In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Detroit Red Wings have lost another forward and the Toronto Maple Leafs are down a defenseman. Meanwhile, there are rumors out there that Artem Anisimov could leave the NHL next season and head to Russia, but his agent shoots down the speculation. Could Patrik Laine be looking to leave the Columbus Blue Jackets and P.K. Subban addressed his fans.
Larkin Done for the Season
The Red Wings can’t seem to catch a break on the injury front. After losing Tyler Bertuzzi, Bobby Ryan and Frans Nielsen, reports are now that Dylan Larkin is out as the team announced he will be shut down for the rest of the season. With nine goals and 23 points in 44 games, this is another big loss for Detroit.
The Red Wings are out of the running for this year’s playoffs and it’s best to just let their players sit, heal and try to bounce back next season.
Maple Leafs Lose Defenseman, Opportunity Opens Up
Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe will be forced to mix up the blue line corps for the foreseeable future as news surfaces that defenseman Zach Bogosian will be out of action for a minimum of four weeks. Rasmus Sandin will be the first player to benefit from the loss and get an increased opportunity, while newly-acquired Ben Hutton will also get a chance to show what he can do.
Moving Bogosian’s $1 million salary to long-term injured reserve and retroactive to when he last played might help the Leafs activate goaltender Frederik Andersen before the playoffs. It’s not a ton of cap space and there would be more work to do, but the extra money could come in handy.
Artem Anisimov Denies Rumors He’s Leaving Senators
A few rumors are making the rounds that forward Artem Anisimov might be leaving the NHL and headed to Russia to continue his hockey career. That said, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reached out to Anisimov’s agent Todd Diamond, who denied any report of his client returning to the KHL. He quotes Diamond who says, “his only focus is to continue his career in the NHL.”
It shouldn’t come as a shock if Anisimov does head to the KHL. He’s not had a strong season with two goals and six assists and if a team does sign him, it would likely be for near the league minimum. He’d make more money in Russia.
Does Laine Want to Leave Columbus?
Aaron Portzline of The Athletic was asked in a recent mailbag article if Laine’s body language suggests the Blue Jackets winger wants out of Columbus. Portzline quoted sources that said Laine does care about what’s going on with himself and this team and wants to be in Columbus moving forward.
I’ve poked around on this with people who know him well, including Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen. They insist that those are purely superficial reads, that Laine does care, that he wants to be here and that he’s been maligned this season by a debilitating lack of confidence. As for the contract, I’d suspect it’ll be a one-year contract that leaves Laine an RFA again next season.source – ‘Blue Jackets mailbag, part 1: Patrik Laine’s body language, Jarmo Kekalainen’s leash, trade suggestions’ – Aaron Portzline – The Athletic – 04/22/2021
The scribe adds that Laine has arbitration rights this season, and he would again next season under a one-year deal. This contract negotiation could get a bit tricky.
In other Blue Jackets news, Portzline notes the team will be cautious about moving one of their goaltenders. While there’s talk the team might try to trade Elvis Merzlikins or Joonas Korpisalo, the return could be underwhelming if the market for goaltenders is flooded this offseason.
That said, if there aren’t a ton of strong netminders available, teams like Colorado, Toronto or Washington could seek help between the pipes and be willing to pay for it.
Subban Addresses Fans About COVID-19 Fight
P.K. Subban doesn’t leave fans in the dark very often when it comes to his career or his personal life. As such, when the two mix, it’s not surprising that he would address his fans. He posted a video letting them know that he tested positive for the COVID-19 virus and is battling through it.
He says: “This COVID got right in my kitchen. Just wanted to say thank you everybody for gifts, well wishes, get well soon. I appreciate it. Love you guys so much.” He added, “This COVID thing hit me pretty hard, but just battling through it, working through it. Just remember, take care of yourselves, stay healthy, I love you guys and I definitely will be back in the mix soon.”
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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.”