In today’s NHL rumor rundown there is speculation about the future of defenseman Ryan Murray both with the Columbus Blue Jackets and in the NHL. Matthew Tkachuk tells the story of his being drafted and what team he thought was going to take him. The Ottawa Senators could be getting a goaltender back and the Buffalo Sabres might need to clear cap space.
Ryan Murray Thinking About Retirement?
Blue Jackets defenseman Ryan Murray has seen his NHL career plagued by injuries. Only playing 27 games this season only playing more than 66 games once in a single season over the length of his entire career, there have been questions about how likely he is to continue in the NHL.
The blueliner admitted to John Matisz of The Score that he questions whether or not he’d have to retire early because of all of his injuries. He consulted with doctors and was given the green light. Still, the 26-year-old has one more year left on his deal with the Blue Jackets that pays $4.6 million. If he doesn’t have a strong season, it’s hard to imagine they’ll be a ton of interest considering his injury history.
Senators Getting Goaltender Back
The Ottawa Senators could be getting goaltender Anders Nilsson back should the NHL resume plat this season. Senators goalie coach Pierre Groulx told Postmedia’s Bruce Garrioch, that Nilsson should be ready to go.
General manager Pierre Dorion told reporters last month that Nilsson, who suited up for only 20 games last season, has passed his baseline test and would need time in practice to make sure he can play. Groulx has kept in regular touch with Nilsson, who is back at home in Sweden, and is doing well.source – ‘GARRIOCH: Anders Nilsson could be ready to return to the Ottawa Senators this summer’ Bruce Garrioch – Ottawa Sun – 05/01/2020
Nilsson is dealing with concussion issues that date back to December. Even if the season does resume, it will be interesting to see how much playing time Nilsson might get considering the Senators would like to give Marcus Hogberg as much playing time to evaluate him as possible.
Related: 11 NHL Teams Without a Stanley Cup
Update on Sabres and Ristolainen
Joe Yerdon of The Athletic writes that major cap issues await the Buffalo Sabres who are approximately $1.25 million over the $81.5 million salary cap. Their overages are due to bonuses owing to Rasmus Dahlin and Henri Jokiharju.
Dahlin has another bonus in his contract that earns him an extra $2 million if he finishes in the top-10 of defensemen in assists. That bonus would become a penalty against the cap next season and balloon overage to $3.275 million, leaving the Sabres with $78,225,000 to spend.source – ‘Diving into the 2020-21 implications of the Sabres’ current salary cap situation’ Joe Yerdon – The Athletic – 04/28/2020
He also writes that the fix the issue, the Sabres can either make low-ball offers to players or trade someone like Rasmus Ristolainen. Ristolainen’s name has been in the rumor mill out of Buffalo for some time. He’s often pegged as the trade chip that could help the Sabres improve their offense.
Oilers Almost Drafted Matthew Thachuk?
On Saturday, Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk appeared on TSN’s OverDrive and discusses a number of topics, including the day he got drafted by the Calgary Flames. He didn’t think that was how things were going to go down.
Tkachuk actually figured a different team was taking him — the Edmonton Oilers. He explains:
During the draft, on the draft floor, it was kind of a weird moment where some people at the Edmonton table, you could ask them they would probably deny it, but they’re kind of staring me down and kind of giving me some smiles. The only people that saw it were me and my mom so we’re like ‘alright, we’re going to Edmonton.’
Then Pierre-Luc Dubois went third-overall and the phone started to ring like crazy at the Edmonton table and they threw the jersey under the table and it looked like they stripped off a name and gave it to Puljujarvi with the next pick.
What an interesting question Tkachuck’s story would be to ask the Oilers. If the Oilers had to do it over again, would they still have taken Puljujarvi? Considering the thorn int he side Tkachuk has been to the Oilers and how Puljujarvi refuses to play for the team, the answers seems obvious.
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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.”