NHL Rumors: Canucks, Bruins, Penguins, Oilers, All-Star Game

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, how involved will Jim Rutherford be in the decisions made in Vancouver, even after the Canucks hire a permanent general manager? Meanwhile, there are more updates on the Jakob Chychrun rumors, and might Jason Zucker or Kasperi Kapanen be made available when the Pittsburgh Penguins get healthy? Finally, despite the NHL season being paused, the NHL has not considered canceling the All-Star Game. Why?

Rutherford Wants to be Active In Canucks’ Decisions

As per Rick Dhaliwal, who quotes NHL insider Elliotte Friedman, he wonders if there will be a bit of a standoff between GM candidates and Jim Rutherford. Friedman was quoted saying, “I still think Rutherford will call lots of the shots in Vancouver, some GM candidates maybe would want more of a say, want the job but say a bit more power in VAN.”

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In other words, Rutherford will be selecting a GM who will work alongside him and be willing to work more as a tandem than a GM will full autonomy. This could rule out a number of potential candidates who would love the job but don’t want to be micromanaged.

Is Chychrun a Target for the Bruins?

Joe Haggerty of Boston Hockey Now noted the Bruins will likely be looking to add a No. 2 center and a left-shot defenseman before the NHL trade deadline. He believes the Bruins might try to bring David Krejci back to solve the center depth issue, but wonders if Boston would try to acquire Chychrun from the Arizona Coyotes.

Jakob Chychrun Arizona Coyotes
Jakob Chychrun, Arizona Coyotes (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Haggerty suggests the Bruins have the picks but might not have the young talent the Coyotes will want and wonders if Matt Grzelcyk, Jack Studnicka, a first- and a second-round pick would be enough?

Oilers Not a Likely Destination for Chychrun

Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek talked about the teams that might be interested in Chychrun and said the Edmonton Oilers are likely not among the more serious suitors. Friedman noted that a couple of his sources said he doesn’t think it’s going to be the Oilers. “They’re not in it as much as some other teams are,” he said.

Related: 4 Free Agents That Won’t Be Back With the Oilers Next Season

Friedman did admit that he could be wrong and Marek suggests that Chychrun does sound like he would be a perfect fit in Alberta. While Friedman agreed, he just reiterated that he was told it likely won’t be Edmonton. If there’s a reason to point to as to why the Oilers might not be in the mix, it’s likely a salary cap situation combined with the Oilers’ hesitation to give up the prospects needed to make the trade.

Is Zucker Expendable in Pittsburgh?

With the emergence of Evan Rodrigues, Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now wonders if bumping Kasperi Kapanen and Jason Zucker down in the lineup has made either player someone who could potentially be traded. In Zucker’s case, he only has 10 points in 30 games and when the team gets healthy, he might be a player the Penguins consider moving.

Jason Zucker Pittsburgh Penguins
Jason Zucker, Pittsburgh Penguins (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Kingerski quotes coach Mike Sullivan who said:

“And so as we start to get a healthy lineup, he has certainly made the discussion–from a line combination standpoint–interesting from our standpoint, a coaching staff standpoint, and we’ll continue to have those discussions moving forward. The way Evan has performed to this point, he’s made a really strong case for himself.”

Kingerski also notes that there’s a belief Bryan Rust will test the free-agent market this summer which means the team might have to make a decision on his future.

All-Star Game in Vegas Still A Go

Greg Wyshynski points out that the All-Star Game is still a go, despite the NHL season being put on pause. He writes, “Have been hearing that there has been no talk about canceling the Vegas NHL All-Star weekend at this time. Obviously, there have been other priorities that the NHL has been dealing with.”

Part of the reason is that the NHL’s deal with their new television network partner wants the game and it’s a huge revenue generator for the league. Because the NHL can control the environment and limit the player’s access to COVID issues, there’s a belief the NHL can avoid any real issues.