In today’s NHL rumor rundown, night one of the NHL’s qualifying round included some great hockey action, but it wasn’t a wonderful night for the Winnipeg Jets who lost two key players. In Boston, the Bruins have a player returning, but will he see game action? Questions about the New York Rangers’ netminder Igor Shesterkin were partially answered, and the Detroit Red Wings will need to make a decision on Frans Nielsen. Finally, what is going on with Jake Virtanen in Vancouver and will Drake Caggiula be suspended?
Jets Lose Scheifele and Laine
In what some are calling a dirty hit and others calling a hit that wasn’t malicious, Matthew Tkachuk’s right skate appeared to take out or at least turn Mark Scheifele’s left foot to the point of an injury on Saturday during the Calgary Flames versus Winnipeg Jets game. Scheifele went into the boards awkwardly, stayed down in pain, and didn’t put weight on his left foot on his way off the ice. He did not return.
While the hockey world debates the hit, Jets head coach Paul Maurice called the play intentional and said it was a “filthy, dirty kick to the back of the leg.”
TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that Scheifele will be getting checked out and fans in Winnipeg will wait to see how long one of their stars is out of action for. Dreger writes:
As the Jets indicated last night, Mark Scheifele will be seen by specialists today with post-MRI result to determine the extent of injury…next step, etc. @NHLPlayerSafety continues to review the play, although “freak accident” is a common response to what was a horrific play.
Unfortunately, the Jets didn’t only lose Scheifele.
Patrik Laine headed to the locker room after a collision with Flames defenseman Mark Giordano in the third period. Laine will also see a specialist and is projected to miss time.
Shesterkin’s Absence Likely Related to Injury
Igor Shesterkin’s late scratch against Carolina on Saturday had a lot of people talking. He was the favorite to be the starter in net for the Rangers and when he was shown on camera during the game, it answered a few questions about what was ailing him.
Larry Brooks of the New York Post clarifies that it’s believed Shersterkin suffered an injury and not playing is not related to a positive COVID-19 test. He notes that the injury was likely either suffered at practice on Friday or during their tune-up game against the Islanders on Wednesday. Head coach David Quinn told reporters, including Stephen Whyno of the Associated Press, he’s unsure if Shesterkin will be available on Monday for the second game of the series.
Another Rangers player, winger Jesper Fast left the game Saturday after the first shift. It appeared he was hurt after taking a hit from former Rangers teammate Brady Skjei. There’s no word yet on how long he may be out for.
Kase Joins Bruins
Boston Bruins winger Ondrej Kase has joined the team in Toronto, according Joe Haggerty of NBC Sports Boston. Kase missed all of camp and he will not play Sunday. It’s unclear as to when he’ll see game action considering he’s likely not in game shape.
Caggiula to Have Hearing With NHL Player Safety
The Chicago Blackhawks are facing the first potential suspension of this season’s tournament as Drake Caggiula is going to have a hearing with the NHL Player Safety Committee for his hit on Tyler Ennis in Game 1 between the Edmonton Oilers and Chicago Blackhawks.
There is certainly some debate as to the intent of the hit and the play did not actually result in a penalty during the game. In fact, Ennis actually received a delay of game penalty for shooting the puck over the glass in the same series.
Canucks Quitting on Virtanen?
Despite the fact GM Jim Benning said not to read too much into Jake Virtanen not playing for the Canucks, Don Taylor of TSN Radio Vancouver says, “I just get the feeling they’re done with Jake.”
This is his 1st opportunity to play in a postseason, and this happens. Travis Green has seen Virtanen since 2014, he doesn’t believe in him. He’s seen his act. Are they going to commit to him? No way”
A Frans Nielsen Buyout Not Likely
Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press writes that she doesn’t believe the Detroit Red Wings will buy out the contract of forward Frans Nielsen. Nielsen has two years left on his contract at a $5.25 million salary-cap hit.
There are two years left on Nielsen’s contract. It is doubtful GM Steve Yzerman will buy him out because it’d be prohibitive — it would cost around $3.4 million against the salary cap in 2020-21 and roughly $4.4 million in 2021-22. Nielsen is still a good skater and passer, and is a dependable penalty killer.source – ‘Believe it or not, Frans Nielsen can still help the Detroit Red Wings. Here’s how’ – Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press- 07/23/2020
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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.”