NHL Rumors: Blue Jackets, Canadiens, Red Wings, Flames, Kings

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, there is good news on Patrik Laine’s return from injury timeline, the Montreal Canadiens are getting an essential piece of their lineup back, and the Detroit Red Wings are down a key forward as Jakub Vrana enters the NHL’s Players Assistance Program.

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What is the future for Juraj Slafkovksy in the NHL? Finally, there is more Patrick Kane trade speculation with three new teams getting into the discussion.

Laine is Returning on Schedule, Maybe Early

Laine’s three-to-four-week recovery timeline is still on schedule, if not a bit ahead reports The Columbus Dispatch’s Brian Hedger. The forward skated on his own in full gear for the past two days and the news is that Laine feels like he’ll be ready to play by the first week of November when the Blue Jackets travel to Finland. He said his elbow “feels better than [he] thought it would.”

Patrik Laine Columbus Blue Jackets
Patrik Laine, Columbus Blue Jackets (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Head coach Brad Larsen said a couple of days ago, “I don’t really have a solid update other than he’s improving.” He added, “But I don’t think he’s anywhere close to playing within the next couple of games.”

Canadiens Get Jake Allen Back, Plus Slafkovsky Talk

Goaltender Jake Allen is back with the Canadiens after the birth of his third daughter. Allen missed Monday night’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, which the Canadiens won 3-2 in overtime. Allen is the Canadiens’ starter this season and while he hasn’t played more than 50 games in a season since 2017-18 with the Blues, he could get in that many this year. Allen said the amount of games he will play hasn’t really been discussed with head coach Martin St. Louis, goalie coach Eric Raymond and Montembeault.

Juraj Slafkovsky Montreal Canadiens 2022 Draft
Juraj Slafkovsky, Montreal Canadiens (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

In other Canadiens news, TSNs Darren Dreger noted during the Insider Trading segment that top draft pick and prospect Juraj Slafkovsky is being analyzed on a shift-by-shift basis and could end up in the AHL eventually. Dreger notes:

“…it’s likely that Juraj Slafkovsky will be sent to the AHL but first they want him to develop an NHL identity. What that means is they want to see him play more North-South, they want him to use that big body, be physical, they want a better awareness of what he does when he’s away from the puck so those are the qualities they’re trying to instill at this point.”

Jakub Vrana Out for Red Wings

As announced on Wednesday by the NHL, Detroit Red Wings forward Jakub Vrana has been placed in the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program. Vrana will be unavailable to the team for an indefinite period of time as he receives care as overseen by the program. He won’t be allowed to rejoin the team until he gets clearance from the program administrators.

Patrick Kane Linked to Three New Teams

The New York Rangers have always been linked to Patrick Kane trade talks but Craig Button of TSN has added a few new teams into the mix. In the Western Conference, he believes Kane would be a fit for both the Calgary Flames and Los Angeles Kings. He adds the Pittsburgh Penguins to the already-mentioned Rangers in the Eastern Conference.

Button notes that Kane could offset some of the offense the Flames lost during the offseason while he contends that he could help the Kings progress in their development. When it comes to the Penguins, he thinks Kane could bolster the Penguins’ production in the playoffs and he thinks Kane could put the Rangers over the top when it comes to their odds of winning a Stanley Cup.

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