NHL Rumors: Bruins, Canucks, Senators, Sharks, Maple Leafs

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, there was a trade in the NHL on Thursday as the Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins made a deal. Meanwhile, the Ottawa Senators are not looking to go out and replace the injured Josh Norris.

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The San Jose Sharks have let the other teams in the NHL know that all of their players (sans one) are available and is the seat Sheldon Keefe is sitting on in Toronto officially hot?

Canucks Acquire Jack Studnicka

As first reported by TSN’s Darren Dreger, the Vancouver Canucks have acquired center Jack Studnicka from the Boston Bruins in exchange for goaltender Michael DiPietro and defenseman Jonathan Myrenberg. Bruins’ head coach Jim Montgomery commented on the move and said of the team trading Studnicka: “I’m happy for him. He’ll get an opportunity.”

When GM Don Sweeney was asked why it didn’t work for Studnicka, he responded that the pandemic year really threw his development off. “He just kinda stalled, and then it was up-and-down, in and out. No fault of Jack’s [end], maybe more fault on ours.”

Senators Not Looking to Replace Josh Norris

After news that Josh Norris could be out for the season with the Senators, speculation suggested the team might go out and try to find an upgrade over veteran forward Derick Brassard. According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, he noted during Insider Trading, that’s not the direction the Senators will be headed.

Dreger suggests the Senators feel “that they are OK” despite Norris’ injury, and they believe they are deep enough to overcome his absence. With the hot start of Shane Pinto, they could be correct and if he can come in and assume a top-six center position, the Sens might not need to upgrade.

Almost Everyone in San Jose is Available For Trade

TSN’s Pierre LeBrun noted during his segment on Insider Trading that the San Jose Sharks have told teams that pretty much everyone is available for trade except forward Tomas Hertl. LeBrun explains:

“Listen, Mike Grier is the new GM, he didn’t take long to make significant changes last summer either and this is where he’s going to need to be creative. Brent Burns only had three teams he could be traded for last summer. He actually waived to go to Carolina which wasn’t one of the three teams. That Sharks’ payroll and roster right now has a bunch of guys, led by the likes of Erik Karlsson, with full no-move clauses, it’s going to be difficult for Mike Grier to enact the kind of change that he wants, but that’s his intention over the next couple years. ”

Related: 3 Undrafted Rookies Making a Name For Themselves in 2022-23

Hertl signed an eight-year $65.1 million contract extension with the Sharks in March. His deal carries a full no-movement clause for this season and the following two years before a modified no-trade clause begins in the 2025-26 season.

Maple Leafs Defensive Issues, Keefe Watch On

Head coach Sheldon Keefe took aim at the Maple Leafs’ blue line after a disappointing overtime loss to the Sharks on Thursday. Keefe says Maple Leafs’ issues stem from the defence struggling to make a clean first pass and didn’t blame the forwards and said that changing the defense pairs probably won’t solve the issue.

Sheldon Keefe Toronto Maple Leafs
Sheldon Keefe, Toronto Maple Leafs Head Coach (Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images)

Unfortunately, there’s not much the team can do about their defensive woes, writes Jonas Siegel of The Athletic. He notes:

The defence looks overexposed right now, with Jake Muzzin and Timothy Liljegren both absent with injuries. That’s two of the usual top six (or seven) out of the mix, including the second-best defender (T.J. Brodie is tops at this point) on the team. The Leafs have no choice but to continue to lean on a struggling Justin Holl until Liljegren returns next month. They’ll have to find an external replacement for Muzzin if he doesn’t return this season.

This has led some to ask if Keefe is running out of time with this team. “The Sheldon Keefe watch is officially on,” writes Leafs Morning Take and The Nation Network host Nick Alberga.