In today’s NHL rumors rundown, with news that Nikolai Ehlers is out with sports hernia surgery, what will the Winnipeg Jets do to replace his production? Meanwhile, there’s chatter about the Toronto Maple Leafs searching around the market for a defenseman, but could the team make multiple moves?
The Edmonton Oilers are without Kailer Yamamoto and could the Boston Bruins go after a big fish like Patrick Kane?
Ehlers Out, What’s Next for Jets?
Ken Wiebe of Sportsnet discussed plans for the Winnipeg Jets after it was revealed that forward Nikolaj Ehlers would be out indefinitely following his sports hernia surgery. Down three of their top-nine forwards, speculation is that they may look for a replacement on the trade market.
Wiebe writes, “When you consider the Jets have a surplus of defensemen in the system right now, it stands to reason that Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff is likely working the phones looking for a deal that makes sense.” He adds that the Jets could dangle a defenseman to add a forward but currently, Logan Stanley is out with a foot injury and Dylan DeMelo has missed two games with an upper-body injury. Does that mean a trade will happen down the road? It doesn’t sound like a move is imminent.
Wiebe writes, “Thanks to a 10-5-1 start that has them right in the thick of things in the Central Division standings, making a move for a forward doesn’t need to happen immediately but it remains a priority.”
Maple Leafs Looking at Multiple Moves
One team that could use some help on defense is the Toronto Maple Leafs. It’s not been reported that the Jets and Maple Leafs have anything cooking, but there are reports that the Leafs are looking at multiple options and could make various moves. As per Luke Fox of Sportsnetthe cap space created by placing Jake Muzzin on the LTIR creates a hole on the blue line and an opportunity to fill it.
Fox writes that the Maple Leafs have been linked to Jakob Chychrun, Erik Karlsson, and John Klingberg. Head coach Sheldon Keefe said Saturday: “We need help on offense from our defense.” That has some believing the Leafs might be leaning more toward Klingberg. Other names Fox mentions are Matt Dumba, Vladislav Gavrikov, Dmitry Orlov, Brian Dumoulin, Artem Zub, Scott Mayfield, and Tyler Myers.
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To make matters worse, Keefe notes that the Maple Leafs won’t have TJ Brodie back in the lineup for a little while, as his progress from an injury has not gone as well as the team would have hoped. David Alter of Sports Illustrated reports that Brodie will not travel with the team during their four-game road trip.
Oilers Still Without Yamamoto
Speaking of injuries that aren’t getting better, Mark Spector of Sportsnet reports that the Edmonton Oilers will not have Kailer Yamamoto on their road trip that starts tonight in New Jersey against the Devils. Yamamoto hasn’t played since November 11 and Spector notes the forward “hasn’t been right” since a big collision in the preseason.
It’s not clear if the Oilers will look to place Yamamoto on backdated LTIR. When this road trip is done, he will have missed seven of the 10 games required in a 24-day period to be eligible.
Will The Bruins Pursue the Blackhawks’ Kane?
Boston Hockey Now’s Jimmy Murphy cited an NHL executive who believed the Bruins would be making a pitch for Patrick Kane if the Blackhawks do make him available prior to this year’s NHL Trade Deadline. He notes that the Bruins are all-in for a Stanley Cup run this season and that executives are fully committed to doing whatever is necessary to give the Bruins the best chance to win another Stanley Cup for captain Patrice Bergeron.
There are salary complications that would come with the Bruins chasing a player with a $10.5 million cap hit, but if some salary is retained in the deal, this executive believes the Bruins would try to make it work. The issue comes in both having the cap space and competing with competing teams who will put strong packages together for Kane as well.
Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”