NHL Rumors: Canucks, Blues, Senators, Oilers

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, Rick Tocchet is a favorite to land a job with the Vancouver Canucks. Meanwhile, the St. Louis Blues are going to be patient with any potential trade, despite rumors that the team might be looking to make a move.

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Could the Ottawa Senators seriously be considering a return of Erik Karlsson to their roster and is the league going to mandate more protective gear following the nasty injury to Evander Kane?

Canucks Have Eyes on Tocchet?

During an ESPN segment with John Buccigross, Kevin Weekes noted that Bruce Boudreau being fired by the Canucks is a matter of when, not if. He then notes, “For me, my eye is still on Rick Tocchet as a potential replacement. Not limited too, but my eye is on Rick Tocchet.”

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Darren Dreger said during a recent TSN Insider Trading: “Lots of speculation around Rick Tocchet potentially being one of if not the top candidate for the Vancouver Canucks, but are the Canucks the right fit for Rick Tocchet and does Rick Tocchet want to leave that wonderful job that he has with TNT on TV?”

Blues Will Be Patient

Weekes also said that he recently spoke with St. Louis Blues; GM Doug Armstrong and the GM noted that the team isn’t going to rush into a trade despite the rougher start the team has gotten off to. Weekes said, “Patient. We were in touch with him, Doug Armstrong, their general manager a couple of days ago, and I love the patience he’s shown.” The Blues have started to turn things around a little and have won four in a row. He quoted Armstrong who said, ‘listen, we know we didn’t get off to the kind of midpoint of this start. We haven’t left our team much wiggle room, but I do think our game is coming.’

Ryan O’Reilly St. Louis Blues
Ryan O’Reilly, St. Louis Blues (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

There has been talk of Ryan O’Reilly being on the trade block or that the Blues might ask Vladimir Taransenko to consider waiving his no-trade clause if they can find a taker in a trade.

Have Senators Talked to Sharks About Erik Karlsson?

We reported yesterday that the San Jose Sharks are open to talking trade when it comes to Erik Karlsson. It was also mentioned that the Ottawa Senators need a defenseman but that the idea of bringing him back to the organization might be a long shot. Perhaps not, according to Elliotte Friedman.

Erik Karlsson San Jose Sharks
Erik Karlsson, San Jose Sharks (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Friedman notes [h/t to San Jose Hockey Now’s Sheng Peng] that there is a belief the Sharks may have had conversations with the Ottawa Senators regarding Karlsson. The report suggests that Karlsson has never lost his affection for the city of Ottawa and he and his family still maintain a home there.

Friedman does acknowledge that the trade would be very hard to pull off due to the salary cap issues that come along with his $11.5 million contract. He’s not even sure the Senators could do this deal if 50% were retained. If Karlsson is not a fit for money reasons, or doesn’t want to leave San Jose, TVA Sports Louis Jean wonders if Pierre Dorion might reach out to the Montreal Canadiens about the availability of defenseman David Savard. He is signed through the 2024-25 season at an AAV of $3.5 million.

League Looking at Protective Gear Following Evander Kane Injury

At the GMs meeting in Toronto this week, the idea of better protective gear was addressed following the nasty wrist injury to Evander Kane. Chris Johnston noted, “It wasn’t maybe the most newsy of general managers’ meetings in Toronto on Tuesday, but the one item that caught my eye was the fact that the GMs did discuss cut-resistant sleeves.”

He added that this is top of mind for a number of people and there was talk about possibly mandating more protection to avoid injuries like this in the future. “Obviously, this is top of mind with the injury that Evander Kane suffered last week – a nasty cut to his wrist. There was also a play that GMs were shown at the Karjala Cup in Finland recently where a player was cut in this manner, and GM are wondering, can we mandate this? “The short answer is at this point, they can’t. It would need to be done in concert with the NHL Players’ Association.” He noted however, “But as we look forward, I do think you’re going to see more discussion on this and perhaps down the road. It’s something we might see required of all NHL players to wear.”