In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news that Connor McDavid might be back sooner than expected. In New Jersey, after making two big trades, is the market now set and will the Devils make more trades? Are the San Jose Sharks targeting cap-strapped teams? Finally, where are the New York Rangers and Chris Kreider at in contract talks?
McDavid 2-3 Days Away From Return
There is good news coming out of Edmonton as TSN’s Ryan Rishaug is reporting that Connor McDavid’s recovery from an injury thought to keep him out 2-3 weeks, might now only keep him out 2-3 more days.
Sounds like McDavid’s recovery is going well. He’s getting treatment, working out and will have further testing Tuesday to see where things are at. He’s expected to rejoin the team in Edmonton in the next 2-3 days. (Corrected an earlier tweet saying test was Monday)
While this isn’t to suggest he’ll be in the lineup this week, this is great news as the Oilers have not only played well in his absence but gone 3-1 and now sit atop the Pacific Division as Vancouver and Calgary suffered big losses this weekend.
What’s really interesting is how much Leon Draisaitl has picked up the ball and ran with it while McDavid has been away. He’s got 10 points in four games and is building incredible confidence. If McDavid can return to a team that is on a roll, Edmonton’s could really make some noise on the way to the playoffs.
Did Devils Set the Trade Market? More Moves Coming?
There are questions floating around the NHL on Monday wondering if Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald just set the trade market when he moved both defenseman Andy Green and winger Blake Coleman.
Greene fetched a second-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft and defenseman prospect David Quenneville. Coleman saw the Devils get forward prospect Nolan Foote and a first-round pick in the 2020 or 2021 NHL Draft. While there’s debate in New Jersey about why they moved Coleman, those are hefty returns?
Does that mean anyone who wants a Chris Kreider, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, or other top rentals mean a first-rounder is the baseline? What about Ilya Kovalchuk? Is there no way Montreal moves him for anything less than a second-round pick now?
So too, the Devils did well and that might open them up to more trades. “There are a lot of teams kicking the tires to see where we’re at,” Fitzgerald said to NHL.com. “I’m guessing my phone will ring a little more now after what I did today. I’m looking to really move the organization forward, and there are players here that will do that and help us.”
Fitzgerald said the only untouchables on the Devils roster are Travis Zajac, Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier.
Kreider and Rangers Talks Stalled?
The sense coming out of New York is that contract extension talks with Chris Kreider haven’t produced much and that he is more likely to be traded that re-signed.
Pierre LeBrun writes, “I would also say normally in these situations each side would show their true hand about 2-3 days before the deadline contract-wise” The idea here is that by Friday or Saturday, there should be an answer as to what happens with Kreider this season.
Sharks to Take on Salary?
Marcus White of NBC Sports wonders if the San Jose Sharks will reach out to teams looking to dump salary now that they have a boat load of it available.
Long-term injuries to key players with big salaries has given the Sharks room to take on contracts in exchange for draft picks. For example, Erik Karlsson and Tomas Hertl suffering season-ending injuries freed up over $17 million in cap room and if a team was looking to move a player, and willing to send a draft pick along with it, the Sharks would be open to that.
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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.”