In today’s NHL rumor rundown, the Anaheim Ducks won’t likely be players in the trade market unless it’s to sell, the Edmonton Oilers are still working on a Darnell Nurse deal, and the Chicago Blackhawks just lost two big names for the season. Finally, does a recent photo posted by Alex Ovechkin hint at the future of Ilya Kovalchuk?
Ducks to Stay the Course
Eric Stephens of The Athletic writes that the way the season is going for the Anaheim Ducks, they’ll be a draft lottery team and the odds are they pick high in the first round. That makes their earlier plans to add a veteran or larger-contract player to the roster a moot point.
The Ducks had been in the market for Justin Faulk in the offseason and Kevin Shattenkirk. Instead, they added Erik Gudbranson. Once they realized they were not likely a playoff team, they likely also realized sending a first-round pick for a player like Taylor Hall, Torey Krug or Chris Kreider didn’t make sense.
Stephens writes of GM Bob Murray:
Murray, when negotiating his contract extension last December, sold owners Henry and Susan Samueli on his plan to turn over the team and what amount of short-term pain it might bring. He takes in losses as if he’s still the hard-nosed defenseman that logged over 1,000 NHL games. His team is hurting, figuratively and literally. But as he has often done as an executive, the 65-year-old is staying logical and rational even when he becomes emotional.
“We’ve got to stay the course of what we’re trying to do,” he said. “So far, Henry and Susan are wonderful with it. We’ll just be patient and stay the course.”Source – ‘ Losses and injuries make Ducks feel pain of rebuild year’ Eric Stephens – The Athletic – 12/19/2019
Related: Anaheim Ducks Logo History
Blackhawks Lose Seabrook and de Haan
On Thursday, Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston confirmed that Brent Seabrook and Calvin de Haan are both going to miss the remainder of the NHL season. The team posted a medical update, including listing Brandon Saad as out for three more weeks.
Will the Blackhawks try to replace either player, or will they settle into the idea that these losses cement them as a non-playoff team? There will also be plenty of speculation as to what this means for the remainder of Seabrook’s career. There was already whispers the team might try to remove his contract from the books through career-ending injury on LTIR.
Kovalchuk to Capitals?
We know having played on team Russian together has probably made Ilya Kovalchuk and Alex Ovechkin close friends but did a recent photo posted by the Washington Capitals sniper suggest Kovalchuk might be joining him?
While there’s no suggestion of Kovalchuk talking to the Capitals in this photo, the timing is interesting and people will certainly try to connect the dots. Kovalchuk is now a free agent and there was some speculation the Capitals might be interested in signing him at the NHL minimum. There were also reports Kovalchuk wanted to stay in the NHL and that he’d prefer to go to a contender.
The pieces all seem to fit here. I wonder what he and Ovechkin were talking about?
Could Oilers Move Darnell Nurse?
David Staples of the Edmonton Journal says he doesn’t believe Darnell Nurse is worth Jacob Trouba-type money but could be worth a deal in the $6 million range. If Nurse’s agent Anton Thun wants more, it may be time move him.
Bob Stauffer of Oilers Now has brought up comparable contracts for Nurse and included Winnipeg Jets Josh Morrissey at $6.25 million per season over eight years and New York Rangers Trouba at $8 million per season over seven years. Brian Burke agrees the Trouba contract is an abnormality and Nurse isn’t worth anywhere near that kind of money.
There is no way on earth Nurse should get close to Trouba money mainly because Trouba should not have gotten that kind of money. Just because the New York Rangers grossly overpaid for Trouba does not mean that any d-man with remotely similar skills and free agency status must also get the same amount.source – ‘NHL insider says if Darnell Nurse can get Josh Morrissey money “he should take it and run to the bank” ‘- David Staples – Edmonton Journal – 12/20/2019
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.”