NHL Rumor Mill – March 30, 2018
Latest on the Sedins, Pavel Datsyuk and Joshua Ho-Sang plus an update on the Chicago Blackhawks and Florida Panthers in your NHL rumor mill.
CANUCKS GM TO SEEK ANSWERS ON SEDINS’ PLANS
TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning intends to meet with Daniel and Henrik Sedin over the next few days to determine where they’re at in terms of their plans beyond this season. Their decision could spill into the offseason. One factor could be what role the twins will play if they decide to return with the Canucks next season. They’re currently seeing second-line duty this season. Retirement could be a possibility for the Sedins.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sedins will likely take their time considering their options. While Benning could be patient, he’ll likely want a decision before late-June. By then, he’ll want to know if he’s investing in the twins for another season or on other players via trade or free agency.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM FRIEDMAN’S LATEST “31 THOUGHTS”
SPORTSNET: In this week’s “31 Thoughts” column, Elliotte Friedman reported of some wild rumors suggesting Pavel Datsyuk might return with the Detroit Red Wings next season. However, his agent said that’s not true.
The Florida Panthers are trying to trade 2016 second-round pick Adam Mascherin, who’s a 40-goal scorer this season with the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers. He’s informed the Panthers he won’t be signing with them, meaning he’ll go back into the draft unless they can trade his rights before then. Friedman suggests interested clubs could be reluctant to give up much in a trade for a player they could instead have the opportunity to draft.
There was some speculation the Chicago Blackhawks might consider trading their lottery draft pick for immediate help. However, GM Stan Bowman doesn’t appear keen on the idea. “I would be surprised if we traded it. Maybe if it was for a 22- or 23-year-old, who would be a couple of years ahead of draft age. But not for a 25- or 26-year-old.”
HO-SANG UNHAPPY IN THE MINORS
THE ATHLETIC: Arthur Staple reports New York Islanders winger Joshua Ho-Sang isn’t happy with being buried in the minors this season. Stressing that he loved his Isles teammates and knows how hard they’re working this season, he feels he was unfairly singled out for his defensive issues when the entire team is struggling in that department. “I know they’re working hard. But I got sent down for defense and what are they in goals against in the NHL? I only played (22) games up there this year. I don’t think it’s my fault. They really painted it like it was my fault at the beginning of the year and I didn’t like that.”
Ho-Sang acknowledged there are aspects of his game that need improvement. “But I do think a lot of the stuff was unwarranted, especially in terms of the rope that other people were given. I understand I have a history and that might be a factor. I don’t know. But it’s frustrating to me.”
Ho-Sang said he and his agent haven’t requested a trade. Staple, however, thinks it would be hard to imagine there are other clubs clamoring for the young forward.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ho-Sang has promising offensive skills but there are concerns over his defensive play and his immaturity. The 22-year-old must work on those issues if he intends to crack the Isles roster full time. It wouldn’t surprise me if management explores his trade value leading up to the 2018 NHL Draft in Dallas.