NHL Rumors: Senators, Maple Leafs, Oilers, Bruins

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, there is an update on the status of Josh Norris and the Ottawa Senators. Meanwhile, the Toronto Maple Leafs are ready to give a good look to Joey Anderson who is competing for a bottom-six role.

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What names are the Edmonton Oilers being linked to and are they a fair reflection of the actual players they’ll chase before the NHL Trade Deadline? Finally, are people in Boston getting worried about the quiet surrounding David Pastrnak negotiations?

Senators Tell Norris Not To Rush Return

According to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, “Coach D.J. Smith told Norris today that there’s no pressure to return. As I noted today the timeline for a possible return is sometime in January.” Garrioch notes that it looks like there’s a good chance he plays this season, but he’ll need to undergo more tests and be cleared for action. He writes:

If the doctors aren’t happy with the progress he has made, then Norris will go under the knife and he’ll be back for camp in September. But it’s fair to say he’s trending in the right direction and if all goes well then there’s a chance he’s ready to play in January.

source – ‘SNAPSHOTS: Likelihood of return by Josh Norris this season increasing’ Bruce Garrioch – Ottawa Sun – 12/11/2022
Josh Norris Ottawa Senators
Josh Norris, Ottawa Senators (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Also with the Senators, it is believed the NHL has gotten involved in the sale process of the team and has made it known to interested buyers that they would like Ryan Reynolds to be included in the ownership group of the team. While it would be a minority stake in the franchise, they want him involved because he could bring a ton of promotion for the franchise and the NHL as a whole.

Garrioch explains:

League sources confirmed to this newspaper Friday that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly were making it clear to anybody bidding to buy the Ottawa Senators that the head office in New York wanted Reynolds to be a minority partner. Not only does the NHL believe Reynolds can tell the story of the purchase of the Senators through his Los Angeles-based production company, Maximum Effort, but the league’s marketing people also believe they can’t buy the exposure the 46-year-old Vancouver-born actor can generate.

source – ‘The NHL has told anybody interested in the Senators that Ryan Reynolds should play a role’ – Bruce Garrioch – Ottawa Sun – 12/9/2022

Every group that has looked at the team thus far has been told to reach out to Reynolds.

Time to Give Joey Anderson Some Runway

Maple Leafs’ head coach Sheldon Keefe told reporters, “It’s time for us to give him a little runway to see what he can do.” He was recently called up and he was decent in the one game he’s got for the Leafs this season. He is defensively responsible and is among the best in the Marlies’ system at limiting defensive zone turnovers. He’s being viewed as a bottom-six guy with the ability to help kill penalties.

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He’s not the fastest player, so his lack of speed does limit what he can do, but he’s smart. He’ll be competing for a spot against players like Pontus Holmberg, Denis Malgin, and Wayne Simmonds.

Names Being Linked to the Edmonton Oilers

Allan Mitchell took a look at the early prospects GM Ken Holland might have when it comes to finding a trade partner ahead of this season’s NHL Trade Deadline. He writes that the list he’s looking at now likely isn’t reflective of the list he’ll be looking at when he’s ready to make a deal.

Zack MacEwen Philadelphia Flyers
Zack MacEwen, Philadelphia Flyers (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

That said, in the early going, there are a few names being tied to the Oilers:  Zack MacEwen, Jakob Chychrun, Erik Karlsson, John Klingberg, and Max Domi. A trade is not close for the Oilers, who are waiting for some teams to think they are out of the playoff mix. Mitchell writes:

It’s also true that several teams still believe the playoffs are possible. Losses need to pile up, because losing means a team is more likely to trade a veteran asset. That takes time. Looking at a 20-name list now includes the entire NHL universe, and losses by specific teams will change those lists a great deal.

source – ‘Lowetide: Will Oilers pro scouts help identify quality at the deadline?’ – Allan Mitchell – The Athletic – 12/12/2022

Could Pastrnak Cost the Bruins $11 Million Per Season?

With news that Xander Bogaerts is leaving the Boston Red Sox, there is some nervousness in Boston that David Pastrnak could follow suit. Talk about his next deal has popped up again and Joe Haggerty of Boston Hockey Now writes that people are expecting forward David Pastrnak to get an eight-year contract in the neighborhood of $88 million.

The sides continue to talk according to agent JP Barry last week but there is no deal on the horizon and Haggerty writes that it has, “been eerily quiet on the contract front while the 26-year-old right winger is predictably tearing it up in his contract year.”