NHL Rumor Mill – December 7, 2016

NHL Rumor Mill – December 7, 2016

Some NHL clubs could have interest in the Vancouver Canucks' Sedin twins.

Some NHL clubs could have interest in the Vancouver Canucks’ Sedin twins.

Latest on the Sedin twins, Marc-Andre Fleury and the Toronto Maple Leafs in your NHL rumor mill. 

THE PROVINCE: Jason Botchford reports Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning said he will not trade any of his players carrying no-trade/no-movement clauses unless the player requests a move.

Botchford also dismisses talk that this doesn’t matter because Daniel and Henrik Sedin cannot be moved, claiming he knows of two teams that would likely make bids for the twins at their full combined $14 million cap hit, though such a move would likely have to take place in the offseason. He believes there would be more if the Canucks agreed to pick up part of that cap hit. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sedins only have a year left on their respective contracts. That’s why a couple of clubs would be willing to pick up the full tab to land them, or those who’d pursue them if the Canucks agreed to pick up part of that $14 million cap hit.

The problem for the Canucks, however, is there’s no way they’re getting a quality return for those guys. While they’re still very talented, they’re also now 36 and well past their best-before dates. I agree with Botchford that moving the Sedins, if they decide to request a trade, is something that happens in the offseason. 

TSN: Darren Dreger reports the Pittsburgh Penguins have not received any trade offer yet for goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, though he believes general manager Jim Rutherford has to listen when they do come his way. Bob McKenzie believes if Fleury moves, he’ll only want to do it once, preferring to go to a team where he can finish his current contract (which expires in 2019) and possibly his career. 

Pierre LeBrun reports the Los Angeles Kings are among several teams monitoring goalie Karri Ramo, who signed a professional tryout offer with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies, the farm club of the Maple Leafs. Ramo remains an unrestricted free agent and can sign anywhere, but LeBrun believes the Leafs have the inside track. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fleury has a limited no-trade clause listing 18 preferred trade destinations. He’ll want to go to a club where he’ll be the clear-cut starter. The Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars and Winnipeg Jets are possible options, provided they’re on Fleury’s list and if any of them can move one of their current netminders to make room for him. 

TSN: Darren Dreger yesterday told Leafs Lunch that neither he or other media insiders claimed the Toronto Maple Leafs put left wing James van Riemsdyk or promising forward William Nylander on the trade block. 

TORONTO STAR: In a recent mailbag segment, Kevin McGran cast doubt upon the possibility of the Leafs swapping van Riemsdyk for Calgary Flames defenseman Dougie Hamilton, suggesting JVR is too old (27) for their core. He believes the winger would be a better fit with Montreal, Pittsburgh, “maybe the Islanders”, Los Angeles, Anaheim, Vancouver and possibly Minnesota.

McGran also believes the Leafs could be reluctant to acquire a top-four defenseman this season, as that would mean protecting four blueliners in the expansion draft in June. Right now, the three to protect are Morgan Rielly, Jake Gardiner and Connor Carrick. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Dreger pointed out, neither he or any notable media insiders claimed the Leafs were shopping JVR or Nylander. All any of them suggested was that, if the Leafs were to shop a forward for a top-four defenseman, JVR might be the prime candidate. At no point did any of them proclaim this was actually happening now.

As McGran observes, they won’t be a lack of suitors if the Leafs do one day put van Riemsdyk on the trade block, though I think the Flames would listen if the Leafs came calling. Interesting take by McGran about the Leafs and the expansion draft. That would provide further motivation for management to wait until after that draft to go shopping for blueline help. 

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 7, 2016

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 7, 2016

New Jersey Devils winger Taylor Hall levels Vancouver Canucks defenseman Philip Larsen.

New Jersey Devils winger Taylor Hall levels Vancouver Canucks defenseman Philip Larsen.

Game recaps, injury updates and much more in this morning’s collection of NHL headlines. 

NHL.com: A hit by New Jersey Devils’ winger Taylor Hall on Vancouver Canucks defenseman Philip Larsen knocked the latter from the game and overshadowed the Devils 3-2. victory.

Larsen was knocked unconscious and was stretchered from the game. Latest word is Larsen was awake and responsive and was taken to hospital for further evaluation. Though Hall was reassured the hit was clean, he still expressed remorse. He said his intention wasn’t to injure Larsen, a former teammate. 

Also during the game, Devils forward Travis Zajac suffered a facial injury after crashing head first into the boards, but was stitched up and returned to action. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The league will review the hit, but it remains to be seen if it will be ruled illegal. While a case could be made that it was a blindside hit, Hall didn’t target Larsen’s head or hit him from behind. Here’s hoping Larsen didn’t suffer a serious injury and returns to action soon. 

Marian Hossa scored twice while Scott Darling turned in a 22-save shutout performance to give the Chicago Blackhawks a 4-0 win over the Arizona Coyotes. However, Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook left the game with an upper-body injury

Jakub Voracek tallied in overtime after Wayne Simmonds scored twice in regulation to lift the Philadelphia Flyers to a 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers, giving the Flyers their sixth straight victory. 

Jaden Schwartz scored twice, including in overtime, as the St. Louis Blues overcame a 2-0 deficit to edge the Montreal Canadiens 3-2. Canadiens center Davis Desharnais left the game in the third period with an apparent knee injury. Earlier in the day, the Blues placed defenseman Robert Bortuzzo (lower body) on injured reserve

Jaroslav Halak made 36 saves backstopping the New York Islanders to a 4-2 victory over the New York Rangers. The Rangers also lost forwards Rick Nash (groin) and Matt Puempel (concussion) to injury

Henrik Zetterberg’s shootout goal capped a rally for the Detroit Red Wings that saw them roar back from a two-goal deficit to defeat the Winnipeg Jets 4-3. Jets rookie Patrik Laine scored his 17th of the season, tying him for first in the league. 

Rasmus Ristolainen’s overtime tally gave the Buffalo Sabres a 4-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers. Ristolaninen also collected two assists in the contest, as did Oilers captain Connor McDavid. 

Roma Josi’s overtime marker gave the Nashville Predators a 4-3 victory over the Colorado Avalanche, who dropped their sixth straight game. 

Sean Monahan’s third period power-play goal lifted the Calgary Flames to a 2-1 win over the Dallas Stars

TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs demoted backup goalie Jhonas Enroth and called up Antoine Bibeau. Meanwhile, unrestricted free agent netminder Karri Ramo signed a professional tryout contract with the Marlies, the Leafs’ AHL affiliate. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This doesn’t mean Ramo has signed with the Leafs. That will depend upon his performance with the Marlies over the next several games. He remains a UFA and can sign with any NHL club he chooses.

ESPN.COM: Hall of Famer Eric Lindros is calling for a national standard to diagnose and treat concussions in sports. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think that’s a great idea, but getting some pro sports leagues to recognize such a standard is another matter. The commissioners of some of those leagues (hello there, NHL commish Gary Bettman) refuse to acknowledge the link between concussions and serious brain injuries. 

The NHL and NHLPA are in talks to give teams a “bye week” in the 2017-18 schedule. 

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Ken Campbell is no fan of Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland’s suggestion of a one-game wild-card play-in for the postseason. 

NEW YORK POST: The NHL will be moving its headquarters to a new location in New York City.