NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs, Oilers, Blue Jackets, Sabres, More

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Toronto Maple Leafs should be getting a serious boost to their lineup on Thursday with a new arrival set to join the team. Meanwhile, there’s potential news on Zach Hyman’s injury from Sunday evening. Columbus Blue Jackets’ head coach John Tortorella announced on Monday that forward Max Domi will be a healthy scratch and there’s talk that Edmonton Oilers defenseman Oscar Klefbom hasn’t decided upon his playing future. Finally, were the Buffalo Sabres forced to turn down a first-round pick for Taylor Hall?

Foligno to Join Maple Leafs Thursday

The Maple Leafs are expected to have newcomer Nick Foligno in the lineup on Thursday against the Winnipeg Jets, this according to his interview with NHL.com’s Daren Millard via The Chirp Podcast. Foligno made reference to the upcoming game and talked as though he’ll be in the lineup. He told Millard on the podcast that it will be exciting to debut against his ex-teammate Pierre-Luc Dubois and noted:

We’ll face off against each other for the first time, so the familiar face across the way. It will be nice to probably have a practice but I rather … let’s go. I’m here to play for them and get this thing going, so I probably prefer to jump right into the door.

It looks like Foligno will slot in on the top line with Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner. He said he’s eager to play with them and marveled in their skill level. He’s also excited to join a team that has other older veterans on it.

Hyman Injury News

Darren Dreger was on Leafs Breakfast and discussed the potential of Zach Hyman being out long-term after taking a knee-on-knee hit from Alex Edler in Sunday’s game against the Canucks. Dreger says that early reports are that it’s not as bad as it might have appeared.

NHL Player Safety has announced that Vancouver’s Alexander Edler will have a hearing today for his hit on Hyman.

Related: Creative Trade Strategy Oilers Can Use to Move James Neal

Blue Jackets Make Domi a Healthy Scratch

Tortorella announced on Monday that Domi will be a healthy scratch when the team takes on the Florida Panthers. The coach would not go into detail about him sitting the forward but speculation is that the decision is based upon Domi losing his cool twice in two games.

Tortorella benched Domi on Saturday when he lost his temper against Dallas with Rhett Gardner and it seems like the coach is trying to squash whatever is going on there. Domi did admit in an interview that he took a bad penalty, but that he did so because players weren’t honoring the code of answering the bell after hitting someone in the head.

Might Klefbom Retire?

Oilers GM Ken Holland told Terry Jones of The Edmonton Journal that he’s unsure that defenseman Oscar Klefbom has made a decision about continuing his career following shoulder surgery. The plan is to speak with Klefbom in June and July as they get closer to the expansion draft and free agency.

Oscar Klefbom Edmonton Oilers
Oscar Klefbom, Edmonton Oilers (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Klefbom has two more seasons left on his contract worth an annual average value of $4.167 million and while getting him back healthy would be the Oilers priority, if he decides not to return, at least Holland has a better idea of how to move forward.

Holland said:

“Obviously I have to make decisions about our team heading into the expansion draft and who we protect and also about free agency as to whether he’s thinking about playing next year or not…. Obviously I’m going to be watching our team for the rest of the regular season and hopefully the playoffs and make some decisions, get information on Oscar Klefbom, and to watch and evaluate before I submit our protection list.

source – ‘Terry Jones: Ken Holland not in position to make splash for Oilers on trade deadline day’ Terry Jones – Edmonton Journal – 04/12/2021

Sabres Were Offered a First-Round Pick

Luke Fox of Sportsnet reports that the Buffalo Sabres had at least one trade offer that included a first-round pick according to Brian Lawton on Nick Kypreos‘ podcast. “I know for a fact a team that offered a first-round pick. And there’s more than one. It cost the Buffalo Sabres millions of dollars.”

Lawton adds that Sabres GM Kevyn Adams likely didn’t insist that Taylor Hall give the team at least five teams that he could be traded to and that’s what cost the Sabres at this year’s trade deadline. Lawton said. “If the player says, ‘I’ll go to one team,’ say, ‘Good luck in the summer, dude. It ain’t happening—because I can’t trade you to one team without embarrassing this organization.’ ”