NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs, Canucks, Nazem Kadri Trade Talk, More

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas is upset with a couple of media outlets in the Toronto area for the way they covered the John Tavares injury, plus there are updates on the player’s condition. Vancouver Canucks’ GM Jim Benning talks possible buyouts in the offseason and could the Colorado Avalanche look to trade Nazem Kadri after his latest suspension proved he’s unreliable come playoff time?

Dubas Provides Update on Tavares, Calls Out Toronto Sun

Calling it “disgusting”, “extraordinarily insensitive” and “a complete lack of compassion”, Dubas was upset with the Toronto Sun cover which featured a picture of a bloodied John Tavares on the ice after the injury was sustained and the headline “Captain crunched.”

As far as an update on Tavares’ condition goes, the forward will need a minimum of two weeks to recover from the knee ailment in addition his concussion diagnosis. At the very least, Tavares will be out for the remainder of the first round series against the Montreal Canadiens. Forwards Alex Galchenyuk and Pierre Engvall will make their series debut on Saturday. 

The good news is that that reports say there was no structural damage for Tavares which suggests a long-term issue is less of a concern.

Related: Maple Leafs’ Ability to Handle Adversity Will Be Tested in Game 2

Canucks Looking at Player Buyouts This Offseason

As per Patrick Johnston of The Province, Canucks GM Jim Benning says ‘it’s on me’ for not being able to get his club into the playoffs this season and hinted that he needs to make some offseason roster changes. While he says that none of his players have asked to be traded, he will be aggressive on the trade market and in free agency.

Jim Benning
Vancouver Canucks’ general manager Jim Benning (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

Both Alex Edler and Brandon Sutter have indicated they’d be open to a return, but it’s not clear what the Canucks would be willing to offer on extensions. One thing that is clear is that contract buyouts are likely. Johnston writes:

In the only real indication of a change in approach, Benning acknowledged that buyouts are on the table this summer. Candidates for buyouts would be Jay Beagle, Antoine Roussel, Loui Eriksson and even Jake Virtanen, though his legal situation may complicate things.

source – ‘Canucks: GM Jim Benning says ‘it’s on me’… yet again’ – Patrick Johnston – The Province – 05/21/2021

To help get Benning through the transition, Rick Dhaliwal writes that John Shannon on CHEK TV with Donnie and Dhali said: “I think that Canucks are going to add someone else on the management side. I could see them adding a President.”

Kadri Might Appeal Suspension, Plus Trade Talk

There is a ton of talk focused on what comes next for Kadri after the forward received an eight-game suspension for an illegal hit to the head of Blues defenseman Justin Faulk during Game 2 of their opening-round series. Kadri has now been suspended six times by the NHL, totaling 16 playoff games and 11 regular-season games.

Nazem Kadri Colorado Avalanche
Nazem Kadri, Colorado Avalanche (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Pierre LeBrun of TSN notes: “Nazem Kadri’s camp still looking over their options at the moment but there’s a good chance they decide to appeal his suspension. However, not decided yet.” That won’t change the fact that the Avalanche have to be extremely disappointed in the player who, as one Twitter user wrote, getting suspended in the first round of a playoff series seems to be “the NHL equivalent to lighting the torch to start the Olympics at this point.”

Peter Baugh of The Athletic writes:

Kadri has a sizable $4.5 million cap hit, and the Avalanche will need to clear cap space this offseason to keep their core intact, … The team could consider moving on from Kadri, either by exploring trade options or leaving him unprotected in the expansion draft. (Kadri does have a modified no-movement clause, meaning he submits a 10-team no-trade list, but that does not exempt him from the expansion draft.)

source – ‘Nazem Kadri fallout: What a suspension could mean for the Avalanche lineup, the Blues series and Kadri’s future’ – Peter Baugh – The Athletic – 05/20/2021

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