NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs, Oilers, Avalanche, Canadiens

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Toronto Maple Leafs are being forced to sign a goaltender to an amateur tryout due to cap space restraints. Meanwhile, the Edmonton Oilers are getting an important forward back into their lineup. The Montreal Canadiens have been told the league won’t challenge their decision to place Shea Weber on LTIR and the Colorado Avalanche might be getting back an important defenseman on this current road trip.

Maple Leafs Sign Alex Bishop to ATO

As per a report by a few media insiders, but specifically detailed by Chris Johnson of the Toronto Star and TSN, the Maple Leafs after Petr Mrazek went down with an injury, the organization doesn’t have the cap space to call up a goaltender to take Mrazek’s spot behind Jack Campbell tonight. They will likely sign U of T goalie Alex Bishop to an amateur tryout to fill that role. Once the Maple Leafs play a game short a player, they can make an emergency recall on Michael Hutchinson for Monday’s game.

Luke Fox of Sportsnet writes, “In order to make a recall, the Maple Leafs must be short at a position (in this case, goalie) for one game. It’s a salary cap world, folks.” The Leafs have chosen to be short an NHL goaltender.

In other news, Justin Holl is out of the lineup tonight with Timothy Liljegren drawing in.

Kassian Returns for the Oilers

After falling on the ice and hitting his head, Zack Kassian was sitting out a couple of games under concussion protocol to ensure he was healthy enough to return to action. He’ll slot in Saturday night as the Oilers take on the Calgary Flames. He will slot in on the third line alongside Warren Foegele and Derek Ryan.

While they might not have the speed and skill the Oilers do, the Flames are a tough team that will try to win a rougher style of game. The Oilers aren’t planning on mixing it up, but if they have to, Kassian says he’s not worried about fighting. He called the fall a fluke thing and just one of those things that happens.

Related: Canadiens Missing Opportunity Choosing Montembeault Over Primeau

The Oilers will be without Devin Shore who tweaked something in practice. He is being ruled as day-to-day.

Toews to Travel With Avalanche

Avalanche defenseman Devon Toews could be returning soon reports Mike Chambers of the Denver Post. While speaking about how many players are missing from the lineup and the opportunities that are available for young guys to step up, he writes:

The Avalanche is also currently missing top-pair defenseman Devon Toews and backup goalie Pavel Francouz. Both are on injured reserve. Bednar said Toews (offseason shoulder surgery) is expected to travel with the team and possibly be cleared during the trip.

source – ‘Avalanche coach Jared Bednar rejoins team from COVID protocol; center Nathan MacKinnon remains out’ – Mike Chambers – 10/15/2021

It will be a big lift for the Avs to get the 27-year-old defenseman back as he was a significant addition last season and he played nearly 25 minutes a night. He set a new career-high with 31 points.

Canadiens Allowed to Place Weber on LTIR

The NHL will allow the Canadiens to place defenseman Shea Weber on LTIR, reports Pierre LeBrun of TSN during the latest Insider Trading segment. The league was taking a look at Weber’s situation after it was announced he would miss the entire 2021-22 season but played all of the 2020-21 playoffs.

Shea Weber Montreal Canadiens
Shea Weber, Montreal Canadiens (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly noted that Weber satisfied the CBA requirements necessary to qualify for LTIR. This is going to be important for the Canadiens moving forward as they need to bring Carey Price back into the fold and will need the cap space to do so.

Kessel to Be Moved Before March

According to Darren Dreger on TSN 1050 Arizona Coyotes forward Phil Kessel is unlikely to stay with the team this season. He says: “As long as he stays healthy I don’t think Kessel makes it to March, I think he gets traded before March”. Kessel’s name has popped up in trade rumors as the team is not looking to retain his services after his contract expires.

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