NHL Rumors: Byfuglien, Ryan, Flames, Sabres, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news and conversation coming out of TSN’s Trade Bait Board, injury updates in Buffalo, and reports that the Dustin Byfuglien show in Winnipeg could get messy. Finally, there are expected and obvious developments in Ottawa when it comes to Bobby Ryan.

Flames to Move Hamonic?

While Chris Kreider topped TSN’s most recent trade board, Calgary Flames defenseman Travis Hamonic’s name appeared quite high as well. When the news surfaced that Hamonic was unwilling to negotiate a contract extension during the season, the likelihood of his being traded went way up.

Travis Hamonic Calgary Flames
Travis Hamonic, Calgary Flames (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

If you look at Hamonic’s situation, there’s a good chance he gets moved. Just 29, he’s a right-handed defenseman with an expiring contract. He’s being paid fair dollars at $3.86 million and, even though they are still on the playoff bubble, the Flames have not quite lived up to expectations. There is plenty of time for the Flames to bounce back, but if they look like they won’t be a playoff team, Hamonic is likely one of the first names to get mentioned in trade rumors.

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Sabres Jimmy Vesey Back Soon?

The Buffalo Sabres listed Jimmy Vesey as out week-to-week due to an upper-body injury but Mike Harrington of The Buffalo News reports Vesey might return sooner than expected, specifically as early as this Saturday. 

Harrington writes:

Forward Jimmy Vesey made a surprise return to practice and said he’s hoping to return to the lineup for the game against the Islanders.

source – ‘Brandon Montour’s return is imminent but his defense partner remains unclear’ – Mike Harrington – The Buffalo News – 10/31/2019

Vesey only has two assists this season but he’ll be a welcome addition back. “I’m hoping to try to get in Saturday, depending on how I feel,” he said. “I’ve got to see the doctor to get cleared. But I’m hoping Saturday. If not, definitely Sweden.”

Byfuglien Talking to NHLPA

We noted in yesterday’s rumor report that because of ankle surgery, Dustin Byfuglien would be eligible to seek salary payments while on LTIR. To date, he’s merely been suspended by the Winnipeg Jets.

According to Darren Dreger of TSN, Byfuglien’s representatives have reached out to the NHLPA to see what his options are and Dreger suggests things “could get complicated” if it is determined that the ankle injury occurred playing hockey.

Ken Wiebe of The Athletic wrote a detailed article on what this all means for the Jets and Byfuglien. He suggested there are so many questions around why Byfuglien didn’t just show up for camp, get a physical and go on injured reserve? Or, did the medial staff have a differing of opinion from Byfuglien about his injury? Still, until more news is available, things won’t change and Byfuglien will stay suspended.

Wiebe writes:

At least for the time being, it’s status quo regarding Byfuglien and the Jets, though there could be a plot twist or two that bubbles to the surface in the coming weeks and months.

source – ‘Wiebe: What the latest saga twist means for Dustin Byfuglien and the Jets’ – Ken Wieber – The Athletic – 10/31/2019

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Senators and Ryan Working Together on Trade

Ken Warren of the Ottawa Sun reports after being scratched from the lineup, Ottawa Senators GM Pierre Dorion and Bobby Ryan‘s agent are working together and exploring the market to see if they can’t find a trade destination for Ryan.

Bobby Ryan Ottawa Senators
Bobby Ryan, Ottawa Senators (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

When asked about his contract – a $7.25 million salary cap hit for the next two seasons – being a potential hurdle to him being moved, Ryan responded, “To a degree … I think my contract is OK. It works for me,” he said. But he also understood that it becomes a big part of the conversation.

“Everything gets magnified because of it and I understand that. And have I lived up to it? At portions of the contract, yes. At portions of the contract, absolutely not. And I understand what comes with that.”

source – ‘Senators’ Bobby Ryan isn’t pouting while waiting for a chance to play again’ – Ken Warren – Ottawa Sun – 10/29/2019

At the end of the day, it’s going to be hard to move Ryan at his salary. The Senators will have to retain at least 50% and then possibly throw in a sweetener.

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