NHL Rumors: Canadiens, Avalanche, Ducks, Senators, More

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, key injuries around the league could require teams to make changes. Are players hurt badly enough that moves need to be made, or can these teams wait it out? Meanwhile, the Montreal Canadiens are rumored to be interested in one of the top blue line trade targets this season. The Anaheim Ducks are fielding calls on the top forward available and the Colorado Avalanche might be looking at a goaltender to give their team a boost.

Canadiens Interested in Ekholm

According to The Fourth Period, the Canadiens are believed to be one of the teams interested in Nashville Predators defenceman Mattias Ekholm. They note the interest has been there for some time and well before Ben Chiarot injured himself in a fight on Wednesday night.

Mattias Ekholm, Brett Ritchie
Nashville Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm is chased by Dallas Stars right wing Brett Ritchie (AP Photo/LM Otero)

The publication adds that the Habs believe they have an opportunity to challenge for a Stanley Cup this season and that adding Ekholm would immediately boost their blue line. But, to land Ekholm, the Canadiens will have to compete with the Winnipeg Jets, Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers who are all rumored to be interested as well.

With the amount of interest there is (or will be) in Ekholm, it is believed the price tag to acquire him could include a first-round draft pick, — or perhaps a second-round pick and at least one other piece.

Ducks Taking Calls on Rakell

Frank Seravalli of TSN has added Rickard Rakell to his Trade Bait Board this week and reports are that Ducks general manager Bob Murray is listening to calls about the forward. Rakell has 12 points in his last six games and will be an attractive add for a team if he’s available at an affordable price. At 27, he’s not a rental, as he has a year left on his contract with a manageable $3.79 million salary-cap hit.

Rakell now sits third on TSN’s Trade Bait board, just behind Ekholm and David Savard of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Seravalli reports that the asking price for Rakell is “high” according to two different general managers around the league.

Related: Canucks News & Rumors: Pettersson, Gaudette, Demko, Horvat & Hughes

Avs to Make a Goaltending Move?

Mike Chambers and Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post had a conversation about what the Colorado Avalanche might do, considering they’re not playing terrible hockey but aren’t where they thought they’d be when the season began. Both asked if it was time for the Avs to make a trade to spark this team?

Jonathan Bernier Detroit Red Wings
Jonathan Bernier, Detroit Red Wings (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Chambers talked about the team’s goaltending issues and said:

” … they have to realize the Hunter Miska experiment isn’t working and there are veteran goalies out there they can squeeze in under the salary cap. Detroit’s Jonathan Bernier, the former Avs goalie, is a pending unrestricted free agent playing for the league’s worst team. Bernier is going to be on the move.”

source ‘ Kiszla vs. Chambers: Is it time for Joe Sakic to make a trade to bolster the Avalanche?’ – Mike Chambers – Denver Post – 03/08/2021

If they can add another netminder, the scribes suggest Joe Sakic and his staff are confident the injury-riddled Avalanche will still be in position to go several rounds in May and June. They do need to get healthy though.

Important Injury Notes:

Jack Eichel

Jack Eichel has left Buffalo to get a second opinion on his injury. The Sabres are suggesting the superstar has an upper-body injury which was aggravated on Sunday according to The Athletic’s John Vogl. Head coach Ralph Krueger stated that Eichel may miss only a week, but other sources suggest he could be out longer.

Alex Pietrangelo

Vegas Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer tells NHL.com’s Danny Webster that defenseman Alex Pietrangelo is out “for the foreseeable future” due to an upper-body injury. There is no timetable set for his return.

Trio of Bruins

The Bruins have no timetable when it comes to forward Ondrej Kase. He has been out since the Bruins’ second game of the season and the team will approach his return cautiously since it’s a concussion issue. Kevan Miller recently suffered a “setback from a volume standpoint”, likely overworking his surgically-repaired knee. Finally, Sweeney offered no update on defenseman Brandon Carlo, other than to say he is feeling better.

Senators Lose Two

During the Ottawa Senators 7-1 loss to the Oilers on Wednesday, centre Colin White had to be helped off the ice midway through the second after he fell awkwardly into the boards. In the same game, newly acquired winger Ryan Dzingel twisted his knee when he got tangled up with Jesse Puljujarvi. He left the game immediately. There was no update on either player’s condition, but an update is expected to be released Thursday.

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