NHL Rumors: Senators, Blackhawks, Oilers, Maple Leafs

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Ottawa Senators have a player in Alex Formenton that needs to sign by today if he’s going to play this season. Where are things at? There was a story floating around the Chicago Blackhawks when it came to Patrick Kane that turned out to be untrue.

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Should the Edmonton Oilers be worried about Evander Kane and are the Toronto Maple Leafs thinking about making space for or trading Matthew Knies?

Senators and Alex Formenton News

As per multiple sources, including Chris Johnston, “It’s deadline day for Alex Formenton: The #Sens restricted free agent must sign a contract by 5 p.m. ET in order to be eligible to play this season.” The team needs to make up their mind with the RFA and Frank Seravalli notes that the Senators have been trying to trade him, with no luck to this point.

It doesn’t feel like the Senators are going to sign Formenton. Seravalli adds, “The Ottawa Senators have seemingly moved with little intention to negotiate and/or sign Formenton over the months since he did not sign his qualifying offer.” Remember, there is underlying uncertainty around what’s going to happen with the player and whether he’ll be facing discipline for potential involvement in the Team Canada 2018 World Junior Championship team’s sexual assault case.

Related: NHL Rumors: Bruins, Stars, Maple Leafs, Red Wings, Canucks

If there is a team that might be willing to take a chance on him, the NHL insider believes the list of potential landing spots is small. The Vegas Golden Knights and Carolina Hurricanes are the teams he mentioned.

Kane Rumors Squashed

There was talk circulating that Patrick Kane might have informed the Chicago Blackhawks that his preference would be to play out this season with the team and then explore the free-agent market. According to Elliotte Friedman in the latest 32 Thoughts article, that is not an accurate report.

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He writes, “…there were rumours he might prefer to play out the season in Chicago and decide his future in free agency, but several sources threw cold water on that idea. As you can imagine, there’s been no extension talk in either case.” Kane has yet to make a decision on a potential pre-deadline trade, but one could imagine, if his plan is to leave the Blackhawks, he will let the club try to move him and get something back in return.

Will Kane Be Out Longer Than Expected?

Friedman also put to bed rumors that Evander Kane might be out longer than anticipated after he revealed during After Hours interview that week that he’s still not gotten feeling back in his thumb. Apparently, when dealing with severed nerves, this is not uncommon. Friedman notes, “a couple of doctors indicated that is not unusual and not — at this point — a cause for concern. It can take a while for that to return. At this point, his timeline is unchanged.”

Evander Kane Edmonton Oilers
Evander Kane, Edmonton Oilers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

This hasn’t changed how the Oilers feel about their team toughness and there is talk they would like to add another player in that department. Friedman says GM Ken Holland is looking for depth forwards with an edge, but isn’t pushing the issue, nor will they make a trade that isn’t ideal. The team is missing a number of key forwards and they believe they’ll be a lot better when those forwards are back.

Maple Leafs Want to Open Lane for Matthew Knies

Finally, Friedman took a look at the Maple Leafs and noted: “There’s the possibility of adding a left-shot scorer, but that’s not the priority and I think they’d also like to show Matthew Knies there’s a path when he’s ready to leave NCAA Minnesota.” This comes after comments by Nick Kypreos that the Leafs might be interested in trading for Dante Fabbro and that it could cost Knies to get that deal done.

The chatter has been around the Leafs’ defense and goaltending but the team has gone on a run and sits fourth in the NHL standings. It appears those who were thinking the sky was falling in Toronto have calmed down a little and the team is looking at their overall team and trying to figure out where there might be holes that need filling.