NHL Rumors: Oilers, Maple Leafs, Predators, Flyers, Lightning, More

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Edmonton Oilers have learned they’ll be without forward Josh Archibald for the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, Auston Matthews looks to be making strong progress and a return is close. The Philadelphia Flyers have responded to allegations against head coach Alain Vigneault, while the Tampa Bay Lightning are working to extend their bench boss. Finally, is Filip Forsberg more likely to be traded or re-signed by the Nashville Predators?

Archibald Diagnosed with Myocarditis

The Oilers were waiting for the results of some blood tests after it was learned Archibald wasn’t feeling well. The lone unvaccinated Oilers player, he was consistently testing negative for COVID, but just couldn’t get himself up to speed. It was learned on Sunday that Archibald has developed complications from having the virus earlier this summer.

Head coach Dave Tippett confirmed that the Oilers got bad news when it comes to Archibald’s diagnosis. He explained, “Here’s where we are with Arch (Josh Archibald). He’s had a lot of tests. Back half of the quarantine he wasn’t feeling right after skating. Tests showed he had Covid. He tested for the antibodies. He’s got myocarditis and is out indefinitely.”

Regardless of where you stand on the virus and the vaccine, this is not good news and that he’s developed a heart condition from contracting the virus not long ago is troubling. The first reaction should be that we hope he fully recovers his and his family’s sake. As for what the Oilers do next, they’ll likely place Archibald on LTIR and get $1.5 million in cap relief to replace the player with.

Auston Matthews Taking Contact in Practice

As per a report by Jonas Siegel of The Athletic, Auston Matthews took part in nearly all of a recent practice (not the scrimmage) and even took contact. Matthews is trying to rehab from wrist surgery and be ready for the opening of the regular season for the Maple Leafs. There are still questions about whether or not he’ll be ready, but the arrows are pointing in the right direction.

David Atler of Sports Illustrated quotes head coach Sheldon Keefe who said, “It’s a really good step, he did a lot more today than we were expecting of him, frankly.” He added, “He wanted to keep going and felt good, (he) shot the puck hard. I thought today, it was the first time I really saw him leaning into one-timers.”

Predators More Likely to Trade Forsberg than Keep Him?

According to The Tennessean’s Gentry Estes, the lack of progress when it comes to contract negotiations between Filip Forsberg and the Predators is troubling. The player has said things like he’s “barely thought about” a new deal or that he’s in “no rush” to sign a contract extension.

Estes adds:

As much as their fans may not want to hear this: Unless this season’s team proves better on the ice than anyone expects, it’s logical to think there’s a good chance Forsberg is wearing another uniform before the end of the 2021-22 season.

source – ‘To know the Nashville Predators’ true intentions, watch Filip Forsberg’s contract | Estes’ – Gentry Estes – The Tennessean – 10/01/2021

Estes is clearly in favor of the team rebuilding, so that may factor into why he believes it makes more sense for the Predators to trade Forsberg. At the same time, he makes a case that Forsberg is worth more to the Predators in a trade that he would be if the team invested a small fortune in re-signing him.

Flyers Respond to Allegations Against Vigneault

After allegations were thrown at the direction of head coach Alain Vigneault by goaltender Robin Lehner, accusing him of being among the worst coaches in the NHL to give improperly cleared medication to players, the Flyers have released a statement about the allegations and their head coach.

Alain Vigneault
Alain Vigneault, Philadelphia Flyers head coach (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Slocum)

GM Chuck Fletcher said, “The health and well-being of our players is our top priority, and any care provided to them comes from the team’s health care professionals, not the coaching staff.  We have no reason to believe any of our players have received improper care.”

The NHL has reached out to Lehner to interview the Vegas goaltender about the accusations he made on social media. He had last threatened to reveal story after story if nothing was done. He did not tweet again on Sunday.

Lightning Talking To Cooper About Extension

Pierre LeBrun of TSN and The Athletic reports that after Julien BriseBois was extended as the team’s general manager, the next order of business is extending the coach. He reports the Tampa Bay Lightning have begun contract extension talks with Jon Cooper.

Cooper is entering the final season of a three-year deal paying him $3.5 million per season. After winning back-to-back Stanley Cup Championships, he is now the longest-reigning coach in the NHL. He’ll likely be the highest-paid when all is said and done.

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