In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news on Chicago Blackhawks’ goaltender Corey Crawford and his return to the lineup. Meanwhile, a goaltender out of Washington is now done for the season. In Arizona, is the general manager of the Coyotes and the team headed for a divorce? How is Ilya Mikheyev doing in Toronto since his return from injury and finally, what is the status of Dougie Hamilton in Carolina?
Blackhawks Include Crawford
As per a report from a number of sources, including Mark Spector of Sportsnet, the Chicago Blackhawks might get netminder Corey Crawford back shortly. Spector writes:
We are told that goalie Corey Crawford, who has not yet been a participant at Chicago Blackhawks camp, is on the club’s 31-player list submitted on Friday.
Charlie Roumeliotis of NBC Sports Chicago posted photos and video of Crawford warming up on the ice with his team Saturday. While there’s no telling for certain when Crawford will be ready to get into game action, this is a good sign (even if he did let in a ton of goals during scrimmage).
Samsonov Out For The Season
The Washington Capitals got awful news as goaltender Ilya Samsonov has suffered an injury that will keep him out for the remainder of the season. His injury happened before camp but the team announced to reporters, including Samantha Pell of the Washington Post that he will remain in Washington to undergo treatment. He has not been added to the playoff-eligible roster that was submitted on Friday.
While not ideal circumstances, this is a great opportunity for veteran goalie Braden Holtby. He’s coming off the worst statistical season of his career — he posted a 3.11 GAA with a .897 SV% in 48 appearances — and has been the subject of rumors he’ll be leaving the Capitals this offseason to test free agency. If Holtby can perform well, he’ll up his value on the open market in a big way.
Hurricanes Without Dougie Hamilton, But For How Long?
Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Dougie Hamilton has missed the last several practices and it seems that he’ll be out for a little while longer. This isn’t good news for the Hurricanes who were expecting to have him back and part of a fairly deep blue line.
Sara Civian of The Athletic reports:
“The injury is not a recurrence of his broken leg that shelved his season prematurely and that the estimated recovery period is weeks instead of months.”
At the very least, Hamilton will miss the play-in round vs. the New York Rangers and likely the first round of the official playoffs should the Hurricanes advance. Sami Vatanen should get a look on the top pairing in Hamilton’s absence.
John Chayka Done in Arizona?
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman notes that John Chayka is a name to keep an eye on in the coming days or weeks. There is talk surrounding the Coyotes general manager, including news that he may not join the team playoff bubble and that his office has been cleaned out.
While these things could prove only that Chayka will be working from home and doesn’t need to be with the team, there was also the news this week that he was not part of the ownership meeting with Taylor Hall and other stories have come out about conversations with agents that haven’t involved Chayka.
All of this comes after news that the Coyotes had been caught working out draft-eligible players with punishment still pending from the league.
Pierre LeBrun of TSN and The Athletic notes:
Came out of vacation mode to check in on this: no clarity at this hour on this situation. Muddy at best. Chayka and new regime not on same page as far as I can tell. Chayka has 3 more years on his deal after this summer’s tournament. Seems headed for a divorce but let’s see.
Maple Leafs’ Mikheyev Looks Good
Ilya Mikheyev has been an absolute beast during the Maple Leafs’ Phase 3 training camp. He was voted Phase 3 MVP by the media and he’s been getting a lot of ice time with Mitch Marner and John Tavares.
Head coach Sheldon Keefe said: “I thought he was excellent. Probably more than anybody, he is really excited and happy to be back here playing in a team environment.” He added, “He and his line, I thought, were really good.”
Does that mean this is a line fans can expect to see in the play-in round versus the Columbus Blue Jackets?
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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.”