NHL Rumors: Zetterberg, Nurse, Voynov, More

In today’s rumor rundown, Henrik Zetterberg’s season is more in question than it’s ever been, the Oilers are contemplating their options as it pertains to Darnell Nurse, Craig Anderson lays down the gauntlet in Ottawa and there is some discrepancy about the status of Slava Voynov.

Things Not Looking Good For Henrik Zetterberg

While speculation has surrounded Henrik Zetterberg’s health, it’s been unclear as to whether or not he’ll be ready to play the 2018-19 season. Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill provided an update and things don’t look good.

Henrik Zetterberg Red Wings
Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings, December 20, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

MLive’s Ansar Khan reported the prognosis is that Zetterberg will likely not be ready for NHL training camp and that things are looking doubtful for the season if he doesn’t make it there.  Zetterberg’s back issues are not dissipating and the Red Wings can place his $6.083MM contract on LTIR if he is deemed unable to play during his physical at training camp next month.

While the Red Wings would rather not play the season without Zetterberg, his immediate injury situation opens up options for them.

Related: NHL Rumors: Rangers, Leafs, Predators in Trade Market?

Oilers Waiting On Nurse Deal?

Kurt Leavins of the Edmonton Journal writes the Edmonton Oilers may be waiting to sign restricted free agent defenseman, Darnell Nurse. The team may want to see what happens with the situation in Vegas between the Golden Knights and RFA defenseman Shea Theodore. Ken Campbell of The Hockey News agreed and added the agents for all four d-man restricted free agents — Noah Hanifin, Josh Morrissey, Darnell Nurse, and Shea Theodore — could be using the other’s deals as leverage. Nurse’s agent Anton Thun said, “There is a little bit of waiting for the shoe to drop. You have a group of guys who are all in the same basket and one expedites the others.”

Darnell Nurse OIlers
Darnell Nurse, Edmonton Oilers, Oct. 21, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Ideally, the Oilers would like to get a long-term deal done but a two-year deal in the $3 to $4 million per season range seems more likely. Speculation was the Oilers and Nurse’s camp had only discussed a bridge deal due to the Oilers cap troubles, but Andrej Sekera’s injury and the potential the team will put him on LTIR means a long-term deal is not impossible.

Leavins then discussed the idea of the Oilers not using the freed up money on Nurse and going after a player like Erik Karlsson. With Sekera out, the team could technically fit Karlsson’s $6.5 million salary but like most NHL teams interested in the Senators d-man, an extension is a big question mark. The number of Oilers roster changes that would have to occur as a result would make that trade difficult.

Leavins thinks the Oilers might instead decide between a player like Nurse on a long-term deal and Justin Faulk out of Carolina. He doesn’t believe the assets to acquire Faulk would be as high considering all that the team got for Jeff Skinner.

Related: NHL Rumors: Hayes, Karlsson, Athanasiou, More

Craig Anderson Too Old For This…

Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Citizen elaborated on the rumors Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson requested a trade in June. Anderson didn’t confirm the rumor but did say that he has no interest in repeating a season like last year where the team was terrible and surrounded by so much drama. “I love Ottawa and I love playing in Ottawa,” Anderson told TSN. “My only comment on that is that I’m too old for drama and I don’t want anything to do with drama.”

Craig Anderson and Erik Karlsson - Ottawa Senators
Craig Anderson and Erik Karlsson (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

If Anderson has made this clear to the organization he’s not interested in being part of a hockey soap opera, how long before the team is looking at trading the netminder? There is nothing but drama in Ottawa this season and what’s been happening with players like Erik Karlsson, Mark Stone, potentially Matt Duchene and others is only the start of what will be a hundred questions surrounding the team this year.

Anderson suggested he knew nothing about the Karlsson and Mike Hoffman situation but added, “Hopefully, we’ve resolved all that… I’ve got no interest in going anywhere else as long as we can clean up what was going on this summer.”

Related: NHL Rumors: Eberle, Seguin, Hanifin, More

Voynov Returning or Not?

There are some conflicting reports about the status of former NHL defenseman Slava Voynov. John Shannon reported that NHL source says the former Los Angeles King has NOT been cleared to return to the league while Deputy chairman of the SKA board of directors Alexander Medvedev announced this evening that Slava Voynov got permission to return to the NHL. Right now, it appears the NHL’s report is a response to rumors they had cleared Voynov and want to make it clear, they have not.

If the NHL does decide to change their minds and allow for a Voynov return he will probably face a suspension from the league once given the approval to play. On August 26, 2018, it was reported, that Bill Daly said,” “Disciplinary process [for Voynov] is still being discussed.”