NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs, Senators, Sharks, Avs, Canucks, Rangers

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Marlies got bad news when it comes to the injury status of Nick Robertson, while the Colorado Avalanche got good news about Nathan MacKinnon. Evander Kane has been suspended by the league but will the San Jose Sharks do anything about his contract? Might the Ottawa Senators have an interest in trading for Dylan Strome? Finally, there are updates on the status of both Travis Hamonic in Vancouver and Vitali Kravtsov with the New York Rangers.

Robertson Out 10 Weeks

It was reported that Nick Robertson was injured in a Toronto Marlies game and the follow-up news is not good. He suffered a broken right fibula in Sunday’s AHL contest and will be out a minimum of ten weeks. Robertson will not undergo surgery.

There was some chatter the Leafs might want to call up Robertson sooner than later based on the struggles of Nick Ritchie. If true, that will have to wait.

MacKinnon Cleared to Return to Avs

MacKinnon has tested negative for COVID and is on his way to Washington to join the rest of his teammates. He could suit up for the Avalanche in the Tuesday night game vs the Capitals. He missed the first two games of the season and will likely come out with a ton of energy.

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Head coach Jared Bednar said the decision about playing would be left up to MacKinnon, but if he can go, he’ll likely slot in.

Senators Interested in Dylan Strome?

Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun notes that Senators’ general manager Pierre Dorion is still looking around for outside help with center Colin White sidelined and possibly out for the season. Add the fact that forwards Auston Watson and Clarke Bishop are out with ankle injuries and the Senators could use some help on offense. Dylan Strome’s name has come up.

Unfortunately, Garrioch believes the Senators already looked at Strome in the offseason and noted nothing came of it. He writes:

The Chicago Blackhawks have been trying to trade centre Dylan Strome . The 24-year-old had nine goals and 17 points in 40 games last season. Ottawa studied this option in the summer, so it feels like that ship has sailed.

source – ‘SNAPSHOTS: Senators GM is always looking for help’ Bruce Garrioch- Ottawa Sun – 10/18/2021

Evander Kane Suspended 21 Games by NHL

The NHL released a statement that Kane is being suspended for 21 games after violating the NHL’s Covid protocols. While the release did not say exactly what he did, it was serious enough that he’ll miss more than a quarter of the season. The NHL also announced that its investigation into the allegations of domestic abuse by his ex-wife “could not be substantiated.”

Evander Kane - Sharks
Evander Kane, San Jose Sharks, Oct. 9, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

It was quickly revealed by Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic that it was not expected Kane would appeal the suspension. The forward did release a statement where he apologized to his teammates, the organization and San Jose Sharks fans. He talked about seeking counseling while on suspension, but returning when he is able with “great effort, determination and love for the game of hockey.”

Related: NHL Rumors: Blackhawks, Rangers, Avalanche, Lightning, Maple Leafs

Kevin Kurz of The Athletic wonders if the Sharks will try to find a way to get out of the remaining three years on Kane’s contract. He writes:

Is there any way he can play another game for the Sharks again? If not, is there a way for the Sharks to get out from under his contract, which has three years remaining after this one at a $7 million AAV?

source – ‘Kurz: In the Sharks’ dressing room, Evander Kane is already an afterthought’ – Kevin Kurz – The Athletic – 10/18/2021

Brian Witt of NBC Sports wonders if the Sharks could find a way to get in on center Jack Eichel if they can somehow shed the remainder of Kane’s contract.

Quick Follow Up on Travis Hamonic

As reported yesterday, the Canucks did suspend defenseman Travis Hamonic without pay. The organization also issued the following statement:

General Manager Jim Benning announced today that defenseman Travis Hamonic has been placed on a temporary leave of absence. The mutually agreed upon leave of absence will give Travis time as he works through his personal matters. The team asks that media respect Travis’ privacy and the club will not be making any further comments on the matter at this time. 

As for the suspension without pay, the leave of absence entirely removes his cap hit. Satiar Shah of Sportsnet tweets that the Canucks’ preference is still to have Hamonic join the club this season, whenever he is able.

Rangers Relationship With Kravtsov Can’t Be Fixed

There have been plenty of cases where a player is on the outs with their respective NHL team but come back. Jesse Puljujarvi is a great example in Edmonton. Unfortunately, the signs are not good that the relationship between Vitali Kravtsov and the New York Rangers can be fixed. According to one source, that’s not possible now.

Vitali Kravtsov, New York Rangers
Vitali Kravtsov, New York Rangers (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

As per Vincent Z. Mercogliano of Lohud, it is believed Kravtsov feels he was offered false promises. While the Rangers contend any stint in the AHL was going to be short-lived and Kravtsov could be given a shot thanks to an injury to Kaapo Kakko, Kravtsov feels like he was told he would be playing in the NHL after he signed his entry-level contract. He spent last season in the KHL, came back to play and didn’t make the roster.

There’s some thought this is much like the Lias Andersson situation for a while back. The Rangers refused to get fleeced in trade and waited, eventually getting a second-round pick him.