In today’s NHL rumors rundown, Jesse Puljujarvi of the Edmonton Oilers tested for COVID while the team was on the road in Seattle. Does that mean he’s stuck there over the holidays? Meanwhile, one scribe asks why the Arizona Coyotes wouldn’t want to build around Jakob Chychrun? Is there something going on no one knows about? The Carolina Hurricanes are looking to add before the deadline and might the Calgary Flames be prepared to make a big splash before March 21st?
Is Puljujarvi Stuck in Seattle?
With Puljujarvi testing positive while on the road, the Oilers were unable to avoid the exact scenario they were concerned about. The team traveled late to Seattle in the hopes that all positive tests would have been limited to Edmonton and anyone who couldn’t play wouldn’t travel. Now, Puljujarvi is seemingly stuck because he can’t charter with the team.
Mark Spector writes:
As for Puljujarvi, he can’t fly home on the Oilers charter now that he’s tested positive. We asked a team exec after the first period how the big Finn would get home to Edmonton. “We’re working on that,” came the reply.
What’s Wrong With Chychrun?
Luke Fox of Sportsnet wondered why the Arizona Coyotes would be gauging trade interest for defenseman Jakob Chychrun when he’s exactly the type of player the team should be building around. Knowing that pretty much every team would be interested if the blueliner is truly on the block, having three years left on his deal at $4.6 million should have been enough to confirm to the Coyotes the interest would be there.
Fox brings up the idea that maybe Chychrun is unhappy or his injury history is a problem for the organization. He’s had two knee surgeries and is currently on the IR. Fox says, “something feels odd about this one.”
Hurricanes Looking to Add
According to Anthony Di Marco of The Fourth Period, the Hurricanes have sniffed around defenseman John Klingberg from the Dallas Stars, but may also look to add in other areas. He writes:
The Canes – who overhauled their defense this summer, adding Ethan Bear, Ian Cole and Tony DeAngelo – may look to add in other areas, as the club has Stanley Cup aspirations this season. A team source confirmed to me in recent weeks that they have been doing their due diligence on what prices will look like around the league and the team will look for opportunities to improve the club.
Di Marco does admit that salary cap space will be an issue for the team so any deal might have to be “money in, money out”.
Will Flames Make a Big Splash?
Hailey Salvian of The Athletic was asked about the odds the Calgary Flames make a big splash before the NHL Trade Deadline and she noted that the Flames would like to add a depth defenseman and a high-impact forward.
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Whether that qualifies as a splash or not depends on your view of deadline moves but if the Flames can acquire someone like San Jose Sharks’ forward Tomas Hertl, Anaheim Ducks’ Rickard Rakell, Nashville Predators’ Filip Forsberg and the Seattle Kraken’s Jared McCann, then perhaps that’s considered a big move. Like other teams, the Flames are limited when it comes to salary cap space so salary retention would need to be part of those deals.
One name she connects to the Flames is Jake DeBrusk. She writes:
DeBrusk’s contract expires after this season and he’ll be an RFA with arbitration rights, and due a qualifying offer of $4.41 million. All that said, DeBrusk is someone I’ve had penciled on my list since last season, when Eric Duhatschek and I did our first Flames roundtable. Maybe he just needs a change of scenery. And maybe Calgary is that spot.source – ‘Will the Flames make a ‘big splash’ at the trade deadline? Is Evander Kane a possibility?: Mailbag’ – Hailey Salvian – The Athletic – 12/14/2021
Brett Connolly Will Have a Hearing
Chicago Blackhawks forward Brett Connolly will have a hearing on Sunday for “interference” on Dallas Stars forward Tanner Kero on Saturday. Kero was stretchered off the ice after going down hard from the hit and there is some debate about whether or not Connolly was predatory in this hit.
Some believe he read the play wrong and was thinking Kero was going to get the puck. Others believe Connolly knew that the puck wasn’t coming near the player and laid the hit in on someone who clearly had no idea Connolly was coming. Connolly received a five-minute major for interference and a game misconduct as a result.
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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.”