In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Toronto Maple Leafs are dealing with a number of injuries. What is the latest status on some of the big names who are out of action? Meanwhile, there are questions about the Boston Bruins long-term plans at center and whether or not the team should hang on to Jake DeBrusk. Are the Calgary Flames working on any trades? Finally, count Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman among those who hopes the NHL pushes back the 2021 NHL Draft.
Maple Leafs Injury Updates
The Maple Leafs are dealing with a host of injury issues. Chris Johnston notes that defenseman Jake Muzzin has a broken bone in his face. When he returns, it will be with a full face shield. Kristen Shilton notes that forwards Zach Hyman and Joe Thornton are day-to-day. Johnston added that all three players were absent from Leafs practice today.
As far as the goaltending situation goes, the Public Relations Department for the team tweeted out before Monday’s game that goaltender Frederik Andersen was unable to go and Michael Hutchinson would go in. Andersen has a lower-body injury and is listed as day-to-day. Fortunately, Jack Campbell is not far from a return, even if he’s not quite ready yet. Luke Fox cites head coach Sheldon Keefe who noted Campbell is “progressing really well.” There isn’t an exact timeline on his return, but it’s looking like next week is a possibility.
Bruins Plans at Center and With DeBrusk
Fluto Shinzawa of The Athletic was asked what the long-term plan at center was for the Bruins and he responded that the team will focus on that position at the draft because once David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron are gone, the organization will be forced to look to Charlie Coyle, Jack Studnicka, Trent Frederic, Oskar Steen and John Beecher. Shinzawa said this is projected to be their biggest team weakness.
In other Bruins chatter, Shinzawa suggests the team has grown frustrated with Jake DeBrusk but that there is too much there and too much invested for the Bruins to toss him aside. He writes:
They would be selling low at this point. If they move him and he hits his sweet spot, that would be a really tough asset to lose, especially given Brad Marchand’s age and the eventual departures of Bergeron and Krejci. Jake is worth working with to express the entirety of his skill set.source – ‘Jake DeBrusk’s potential? David Krejci’s next contract? Bruins mailbag’ Fluto Shinzawa – The Athletic – 02/18/2021
Nothing in the “Hopper” for Flames
There are lingering questions in Calgary when it comes to Sam Bennett and new questions regarding their goaltending as Jacob Markstrom was unavailable for Monday’s game against the Maple Leafs. Could Bennett be moved to land another goaltender if Markstrom’s injury turns out to be anything more than a day-to-day issue? It doesn’t sound like it.
Regarding Bennett, Elliotte Friedman told Pat Steinberg on Sportsnet 960 the FAN, prior to Monday’s game, “I don’t know how it’s going to be possible … there’s nothing in the hopper right now that I can tell,” . Friedman discussed how Brad Treliving is making phone calls and in on almost every possible deal that comes up, but nothing has materialized.
Friedman said, “I think he really tried to be in on Dubois. I think whenever there’s somebody out there who’s got a name, I think he’s involved. I don’t see anything imminent, but I think he’s got his lines out there.”
Yzerman Wants NHL Draft Pushed Back
When it comes to rumors that the NHL might hold two consecutive NHL Drafts in 2022 and postpone this year’s event, Yzerman is one of those GMs very much in favor of the idea. “I would hope they push it back, and give us a chance to watch these kids and give these kids a chance to play and put their best foot forward leading up to the draft,” he told Helene St. James.
Part of the reasoning Yzerman might be so keen on the idea is because the Red Wings will be drafting so high and the pick is critical. Detroit stands to lose a lot if this year’s prospects can’t compete, or be properly scouted.
Unfortunately, moving the NHL Draft is not a simple thing to do. Friedman pointed out on during the Headlines segment on Saturday that there are questions about the CBA and how long players will have to wait to hit unrestricted free agency.”
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.”