NHL Rumors: Canucks, Stars, Blues, All-Star Game Concerns

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, there are still calls for change in Vancouver where the Canucks have been unable to turn to the losing around. What names are rumored to be potentially traded and how likely is it someone is moved? The Dallas Stars are looking at having too many goalies. Will they move someone in the coming weeks? There are updates on the status of Vladimir Tarasenko and the NHL is growing concerned about the All-Star Game and how an outbreak in Vegas could affect the league and Olympic participation.

Calls for Change with Canucks Continues

When asked what the latest in Vancouver is with the Canucks and possible moves, TSN’s Darren Dreger responded, “Well, more from an angry fan base that there’s a strong appetite for change, be it change in management, change in coaching, just some form of change, that’s what we continue to hear.”

He added that general manager Jim Benning is not really talking to the media and trying to ignore what’s being said about the team and fix the club in any way he can. That said, Dreger notes that player agents are now fielding the calls and with so many rumors about certain Canucks players out there, talking to the team about what’s true and what isn’t.

Related: Canucks Have Multiple Options as Trade Partners for J.T. Miller

Thomas Drance of The Athletic listed a number of names that could be on the move if things don’t get fixed. J.T. Miller, Brock Boeser, Jaroslav Halak and Tyler Motte (both pending UFAs), plus Travis Hamonic, Jason Dickinson and Tanner Pearson.

Brock Boeser‘s agent was asked about a potential trade and responded, “I do not believe Brock will be traded but he knows it could happen. It is a part of the business. Brock does have faith in the Canucks team and his teammates to get through this.”

Stars to Move a Goaltender Soon

Matthew DeFranks of The Dallas Morning News reports that young goaltender Jake Oettinger is giving Stars management something to think about when it comes to which netminders to keep and which to move. He’s outplaying Anton Khudobin and with Braden Holtby expected to return soon from a lower-body injury and Ben Bishop’s future still unclear but getting closer to a return as well, the Stars have too many goalies.

The scribe writes:

The Stars are carrying three goaltenders on their active roster since Holtby is not on injured reserve. They also don’t have enough cap space to recall any extra forwards or defensemen with three goalies on the roster.

Dallas, of course, could trade Holtby ($2 million cap hit this season) or Khudobin ($3.333 million cap hit through next season), but that would eat away depth at a position that already has a mystery in Ben Bishop, a currently injured starter in Holtby and an underwhelming backup in Khudobin.

source – ‘Stars notebook: Jake Oettinger continues to impress in net, giving Dallas more to think about’ – Matthew DeFranks – Dllas Morning News – 11/21/2021

It’s a tricky decision for the team but the likelihood is that the Stars shop one of Khudobin or Holtby to clear up some space.

Tarasenko Trade Talk Quieted, But Player Still Looking to Be Moved

According to Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic:

There’s been some speculation in recent weeks that Tarasenko might have had a change of heart and that the Blues are aware of that. But that has not been confirmed, and the last word I received from a source with knowledge of the situation was that Tarasenko was standing by the trade request he made last offseason.

source – ‘Does the Blues’ Vladimir Tarasenko still want a trade? What happens when Brayden Schenn returns? Mailbag, part 2’ –
Vladimir Tarasenko St. Louis Blues
Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues (Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Rutherford argues that Tarasenko’s early success this season and his friendship with Blues forward Pavel Buchnevich are reasons he’s changed his mind is just speculation. As for whether or not his strong production has increased his trade value, the answer might be yes, but not enough to where the Blues feel comfortable moving him.

All-Star Game Concerns for NHL

According to Pierre LeBrun of TSN, there is growing concern that the NHL All-Star Weekend and the Olympics being so close together will create issues for both experiences. Because players are chartering from Las Vegas to Beijing no one wants any sort of outbreak coming from Vegas, and that means stricter protocols during All-Star weekend. Of course, that sort of makes it pointless to hold the All-Star Game in Vegas.

LeBrun said it’s caused a lot of people to ask why hold the All-Star game at all in the same year as an Olympics. The NHL insider explained:

The answer’s pretty simple, one is that it wanted to placate ESPN, its new U.S. TV partner, which wanted an All-Star Weekend, but also just the business in general. The league is trying to get through the pandemic and is trying to get back to business as usual, so it’s important for them to have an All-Star, but a lot of concern now, obviously, with Vegas before Beijing. “