoffs.
Behind the Scenes of Canucks Return to Play
Elliotte Friedman reported during the Saturday Headlines report that the Canucks held a Zoom call with the NHL Players Association saying they wanted to return to play, but weren’t prepared to do so this past Friday. Part of the issue was that not enough players were medically cleared. Thursday morning, of the 17 Canucks that were to go through their post-COVID medical testing, only four were cleared as able to play.
It was agreed that even a couple more days would give the team some time to get their players in a better spot to compete. There are still a few players who likely will not be ready for Sunday’s game. Thatcher Demko, Tyler Motte, and Olli Juolevi are still out, while Nate Schmidt and Jake Virtanen remain on the protocol list.
Oilers Might be Willing to Walk From Tyson Barrie and Nugent-Hopkins
Jonathan Willis of The Athletic answered some mailbag questions about the Oilers current offseason plans and mentioned both Tyson Barrie and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins pending negotiations with GM Ken Holland. Willis hints that perhaps there’s a clear line in the sand on both players.
First, he thinks because Holland has been open on his intentions have Evan Bouchard play a big part in next year’s team, he’s comfortable letting Bouchard fill Barrie’s role if the price on Barrie is too high. Willis says, “Having Barrie around blocks Bouchard’s progress.” One would imagine if Barrie agreed to a team-friendly deal, that conversation changes and the Oilers make a different move when it comes to the right side of their blue line.
When it comes to Nugent-Hopkins, Willis writes:
I’d look to re-sign him to a contract of no more than five years. I wouldn’t give him much of a raise — if one at all — on the $6 million average annual value he currently is signed at. .. Keeping him at the same rate would be wonderful for Oilers management with money coming off the books and the Oilers looking to take the next step.source – ‘Re-sign Ryan Nugent-Hopkins? Free-agency targets? What to do with Evan Bouchard? Oilers mailbag’ – Jonathan Willis – The Athletic – 04/17/2021
Nugent-Hopkins might have proved he’s far more valued as a winger than a center and that’s not necessarily worth big bucks in today’s NHL landscape. Frankly, the more time he misses and the more the Oilers continue to produce without him, his value drops.
Getzlaf Says He Talked To Ducks About Trade
As per a report by the Orange County Register, the day after the April 12 trade deadline, Elliott Teaford reported that Getzlaf acknowledged he held trade discussions with general manager Bob Murray. It never got to the point where he was close to considering waiving his no-movement clause.
Getzlaf said he was willing to accept a trade if it would help the team’s rebuilding plans, but it never came to that. As far as what’s next for him, he’s going to wait until the season ends before considering his future plans. He could either accept a huge pay cut or even consider retirement.
In other Ducks news, Eric Stephens of The Athletic is reporting that Murray was setting extremely high prices for Josh Manson and Rickard Rakell if he was going to be convinced to move them. Murray said:
“…sometimes making deals for draft picks that aren’t first-rounders doesn’t make a lot of sense for us right now if we’re trying to do things. My goal has been to get players that are already drafted and have a little bit of experience already if possible.”source – ‘What’s next for GM Bob Murray in rebuilding the Ducks? – Eric Stephens – 04/15/2021
Since the Ducks weren’t able to acquire what Murray was looking for, Stephens wondered if the Ducks will make a significant move with either player at the 2021 NHL Draft in July.
Senators to Talk With Dzingel
Bruce Garrioch is reporting that the Ottawa Senators plan to sit down with Dzingel and talk about a new contract in the offseason. Senators’ GM Pierre Dorion said he plans to chat with the pending UFA and his camp about an extension.
There was some chatter that Dzingel might be moved out of Ottawa before the NHL Trade Deadline, but reports suggested there wasn’t much interest from other teams. Dzingel has 8 goals and 12 points split between the Carolina Hurricanes and Senators this season. He will likely have to take a pay cut on the $3.375 million he’s making this season.
Canadian Team Home for the Playoffs
As per the panel on the Saturday Headlines report, the NHL is thinking about moving the Canadian team that advances out of the North Division to a U.S. NHL facility that is closer to their semifinal opponent. This would likely stay that team’s home for the remainder of the playoffs if they advance.
Congratulations to Patrick Marleau
San Jose Sharks forward Patrick Marleau played in his 1,767th game last night, tying Gordie Howe for the most games played in NHL history. It’s an amazing accomplishment.
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.”