In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news that the Vancouver Canucks have arguably their best player back and ready to roll if the season resumes, but there are questions about his contract situation. Meanwhile, in New Jersey, there are questions about what the team should do with goaltender Corey Schneider. NHL owners will get together for a conference call on Monday to talk financial concerns and, in some good news, the Boston Bruins have finally done the right thing for their arena employees.
Update on Jacob Markstrom
According to GM Jim Benning, Vancouver Canucks goaltender Jacob Markstrom has fully recovered from his knee injury and is ready to go in the event the season resumes. Unfortunately, there are no certainties the Canucks will be in the playoffs this season and there are questions about extending Markstrom during a time of salary cap uncertainty.
Benning spoke about his goaltender during a spot on Sportsnet 650 (audio link) and reiterated his desire to get the pending UFA signed to a contract extension. The only problem is, with speculation the salary cap won’t jump nearly as much as early projections estimated it would, it’s unlikely that there will be much in the way of negotiations for the foreseeable future.
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Schneider’s Future in New Jersey Uncertain?
Abbey Mastracco of NJ.Com took a look at at the future of goaltender Corey Schneider in in New Jersey and suggested the Devils might try to move on from the 34-year-old netminder.
five questions facing the New Jersey Devils while the season is paused. Goaltending was the Devils’ Achilles heel over the past two seasons, in part because of the 34-year-old Schneider’s struggles between the pipes. They need a reliable backup for Mackenzie Blackwood. Buying out Schneider is an option, but promising Gilles Senn isn’t expected to be NHL-ready next season.
NHL Owners to Hold Conference Call Monday
According to TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger, NHL owners will be holding a conference call on Monday to talk financial issues facing the NHL as the delay on the season grows longer.
Earlier this week, Dreger noted during a segment of Insider Trader, that the NHL is concerned about growing losses, which could raise to upwards of $1 billion, certainly around $500 million. This call will try to tackle concerns, including board financial projections and possibilities, CBA options and contingency financial planning.
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IIHF Tournament Officially Cancelled
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the IIHF officially announced today that they have cancelled the upcoming Men’s World Hockey Championship slated to take place in Switzerland in May. IIHF President Rene Fasel released the following statement:
This is a harsh reality to face for the international ice hockey family, but one that we must accept. The coronavirus is a global problem and requires major efforts by government bodies to combat its spread. The IIHF must do all it can to support this fight. We have to set sport aside for now and support both the government bodies and the ice hockey family.
The annual tournament featured numerous NHL players whose teams were eliminated from the playoffs early as well as a mixture of the some of the top international talents around the world that haven’t made it to the NHL yet.
Bruins Finally Helping Part-Time Arena Employees
After taking some public criticism, Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs is finally setting up a fund that will help support the arena staff hit hard as a result of the NHL suspending the 2019 – 2020 season. The fund is worth $1.5 million according to the Bruins official website.
Speculation is that this is finally happening with news of the owners meeting and right after Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey personally called out the Jacobs family for their failure to follow the example set forth by the rest of the NHL’s teams.
This also comes after Bruins’ forward Brad Marchand set up a GoFundMe account to help the employees.
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Jim Parsons is a freelance writer who covers the Edmonton Oilers and news and rumors posts here at The Hockey Writers.
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