NHL Rumors: Devils, Oilers, Playoff Start Date, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, could the New Jersey Devils bring back a veteran defenseman? Is there an update on Jesse Puljujarvi possibly returning to Edmonton? And, what is going on with the NHL, Phase 3, and is a possible date set to start the Stanley Cup Playoffs?

Devils Update: Andy Greene and Nico Hischier News

In a recent article from the Associated Press, former first overall pick at the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, New Jersey Devils forward Nico Hischier, participated in military service in Switzerland.

The 21-year-old would normally be required to perform 18 weeks of mandatory military service in Switzerland, but because he lives abroad he is exempt. Still, with no hockey and no good way to stay in shape, he decided this would be a good time to get involved.

Hischier told the Associated Press:

“One reason I did it was I needed to stay in shape. I didn’t know where to go because gyms weren’t open and I couldn’t just work out at home. I just didn’t have the tools for a good workout there. For a couple weeks it worked, but I felt like I needed to go somewhere to be prepared when we had to go back and play again. Then the army came and they had a great solution because where I’m working right now, that’s a great building. They have everything there you need.”

In other Devils news, Corey Masisak of The Athletic was asked what players not currently with the Devils organization have a chance to return? He named a very interesting candidate, although he did suggest the odds were low.

I guess Andy Greene could be. If the Devils go into the offseason looking for a veteran defenseman who can help mentor the younger guys, they obviously know what the former captain can provide.

source – ‘Devils mailbag: The 2019 draft class, wooing free agents and more trade offers’ – Corey Masisak – The Athletic- 06/14/2020

Update on Jesse Puljujarvi to Edmonton

According to Kurt Leavins of the Edmonton Journal, Jesse Puljujarvi will likely sign a one-year contract extension with Karpat of the Finnish Professional League.

Jesse Puljujarvi, Edmonton Oilers
Jesse Puljujarvi (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Leavins writes:

Expect that such a deal would come with an NHL-out embedded. Puljujarvi’s recent “never say never” comment was taken by some to be a sign that he was open to returning to Edmonton. In reality, was it merely an effort to rehabilitate his trade value?

source -‘As NHL HUB competition pares down to just 4 teams here is where the Edmonton Oilers rank: 9 Things’ – Kur Leavins – Edmonton Journal – 06/21/2020

Puljujarvi’s comments were potentially taken a bit out of context. Because he didn’t rule out ever returning did no mean he was saying a return was likely.

Related: The Worst Teams In Stanley Cup Playoff History

Stanley Cup Playoffs to Start July 30?

Despite 11 cases of COVID-19 being reported in the NHL over the past few hours and despite the fact the NHL’s plans to roll out Phase 3 hasn’t exactly been seamless, the NHL sent out a directive following its general manager meetings on Friday outlining the Stanley Cup tournament qualifying rounds starting on July 30.

The announcement was that hub cities should be chosen within a week and that the start date of July 30 has been agreed upon in negotiations between the NHL and NHLPA, according to the New York Post’s Larry Brooks. The only things that would change this date are health and safety protocols and a potential extension of the CBA.

Who Are the Hub City Candidates?

TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that the NHL has now officially narrowed its list of hub cities down to six. These six teams come from an original list of 10 and include three Canadian cities: Vancouver, Edmonton, and Toronto.

Apparently, Vancouver and Edmonton are ahead of Toronto, despite reports from Steve Simmons that Toronto was named the second hub city. If Vegas (because of their accommodation situation) is named along with either Vancouver or Edmonton, that means both cities will reside on the West Coast.

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