NHL Rumors: Canucks, Jets, Predators, Blues, More

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Vancouver Canucks are set to start talking contract with former defenseman Nikita Tryamkin. How likely is a return to the organization? There are also reports the Winnipeg Jets were trying to acquire Jamie Oleksiak at this year’s trade deadline. What happened? Robin Lehner has apologized for some of his remarks during a Wednesday media rant, while also sticking to how he feels, and Tyler Bozak and Mattias Ekholm reportedly want to stay with their respective teams.

Tryamkin to Return to Canucks?

As per a report by Elliotte Friedman in his latest 31 Thoughts article, the Canucks intend to reopen conversations with Tryamkin in the next few days. He’s been playing in the KHL for the past four years and his agent says he’s a changed man. He contends he’s got a family, is much more mature and has taken a more serious approach to his diet and fitness.

Nikita Tryamkin
(Nikita Tryamkin. Photo: hc-avto.ru)

This would be the second time in a year’s time that talk of a Tryamkin return was out there. Rob Williams of the Daily Hive reports he was looking to return last year but the cap situation and uncertainty surrounding the pandemic make a deal in Vancouver tricky.

A return this year might not be easy either as the Canucks don’t exactly have a ton of cap space to work with.

Jets Were in on Oleksiak

We have previously reported the Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff had noted he tried to take what many would considering “big swings” at this year’s deadline. Because he can’t comment on other team’s players, he couldn’t confirm who he was targeting, but Friedman suggests it was Dallas Stars defenseman Jamie Oleksiak.

Ultimately, the Stars decided against moving the defenseman and the latest reports are that the organization is keen to re-sign him and come to terms on an extension before or after the expansion draft.

Bozak Wants to Stay With Blues

Jim Thomas of St. Louis Today writes that Blue’s center Tyler Bozak would like to re-sign with the team this offseason. Bozak, 35, is finishing up a three-year, $15 million deal and is due to become an unrestricted free agent this season.

Tyler Bozak St. Louis Blues
Tyler Bozak, St. Louis Blues (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

There was talk the Blues were open to moving him at this year’s deadline, mainly to free up money to add in an effort to make the playoffs. They are one point back of the Arizona Coyotes with four games in hand.

Thomas writes:

There’s no doubt the Blues respect Bozak as a person and a player. But with a flat salary cap for next season, and other contract concerns in terms of unrestricted and restricted free agents, the level of team interest in re-signing him is uncertain.

Given Bozak’s age, any deal probably would be short-term in length. And it probably would be for less than the $5 million a year deal he signed with the Blues as a free agent in 2018.

source – ‘Blues notebook: Bozak interested in returning next season’ – Jim Thomas – St. Louis Dispatch – 04/18/2021

Lehner Apologizes for Comments

While he stands by the fact that he believes the NHL lied to the players about vaccines, Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner has apologized for saying it feels like the players are living in a prison after getting their vaccinations.

He said:

“To put competitive edge before well being of people lives is wrong. As I said people are struggling with many different things mentally and we need to consider that as well. Then being lied to makes it worse. I love hockey and the league has done a lot of good things.

But this missed the mark. My bad to say it’s like prison and I apologize but with mental health issues that is developing in the world it develops problems mentally. We will see exactly how this effects everything with time. I don’t mean to offend anyone.

Ekholm Happy He Wasn’t Traded

According to Gentry Estes of The Tennessean, reports are that defenseman Mattias Ekholm is happy to still be with the Nashville Predators following weeks of trade chatter. There was a time he was the most coveted player on the trade bait boards, that is until Nashville found themselves in a playoff spot.

It’s not clear how close GM David Poile actually came to trading Ekholm but the ask was extremely high and the two sides are more inclined now to sign an extension and Poile has said he’d like to get a deal done. Estes writes:

General manager David Poile has suggested that Ekholm isn’t going anywhere. For what it’s worth, Poile has grumbled about the extent of the trade speculation this season, especially in Canadian media and especially as it related to Ekholm.

source – ‘Mattias Ekholm happy to still be with Predators after trade speculation, and they feel the same | Estes’ – Genty Estes – The Tennessean – 04/20/2021