In an NHL rumor rundown update, there was a lot to come out of the Saturday Headlines report with Chris Johnston and Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet. The news includes updates on Dustin Byfulgien, Kasperi Kapanen, Jacob Markstrom, Chris Kreider and others.
Dustin Byfuglien Not Likely to Play
Elliotte Friedman noted that Dustin Byfuglien’s playing future is getting clearer. Friedman said he’s not skating yet and that while the news isn’t 100%, “it does look like the most likely scenario is that he doesn’t play this season and they revisit his future in the summer and see where everything stands at the particular point in time.”
As for the Jets, if this is how this situation with Byfuglien gets finalized in the next few days, it would allow the Jets to do a few things at the deadline as it would free up a ton of cap space.
Kapanen Pulled From Maple Leafs Lineup
Chris Johnston noted that Kasperi Kapanen’s story is a developing one and that he was very much a surprise scratch from the Toronto Maple Leafs lineup against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday. He was at the game watching the Maple Leafs and the expectation was the Sheldon Keefe would address the story post game.
Kapanen was a full participant in Friday’s practice and was at the team meeting on Saturday morning. It was then revealed after the game that Kapanen was pulled as part of an “internal accountability” issue.
In other Leafs news, Johnston confirms that Jake Muzzin and the Maple Leafs have begun preliminary discussions about extending his contract. A pending unrestricted free agent, the sense Johnston is getting is that this has been a difficult negotiation so far. Muzzin loves playing in Toronto but has to weigh that against what he could get on the open market.
Jacob Markstrom Update in Vancouver
Certainly there are contract talks going on now between the Vancouver Canucks and Jacob Markstrom says Johnston. Word is that Markstrom doesn’t want things to play out publicly but that a two-year offer might be out there for the goaltender.
The Thatcher Demko situation and the expansion draft creates a bit of an issue there and there are a number of ways this could go for the Canucks. It’s a tough one to get a read on says Johnston.
Barkov and Kreider Injured?
During the Florida Panthers game against Montreal, Aleksander Barkov might have been injured. George Richards of the Miami Herald said that Barkov appeared to hurt his left knee going into the back boards. “The #FlaPanthers star center expected to have an MRI on Sunday to determine the severity of injury.”
This would be a huge loss for the Panthers but the latest appears to be that the Panthers believe the injury is not serious.
Chris Kreider was hurt in the second period of the Rangers game on Saturday when his teammate Mika Zibanejad accidentally hit him in the head when trying to jump over him during a play. The Rangers announced he would not return to the lineup and questions about his status will now linger over the trade deadline in a major way.
Kreider was the hottest potential rental at this year’s trade deadline and a serious injury could drastically change the outlook of the deadline.
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Jim Parsons is a freelance writer who covers the Edmonton Oilers and news and rumors posts here at The Hockey Writers.
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