In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Los Angeles Kings have claimed goaltender Troy Grosenick from the waiver wire and will now have to decide whether or not to waive him again or keep him on the roster. Meanwhile, rumors continue to surround Phillip Danault of the Montreal Canadiens. One scribe has a potential update on his future with the team. The Edmonton Oilers will be without Ethan Bear on Saturday and the New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs are among the teams rumored to have interest in Sam Bennett.
Kings Claim Grosenick
On Saturday, the Kings claimed Grosenick who was placed on waivers by the Oilers. The Oilers got news that Mike Smith would be back Sunday, so they demoted Grosenick who was originally a member of the Kings organization this season.
If the Kings were the only team to put a claim in on the netminder, he’ll likely drive back to LA, be placed on waivers again and land on the team’s taxi squad, playing third-string goalie to Jonathan Quick and Calvin Petersen. If another team did put in a claim, Grosenick will probably be kept on the roster.
Oilers Still Without Ethan Bear
As per Ryan Rishaug of TSN and the Oilers official Twitter page, Edmonton will be without the services of defenseman Ethan Bear on Saturday night in their game against the Flames. There was some thought he might be back and the team has more than enough defensemen to fill his slot, but it’s concerning as to why he won’t be able to go and if there’s a more serious issue.
Bear has already missed two games this season due to injury and he’s a key piece of their top-four on defense. The fact he was placed on IR means he will miss the game against Calgary tonight, the Ottawa Senators games on Monday and Wednesday, and Montreal next Thursday.
Head coach Dave Tippett said the team hasn’t decided if they’ll go with six or seven defensemen tonight in the Battle of Alberta.
Danault Wants to Stay with Canadiens
According to Stu Cowan of The Montreal Gazette, Danault still hopes to complete his career with the Canadiens. There was plenty of talk surrounding the 27-year-old center this offseason and there’s still some chatter the two sides won’t be able to come to terms on his next contract. That said, he’d like to stay.
Danault is slated to become an unrestricted free agent and reports claim he rejected a six-year, $30 million contract offer from the team during the offseason. With the emergence of Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Nick Suzuki, it’s hard to imagine Danault’s name won’t come up at the NHL Trade Deadline if he wants more than $5 million per season.
While it seems unlikely the team would trade him if they are playing well and pushing for the playoffs, Montreal may not want to let him walk away for nothing. He’s also been a bit snakebitten. Cowan writes:
Danault didn’t want to talk about his contract situation Friday, but it certainly looks like it could be weighing on him. Heading into Saturday afternoon’s game in Ottawa against the Senators Danault and Paul Byron are the only two Canadiens forwards yet to score a goal this season.source – ‘Canadiens Notebook: Phillip Danault hoping he can stay with Habs’ Stu Cowan – Montreal Gazette – 02/06/2021
Rangers, Maple Leafs Among Teams Interested in Sam Bennett
Vincent Z. Mercogliano of The Journal News reports sources confirmed to the USA TODAY Network that the Rangers are among the teams interested in Bennett. Mercogliano writes:
The 24-year-old wouldn’t solve the Rangers’ need for a center who can lock in as their No. 2 behind Mika Zibanejad, but he could be a useful contributor in their bottom six, particularly while Filip Chytil is out with an upper-body injury.source -‘NY Rangers exploring Tony DeAngelo for Sam Bennett trade: What are hurdles to clear?’ – Vincent Z. Mercogliano – lohud.com – 02/05/2021
Like other clubs, the Rangers interest level will depend on the asking price, but Mercogliano notes there could be interest from the Flames in defenseman Tony DeAngelo.
Obviously, a one-for-one swap is out of the question considering the difference in salaries between the two players and the fact the Flames lack the cap space to take on DeAngelo’s cap hit of $4.8 million without moving more money. If the Rangers were to retain salary, the deal could be possible, but it has been reported the organization would rather not hold money in any deal and could simply buy out DeAngelo out at the end of the season.
Because other teams might be interested in Bennett — like the Toronto Maple Leafs or Vancouver Canucks — it makes sense the Rangers aren’t willing to absorb half of DeAngelo’s cap hit. During the Hockey Central show, Chris Johnston reported on Friday that he believes Toronto could be in the mix on Bennett.
I think even the Leafs have some level of interest in Sam Bennett. I don’t know if they have the right piece to send back that would make that kind of trade palatable, but there are teams out there kicking tires naturally on a 24-year-old player.
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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.”