The latest on Dustin Byfuglien, Artemi Panarin, Matthew Tkachuk, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
TSN: Bob McKenzie yesterday reported Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien is believed to be pondering his future during his current leave of absence from the club. There’s no timetable as to a decision or a return to the roster. Neither Byfuglien or his agent responded to a request for an interview. McKenzie’s colleague Darren Dreger said the Jets are giving the blueliner as much time and space as he needs to contemplate his future.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This report came as a shock for Jets fans still reeling from the club’s ongoing inability to get forwards Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor under contract and last June’s trade of rearguard Jacob Trouba to the New York Rangers. Byfuglien, 34, missed 40 games last season to two ankle injuries, a concussion, and an upper-body injury.
McKenzie indicated he’s not saying Byfuglien will retire or not return to the Jets. Nevertheless, the possibility of either result is generating plenty of commentary over the effect his absence could have upon the Jets’ already depleted blueline this season.
There’s also speculation over how they might try to replace Big Buff. I’ll have more this morning in the Rumors section.
NEW YORK POST: Rangers winger Artemi Panarin left last night’s preseason game against the New Jersey Devils with a mild groin strain. Head coach David Quinn said it was a precautionary move and expects Panarin will be fine.
LONDON FREE PRESS’ Ryan Pyette tweeted Calgary Flames winger Matthew Tkachuk is skating with the OHL’s London Knights this week. Tkachuk played for the Knights in 2015-16.
WASHINGTON POST: Capitals center Lar Eller is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury and was scratched from last night’s preseason contest with the St. Louis Blues.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers yesterday signed former KHL forward Anton Burdasov to a professional tryout offer.
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Golden Knights are the top-selling team on the ticket exchange website StubHub for the third straight season.
THE SCORE: Former Philadelphia Flyers general manager Ron Hextall is returning to the Los Angeles Kings as a part-time advisor to their hockey operations department. Hextall was the Kings’ assistant GM from 2006 to 2013.