NHL Rumors: Canucks, Wild, Canadiens, Islanders, Oilers

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, there are reports the Minnesota Wild have contacted the Vancouver Canucks about possibly trading for J.T. Miller. Who have the Wild offered up and how likely is this trade? Meanwhile, the Montreal Canadiens got some good news when it comes to their goaltending situation. What is the status of goaltender Mike Smith in Edmonton and are the New York Islanders looking for a young defenseman on the trade market?

Wild Offer Kevin Fiala for JT Miller?

According to Ben Kuzma of The Province, the Canucks have been contacted by the Wild and asked about the availability of forward J.T. Miller. He writes that with the Canucks organization in disarray, the Wild are looking to potentially move a player they don’t believe has a long-term future with the team and pick up the 10th-leading scorer in the NHL right now.

JT Miller Vancouver Canucks
JT Miller, Vancouver Canucks (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Kuzma writes:

In a Miller acquisition, the Wild would likely dangle winger Kevin Fiala, 25, who has had ample opportunity to score, but has just three goals despite 58 shots — which speaks to his minuscule 5.1 shooting percentage. He’s also in the final year of a contract that carries a US $5.1-million salary cap hit.

source: ‘Canuck J.T. Miller’s time might be on the line amid Wild interest’ – Ben Kuzma – The Province – 11/23/2021

Kuzma suggests winger Jordan Greenway be dangled by the Wild as a sweetener in the trade but the Canucks may ask for a second-round pick in addition to Fiala to get Miller out of Vancouver. Reactions to the rumors are that the Canucks need a defenseman more than they need another forward and that GM Jim Benning should hold out for the right deal.

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Vancouver Hockey Now’s Rob Simpson reports that, according to a few NHL executives, Brock Boeser’s name is also “out there” on the trade block. Simpson wondered if those rumors could be affecting Boeser’s on-ice production.

Canadiens Get Jake Allen Back

Head coach Dominique Ducharme has confirmed that goaltender Jake Allen is back for the Canadiens and will start on Wednesday night when the Habs take on the Washington Capitals. Allen has been medically cleared to return to the team after suffering a concussion on Nov. 13 in Detroit.

The Canadiens have struggled this season but their struggles only intensified when Allen was taken out of the lineup and without Carey Price available. This is a big addition for the Canadiens but it’s hard to know if it will be enough to get their season back on track.

Ducharme also told reporters including Eric Engels of Sportsnet that Cedric Paquette could be back Wednesday.  

Are the Islanders Looking for a Young Defenseman?

As per Elliotte Friedman, who appeared on The Jeff Marek Show, he wonders if Islanders’ GM Lou Lamoriello is trying to trade for a young defenseman with term. Friedman notes, “If he’s doing anything, I wonder if that’s what he’s looking at”.

Related: NHL Stats Corner: Oilers, Flames, Capitals, Panthers, & Maple Leafs

This comes after a report by Arthur Staple that some names connected to the Islanders might be Arizona Coyotes’ Jakob Chychrun, or pending UFAs John Klingberg and Mark Giordano (Seattle), and Ben Chiarot (Montreal), among others.

Mike Smith Not Scheduled for Surgery

With news that goaltender Mike Smith was moved to long-term injury reserve, there were questions about just how bad his injury is and whether or not surgery would be required. Jason Gregor and Ryan Rishaug of TSN tweet that as of now, surgery is not in the plans, and the Edmonton Oilers shouldn’t be without their starter for much longer.

Mike Smith Edmonton Oilers
Mike Smith, Edmonton Oilers (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

It looks like Smith is expected to be back sometime in December and that the Oilers have decided to take his return slowly while both Mikko Koskinen and Stuart Skinner are playing well in relief. Skinner has a .939 save percentage in five appearances and gets the start again for the Oilers on Tuesday night.