NHL Rumors: Senators, Canucks, Avalanche, Oilers, More

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, Tuesday’s game between the Carolina Hurricanes and Nashville Predators is being postponed due to a COVID-19 situation. Meanwhile, the Ottawa Senators had one of their bright young stars removed from tonight’s game versus the Winnipeg Jets. There are questions out of the Vancouver Canucks organization about their coach and could the Colorado Avalanche be looking to trade one of their defensemen? Finally, what are the Edmonton Oilers going to do about their early struggles?

Hurricanes vs Predators Game Postponed

The Dallas Stars and Florida Panthers have already had games moved, but for the first time in the 2020-21 season, a game scheduled to take place has been canceled the day of as the Carolina Hurricanes versus Nashville Predators game on Tuesday has been postponed.

The news comes after Carolina announced last Friday that captain Jordan Staal was being placed on the COVID-19 list and things might have stemmed from that. “The decision was made out of an abundance of caution to ensure the health and safety of players, coaches and game day personnel and in consultation with medical experts,” the league said in a statement.

The NHL also noted that the game will be reschedule and an announcement will come “when available.”

Stützle Day-to-Day With Injury

Senators forward Tim Stützle is not skating this morning and will not play tonight versus Winnipeg on account of a minor injury. His status is considered day-to-day and it is unclear exactly when he suffered the injury.

Tim Stützle Ottawa Senators
Tim Stützle, Ottawa Senators, first NHL game Jan. 15, 2021 (Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)

Stützle, 19, was selected third overall in the 2020 NHL Draft and has already made an impact for the Senators this season. He recorded 14:52 minutes in ice time during a 3-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday, but scored his first NHL goal in highlight-reel one-hopper.

Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun spoke with head coach D.J. Smith about how long Stützle could potentially be out. Smith said:

“It’s just a little nagging, minor injury that’s more of a day-to-day thing, We’re just being more cautious than anything. We expect him back shortly.”

source – ‘GARRIOCH: Rookie forward Tim Stuetzle forced to sit out visit by Winnipeg Jets with minor injury’ – Bruce Garrioch – Ottawa Sun – 01/19/2021

Related: Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Andersen, Marner, Spezza & Robertson

Canucks Signing Travis Green Update

Brendan Batchelor of Sportsnet 960 was asked about the status of a new contract for Canucks head coach Travis Green and why a contract extension hasn’t been finalized yet? He wasn’t sure why and said he was “personally shocked” something hasn’t been done yet.

He adds the potential risk of Green walking out the door when the season is done and joining the Seattle Kraken has to be concerning. Batchelor also said it’s an issue that is hanging over the Canucks organization this season and it would be best if the team gets him locked in.

Avalanche to Trade a Defenseman?

Mike Chambers and Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post took a closer look at just how deep the Colorado Avalanche blue line is this season and wondered if the organization would be willing to trade someone based on a surplus of bodies and not enough playing time to go around.

Erik Johnson Colorado Avalanche
Erik Johnson, Colorado Avalanche (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

The two most likely candidates to be moved would be either Ian Cole or Erik Johnson but Johnson’s two years remaining on a $6 million per season contract might be difficult to move. He also has a modified no-trade clause that allows him to be traded to 19 teams.

Chambers writes:

The Avs have the best young D-corps in the league with Cale Makar, Devon Toews, Sam Girard, Ryan Graves, Conor Timmins and Byram. Erik Johnson, 32, and Ian Cole, 31, are the much older guys and I suspect Cole will sit if the young guys continue to impress. Problem is, you want Cole’s toughness and leadership out there. Only six spots in a lineup, but this is a good problem to have.

source – ‘Kiz vs. Chambers: Who will be odd man out in Avalanche’s log jam at blue line?‘ – Mike Chambers & Mark Kiszla – Denver Post – 01/18/2021

Oilers Making Blue Line Changes

Before Monday’s loss to the Montreal Canadiens, the Oilers made some key changes to their blue line. Both Caleb Jones and Ethan Bear were healthy scratches after struggling in their first game against the Habs on Saturday.

It didn’t seem to help and questions in Edmonton now are what will the team do to bounce back from a 1-3 start to the season? There are questions in goal thanks to a lack of available NHL netminders, shuffling on defense and a real lack of offense to date. Last season’s league-best power play went 0-7 on Monday night and is 2 for 18 to start the year.

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