NHL Rumors: Oilers, Wild, Canucks, Maple Leafs, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is more news coming after Edmonton Oilers forward Zack Kassian used his skate to try and effectively stab Erik Cernak, the Minnesota Wild have fired their coach, and we look at where things are at when it comes to negotiations between the Vancouver Canucks and Jacob Markstrom and the Toronto Maple Leafs and Jake Muzzin.

Kassian Offered, But Declines In-Person Hearing

After kicking Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak in the chest with his skate Thursday, media and fans debated the length of time Kassian might get suspended considering the potential severity of the issue, past similar incidences with other players and his history with the NHL.

On Friday, updates were that Kassian was offered an in-person hearing by NHL Player Safety which meant he could be suspended longer than six games. It was later learned Kassian has waived his right to an in-person hearing and will accept his punishment over the phone.

After the game, Kassian said of the play, “he was holding my leg and it was just reactionary. I just tried to get loose. I was laying there awhile and I was trying to get my leg out and get moving.” Not a lot of people bought that excuse after seeing the footage. Cernak said, “I asked him what was wrong with him?… He didn’t say nothing. So I don’t know. Lucky it wasn’t higher.”

Speculation is that Kassian could received a pretty lengthy suspension. As for what the Oilers do with Kassian out of the lineup, Alex Chiasson might get bumped up to Kassian’s slot and recently recalled Tyler Benson inserted on the Gaetan Haas line.

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What’s Next for Wild After Firing Boudreau?

The news of Bruce Boudreau’s firing was first broken by Michael Russo of The Athletic on Friday morning and then officially confirmed by the Minnesota Wild a few minutes later. Much of the discussion was about how quickly Boudreau might land another coaching gig as he’s often not out of work very long. He was hired by Anaheim two days after he was fired by Washington, and Minnesota hired him 7 days after he was fired by the Ducks.

Bruce Boudreau, Minnesota Wild
(Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports)

As for who might replace Boudreau in Minnesota, one name some speculation surrounds Doug Weight. Weight and Guerin have a history playing together and Elliotte Friedman notes that Weight has taken time to watch son Danny this year with BCHL’s Penticton Vees.

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Talks Between Canucks and Markstrom Stalled

According the TSNs Bob McKenzie, talks between goaltender Jacob Markstrom and the Vancouver Canucks haven’t gone very well. When asked where things were at with negotiations and what Markstrom is going to cost the Canucks, McKenzie responded:

“It’s really interesting and they’re trying to determine that right now. There have been negotiations between Markstrom’s camp and the Vancouver Canucks but from what I can tell, even though neither Pat Morris, the agent for Markstrom, or general manger Jim Benning want to talk publicly at all about this — they want to keep a lockdown on basically all information — is that it doesn’t seem like they’re close.”

Jacob Markstrom Vancouver Canucks
Vancouver Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson)

McKenzie went on to say that the term, NHL expansion and the salary are all factors making it difficult to figure out the logistics of the extension and that fans in Vancouver are rightfully starting to worry because it’s difficult to know where this is all going to lead.

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Jake Muzzin Deal Close

Darren Dreger said during that same TSN Insider Trading segment that the Toronto Maple Leafs and defensemen Jake Muzzin are coming along in their talks and that a deal might be announced over the next couple of days.

At the very least, Dreger expects the announcement to come before the NHL Trade Deadline.

Zach Bogosian Waived By Sabres

Defenseman Zach Bogosian has been placed on waivers. The Sabres have been rumored as a team trying to move Bogosian and the waiver decision likely suggests a trade couldn’t be found.

The Sabres are also rumored to be looking to make major changes within the organization and the club has not been effective over the last many weeks.

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