In today’s NHL rumors rundown, there are updates on the postponed game between the Edmonton Oilers and Montreal Canadiens, including possible news on Wednesday’s matchup. Meanwhile, Patrick Marleau of the San Jose Sharks is willing to be traded, despite how it might affect the chances of him breaking a certain record. What will the Vancouver Canucks do if they become sellers again? Is there interest by the Toronto Maple Leafs in goaltender Jonathan Quick? Finally, a couple of Chicago Blackhawks players have commented on possibly being moved and there’s news on contract talks for the Carolina Hurricanes.
No Oilers vs. Habs Makeup Game Tuesday
As per Pierre LeBrun of TSN, the Oilers and Canadiens aren’t playing Tuesday after Monday’s game was postponed due to a COVID protocol issue. He adds, “As for Wednesday’s game, hearing that is subject to a meeting of the medical consultants after today’s test results are received. But as of now, that game is on. Let’s see what the day brings.”
This is the first time a North Division game has been postponed for safety precautions related to the pandemic. Darren Dreger reports that the postponement was due to a late test result. He explains, “There wasn’t enough time to do contract tracing, so the NHL takes a conservative approach by cancelling the Oilers/Canadiens game.” Additional contract tracing and testing was set for today and the league is still waiting on results to see if the issue was isolated or there is a bigger problem.
Elliotte Friedman reports that this news could affect the way the NHL is thinking about the Stanley Cup playoffs and the Canadian team involved. He notes in his latest 31 Thoughts article:
“Ideally, that team gets to play at home, but if the border remains closed, that’s un-good. Several options are being considered. The obvious is to put the winner in its closest American market, but a good point was raised — what if the semifinal matchup is, say, Toronto versus Vegas? Does it make sense to put the Maple Leafs in Buffalo, therefore creating longer travel?
Marleau Open to Being Traded to Contender
Marleau now sits just 14 games behind the record set by Gordie Howe for most regular season games played at 1,767. And, while his best chance to break that record will come while playing for the San Jose Sharks, Marleau says he is open to being traded to a contender if a contender comes asking about him.
Speaking with Kevin Kurz of The Athletic, Marleau said his priority is to win. He said:
“I wouldn’t actively maybe look for it, but if it does happen or it does come, or a team wants me, that’s something you have to seriously consider. Obviously, that’s still my goal, to win a Stanley Cup. It would definitely be something to consider.”source – ‘Patrick Marleau one-on-one: Sharks reset ‘tough to swallow,’ would ‘seriously consider’ trade’ – Kevin Kurz – The Athletic – 03/21/2021
It’s not terribly likely Marleau gets a lot of interest from other teams. In 30 games he has one goal and four assists. He’s struggled at times to keep up with the play and if a contending team were to acquire him, he might be a taxi squad candidate on a deep roster. That would obviously jeopardize his chances of getting the 14 games in he needs to tie the record.
Maple Leafs and Jonathan Quick Rumors
Friedman also reports that the Maple Leafs are ready to strike and “there were some Jonathan Quick rumours over the weekend.” That said, Friedman notes he doesn’t see that as being a likely fit. While Quick is tight with Jack Campbell, the goaltender has also battled injuries and there’s concern about putting a 35-year-old body through a quarantine, then have him jump right in with three weeks of critical games.
Blackhawks Players Comment on Possible Moves
Blackhawks beat reporter Ben Pope tweeted some comments from players who might be on the move out of Chicago this season or during the summer. Both Calvin De Haan and Mattias Janmark spoke openly about their futures and whether or not they were bothered by the fact it might not be with their current team.
Regarding the expansion draft de Haan said:
“If you go to Seattle, you go to Seattle. That’s how it is. You still have a job, get to play hockey. I’ve been through it before with Vegas — I was left exposed in that draft, too, and ended up staying with the Isles. It’s not going to be a burden on my play. I’m still going to try to play my best. If I’m exposed, maybe this season is a tryout for that team. We want to make the playoffs here, so that’s the most important goal.”
Janmark noted: “You’re always aware the deadline is coming up. It’s out of your control. I signed a 1-year deal to improve my value and set myself up for the future. Whether that’s here or someone else, we’ll see.”
Canucks Could Trade Recently Claimed Forwards
We reported a couple of days ago that the Canucks have removed themselves from the official sellers list but that could change with a few consecutive losses. Interestingly, if the Canucks become sellers at the trade deadline, they could look to trade recent waiver pickups Jimmy Vesey and Travis Boyd.
Hurricanes and Hamilton Table Talks
TSN’s Frank Seravalli reports Carolina Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell said the team and the camp for defenseman Dougie Hamilton have agreed to table contract extension talks until the season is over. Hamilton will be a UFA this summer and the team has been open about wanting to re-sign him.
Waddell isn’t just working on a Hamilton extension. It was reported the team is close to a contract extension for head coach Rod Brind’Amour.
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.”