In today’s NHL rumor rundown, the Edmonton Oilers have demoted a couple of players on the heels of a terrible run, there could be a suspension coming for one of the game’s best scorers, and how bad is Ilya Mikheyev’s injury? Finally, are the New York Rangers about to have a fire sale again?
Oilers Making Roster Moves
On the heels of another ugly performance and loss, the Edmonton Oilers have waived two players for the purpose of reassignment to the AHL. Both Brandon Manning and Marcus Granlund are being sent down if they go unclaimed. Granlund may get some interest as he’s only making $1.3 million on his deal and it expires at the end of the season.
The Oilers badly need to shake things up and these two moves may be just the start of things to come. Edmonton has gone from a team that was sitting at first in the Pacific Division to a team now in danger of finding themselves outside of the playoff picture.
Ovechkin to Face Suspension
Alex Ovechkin has one again decided to skip the All-Star Game this year. While he was voted as the captain of the Metropolitan Division, he told the media after a recent Washington Capitals’ game he’d be sitting out to focus on resting up for the second half of the season.
This is now the second time he’s done so as he skipped the All-Star Game last season in San Jose as well. He explained:
Thanks, first of all, fans for voting me. It’s a hard decision, but I have to listen to my body. I have to get ready for the second half of the year. I have to be healthy and focus on different things. It’s a hard decision, obviously, being the captain and missing the All-Star Game, but I have to do [what is] best for me and for my team.
Typically, skipping out means an automatic suspension from the league and it is likely he will face a similar consequence once again. He said of his upcoming suspension, “You don’t want to miss the game, but the rules are the rules.”
Related: The Worst Trades in NHL History
Ilya Mikheyev Out 3-4 Months
Toronto Maple Leafs forward Ilya Mikheyev suffered a nasty injury on Thursday night against the New Jersey Devils when the skate of Jesper Bratt sliced his right wrist. Mikheyev was immediately transported the hospital for treatment and the news is not good.
Word has come down this morning from agent Dan Milstein and later confirmed by the Maple Leafs organization that Mikheyev not only suffered damage to the artery in his wrist, but also the tendons. He could be out the rest of the season, possibly longer.
The team will have to find a way to replace the production of a player on pace for nearly 50 points on the year and that won’t be easy to do considering he was a bargain at just $925K and on pace for about 50 points. Considering the team was already looking for a backup goalie, adding this to the list only complicates things for GM Kyle Dubas.
KHL Not an Option For Ilya Kovalchuk
Speaking of possible replacements, it was revealed that if Ilya Kovalchuk doesn’t land an NHL job, he may be in tough to play anywhere for the remainder of the season.Sport-Express’ Igor Eronko notes (Twitter link) that the deadline for him to sign in that league came and went today without a deal in place.
This now makes him ineligible to play there for the rest of the season. His deadline for the NHL is February 24th but it is assumed someone will come calling before then. We’ve already mentioned two teams in this rumor rundown alone that could potentially use his skill set.
Rangers to Start Selling Assets
Brett Cyrgalis recently speculated that New York Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton could stage another trade deadline sell-off considering how unlikely the playoffs are starting to appear for his club.
Already on the list is Lias Andersson who is rumored to be attracting little-to-no interest. Added to Andersson’s name will be Chris Kreider, Jesper Fast, Ryan Strome, and goaltender Alexandar Georgiev as possible trade chips.