In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Vancouver Canucks have brought in Jim Rutherford as the new interim GM and President of Hockey Operations. How long has he signed for and what are the next steps for the Canucks? Meanwhile, one journalist examines the possibility of the New York Rangers and Chicago Blackhawks making a trade that would include Patrick Kane. Finally, what is holding up a Jake DeBrusk trade?
Canucks Hire Jim Rutherford, Possible GM Candidates
The Vancouver Canucks have gone with a veteran as their new president of hockey operations. Jim Rutherford has been hired and will also take on the role of interim general manager until a search to replace him in that role can be completed. Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic notes that Rutherford has signed a three-year deal just days after Bruce Boudreau was given a two-year deal to coach. Many believe this means the Canucks are not looking at a rebuild.
Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini released a statement on the decision to hire Rutherford:
It is time for a new vision and a new leader who will set a path forward for this team. Jim has tremendous experience building and leading winning organizations and I believe he will help build the Vancouver Canucks into a team that can compete for championships again.
Rutherford is known for making blockbuster deals and averaged nearly a trade a month in his recent tenure as GM of the Pittsburgh Penguins. It will be interesting to see if he looks to make changes to this Canucks roster or saves that job for the new GM he hires.
Thomas Drance and Harman Dayal of The Athletic took a look at possible candidates for the GM job and listed the following: Jason Botterill, Stan Smyl, Mike Gillis, Laurence Gilman, Hayley Wickenheiser, Marc Bergevin, Scott Mellanby, Eustance King, Chris MacFarland, Ryan Johnson, Henrik and Daniel Sedin, J.P. Barry, Josh Flynn, Mike Futa, Ray Ferraro, Craig Conroy, Ross Mahoney, John Ferguson Jr., Kevin Weeks, Alexandrea Mandrycky, and John Chayka. They write:
Botterill was the Penguins’ key capologist and oversaw a pro scouting portfolio under Rutherford in Pittsburgh. Now that the Canucks have landed Rutherford as president, you can bet that Botterill’s name would be at the very top of Rutherford’s list of GM candidates.source – ‘Canucks hockey operations leadership search: Who could join Jim Rutherford in Vancouver?’ – Thomas Drance and Harman Dayal – The Athletic – 12/09/2021
A Patrick Kane to Rangers Trade Scenario
Larry Brooks of the New York Post wondered if the Rangers and Blackhawks would be open to talking about the possibility of a blockbuster trade that would include Patrick Kane going to the Rangers and something like Kaapo Kakko, Nils Lundqvist, Vitali Kravtsov, and a 2022 first-round pick going back to Chicago. He wonders if new Rangers’ GM Chris Drury would go for it knowing the Rangers would have a “super-line” that featured Kane, Artemi Panarin and Ryan Strome.
Brooks does acknowledge that Kane has a no-move clause and that there is no word coming out of Chicago that the team is looking to trade him right now. He also isn’t sure if now or next season would be the right time to consider a move like this. He notes that the team has a lot of work yet to do before they are a legitimate contender. He writes:
The team is not complete. Fortification is needed. A defenseman or two will need to be added. Depth will need to be added for a long run in the tournament. And there is a need for a top-six right wing. That is the need that would be filled by Patrick Kane.
ESPN.com’s: Emily Kaplan reports Blackhawks interim general manager Kyle Davidson and his staff are still evaluating their club and haven’t made a decision on the direction this team is going to go. Until that happens, there will be no discussion of asking Kane to waive his no-move clause.
DeBrusk Being Arbitration Eligible Causing Trade Issues
The Boston Bruins are looking to facilitate DeBrusk’s trade request even though Elliotte Friedman has reported they will only move the forward on their terms. Part of the issue in trading DeBrusk is that the 25-year old is arbitration-eligible and that is giving some teams pause.
The St. Louis Blues, Calgary Flames, and New York Rangers have all been connected to DeBrusk but some might want to know they can sign him to a longer-term extension before adding him and at a number they feel comfortable with.
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.”