In today’s NHL rumors rundown, did the New York Rangers lose two of their key players? Will the San Jose Sharks and Edmonton Oilers have answers when it comes to Evander Kane’s situation before the playoffs begin?
What’s next for the Vegas Golden Knights, who were officially eliminated from playoff contention? Finally, what options might the Winnipeg Jets be looking at in free agency?
Rangers Lose Panarain and Copp
Did the New York Rangers just receive some incredibly bad news? Both Artemi Panarin and Andrew Copp left Tuesday night’s game between the Rangers and Carolina Hurricanes with injuries, but head coach Gerard Gallant was adamant that these were precautionary measures. As per NHL.com’s Dan Rosen: “Gallant said if this game were next week and it was the playoffs Panarin and Copp likely would have come back to play.”
Rosen added that they didn’t come back tonight because the Rangers are being cautious and don’t want to risk anything with the playoffs starting next week.
There is some concern that these injuries might be a little worse than the coach is suggesting. Panarin was asked if he wanted to rest of the final games last week and responded, “I am a wolf.” The feeling was that his plan was to play as much as possible.
Sharks Case With Evander Kane Update
TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reported that while one will be needed, there is no second day scheduled for Evander Kane’s grievance with the San Jose Sharks. They’d like to have the case resolved before free agency arrives and LeBrun explained: “They want a decision on this case before he’s a free agent and before the Sharks know what they have cap wise for free agency.”
Not only will this affect the Sharks and their ability to go out and pitch free agents, but it will affect the Oilers who are hoping to keep Kane and might not have to spend as much to retain his services if he knows that he’s getting a big chunk of his remaining salary from the Sharks. Elliotte Friedman also writes that any future meetings will have to wait until the Oilers are out of the playoffs. He adds, “What’s interesting is that, according to a few sources, there’s been almost nothing in the way of settlement talks. That can always change, however.”
What Now For Golden Knights?
With Vegas officially eliminated from the playoff conversation, Elliotte Friedman wondered what the repercussions the team will face in his latest “32 Thoughts” column. He focused a lot on Robin Lehner’s future and Friedman said, “We haven’t heard yet from Lehner – who is never shy”. He adds that there’s a possibility this gets more flammable before it calms. Lehner is under contract for three more seasons but it seems obvious he’s unhappy.
Friedman also wondered about Reilly Smith. He heard sources say an extension was nearly done. Others disputed that but said the two sides were talking. He hasn’t played since March 1.
There’s also a lot of talk about the fact that Jack Eichel still has not tasted the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Jets With Limited Free Agent Options
As insiders continue to report that the Winnipeg Jets are looking to make changes over the summer, James O’Brien of NBC Sports writes that making additions won’t be easy as they’ve got $16.2 million in salary cap room. Much of that will go to trying to re-sign Pierre-Luc Dubois — assuming he’s open to extending on a long-term deal.
Some names the Jets could pursue if they do want to spend some money are defenseman John Klingberg or center Nazem Kadri. Neither will come cheap. O’Brien also writes that Claude Giroux might be someone to watch as his two-way style could help the Jets in a big way.
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.”