In today’s NHL rumors rundown, there is plenty of news surrounding the Edmonton Oilers, including talk from defenseman Oscar Klefbom about his surgery and future with the team. The Winnipeg Jets are dealing with some internal conflicts and the Toronto Maple Leafs are trying to help out their AHL franchise. Finally, what is the status on Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price?
Klefbom Talks Future With Oilers
Four weeks after Klefbom underwent important shoulder surgery, he says he feels good. He also says he’s taking things one week at a time and doesn’t know whether he’ll be able to return to the NHL. He noted his plan is to do what he can to get back to playing hockey, but it’s far too soon to know anything.
When asked if he would be upset if the Oilers chose not to protect him at the NHL Expansion Draft because of the uncertainty of his injury, he responded, “I wouldn’t be shocked.” He added:
“Obviously I want to be here and my whole NHL career has been here in Edmonton. I love the city and I love the organization and the guys here. But, it’s business. I understand Kenny is in a situation…” He noted that he’s just going to do what he can do and the rest isn’t up to him. He’s going to try and be ready for when the puck drops and whether that’s in Edmonton or Seattle, “that’s not really up to me.”
In other Oilers news, the team will be without winger Zack Kassian for the next little while as head coach Dave Tippett told reporters the forward is week-to-week after suffering a lower-body injury early in Wednesday’s game against Montreal.
Jets Updates, Including Adam Lowry and Mark Scheifele
Jets center Adam Lowry didn’t play Saturday night after taking a hit to the head from Toronto forward Alex Galchenyuk on Thursday versus the Toronto Maple Leafs. Sportsnet’s Ken Wiebe noted that Lowry hasn’t been diagnosed with a concussion, but the team did want to keep him out as a precautionary measure.
In other Jets news, head coach Paul Maurice wasn’t terribly happy with forward Mark Scheifele who didn’t see the ice for 21 minutes of playing time after a slow change that led to a goal against. It was an interesting decision to sit one of his best players with the team down by two goals but Maurice said after the game, “We have some things that we value as a group. Mark’s a real competitive guy. Sometimes, that gets the better of him, I think. We just need to adhere to our core values.”
Maurice said of choosing to bench him at that time that it was the right decision to deal with it when the team is struggling and the team having lost three in a row, it’s important not to let the fundamentals get away from the team.
This came just a couple of days after goaltender Connor Hellebuyck called out the coach for pulling him from a game that he wanted to finish.
Spezza Spearheading AHL Fundraiser
Knowing how tough things have been financially for a number of the AHL players this season, Jason Spezza is leading the charge when it comes to helping ensure that the AHL’s Toronto Marlies players are getting paid in full this season.
The veteran center has created a ‘player’s pool’ and asked other Maple Leafs teammates to chip, the money going to their AHL players and potential future teammates. John Tavares talked about the initiative with media and noted:
I have to give Spezz a lot of credit on this one. He kind of brought it to the forefront from the leadership standpoint, and the leadership group thought it was really important. I think we know – society as a whole, but certainly in our game – how tough a year it is for so many. So, within the organization, we wanted to make sure we try to take care of our own.
Essentially, because some players on the team are making less than $30K this year, Spezza felt this was the right thing to do.
Price Returns to Montreal for Treatment
The Canadiens won’t play another game until Wednesday. That gives Price a bit more time to get checked out and hopefully heal up after he suffered a concussion at the hands of Alex Chiasson in a game versus the Edmonton Oilers this past week.
The backstop returned to Montreal to receive further treatment for his concussion. Head coach Dominique Ducharme ruled the netminder out for at least a week and the Canadiens are hoping he’ll be good to go not longer after get back to game action in a few days.
The Canadiens are also without Jonathan Drouin, who missed Friday’s game against the Calgary Flames due to a non-COVID-19 illness,. The coach said Drouin was not feeling much better on Saturday.
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.”