NHL Rumors: Flyers, Blackhawks, Blue Jackets, Bruins

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Philadelphia Flyers got more bad news when it comes to Sean Couturier. Meanwhile, the Chicago Blackhawks have confirmed that their long-term plans don’t change regardless of short-term success. The Columbus Blue Jackets might be interested in Jakob Chychrun and there is an update from the Boston Bruins when it comes to David Pastrnak’s contract talks.

Couturier Out 4-6 Months

The Flyers have announced that Sean Couturier had back revision surgery on Thursday. His expected recovery time is three to four months. Meanwhile, James van Riemsdyk had surgery on his left index finger Friday, expected out for six weeks.

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GM Chuck Fletcher said they’re not really sure if it’s a reinjury or if it wasn’t healing properly or if the original surgery didn’t fix everything. The team is confident that this second surgery will get him back to normal.

Blackhawks Plan to Rebuild Remains Despite Strong Start

According to Sportsnet’s Mark Spector, there will be no change in plans regardless of how the Chicago Blackhawks perform this season. They could have a fantastic record and be in the conversation for the playoffs and the organizational plan to turn over contracts and move pending UFAs remains. He said he spoke to GM Kyle Davidson prior to the Edmonton Oilers going into Chicago and winning a wild game. Davidson said, “The plan does not change.” He added, “No, no. … We’re committed.” 

Kyle Davidson Chicago Blackhawks
Kyle Davidson Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images)

That includes trying to move franchise superstars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, both of whom are off to strong starts this season. Max Domi and Andreas Athanasiou are also playing well, but it’s likely they’ll be moved too. Davidson explained, “You have to set your course, set the process in motion, and just follow through with it. Because in a couple of years it’s not going to matter what we did in 2023.” He added, “This (good start) is really fun, and I’m really happy for the players and coaches, because they put in a lot of work to make this happen. It’s exciting, but we’re not going to deviate from anything that we do.” 

Blue Jackets Showing Interest in Chychrun?

While a guest on The Jeff Marek Show, The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline discussed the Columbus Blue Jackets’ rough start to this season. As part of the conversation, he linked defenseman Jakob Chychrun to the team and said there are trade rumors in Columbus that the team might be interested.

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Portzline said the organization has denied it, but there were rumors this summer that the Jackets attempted to acquire Chychrun during the first round of this year’s draft in Montreal. At the time, it sounded like the player wasn’t interested in playing in Columbus. Now, even if Chychrun wanted to go there and felt differently about the team, the Blue Jackets have soured on the idea of trading for him. Portzline admitted that he could see a scenario where these two teams talk again, but he doesn’t see a scenario where the Blue Jackets part with either of David Jiricek or Denton Mateychuk to make it happen.

Bruins “Not There” Yet With Pastrnak

Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney said there are no updates on David Pastrnak’s contract extension talks: “We’re not there,” he told the media this week. He added, “Communication has been good. Haven’t found an endpoint yet.” He is leading the in points with 17 and has eight points in the last four games. The value and the price of his contract is going up and up with each passing game.

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

One of the things insiders said Pastrnak was bullish on before signing was that he knew this Bruins’ team would be good moving forward. When asked about how things are going in Boston as the team gets off to a strong start, he responded, “I think we play together…that’s the biggest thing. Whoever was in the lineup was going the whole game…we’re really happy about where we’re at now, but we’re obviously going to keep working on our game.” That the Bruins are winning has to be helping the organization convince the forward to stick around long-term.