NHL Rumours: Vancouver Canucks, Anaheim Ducks, Ottawa Senators

NHL Rumours

Welcome back to another Tuesday edition of NHL Rumours. Things have slowed down on the free agency front as teams prepare for the start of next season. Teams around the league are also looking to see how they can fit some of the remaining free agents onto their roster without giving up an asset. However, even with things being a little slow there are still rumours to follow. In this edition of NHL Rumours, we take a look at the Vancouver Canucks, Anaheim Ducks, and Ottawa Senators

NHL Rumours

Vancouver Canucks

Rumour: Harman Dayal of the Athletic reports that once Vasili Podkolzin‘s season is over he could be coming over to the NHL to play for the Vancouver Canucks.

Analysis: The Canucks have very high hopes for Vasili Podkolzin. Vancouver took the Russian winger in the first round 10th overall in the 2019 NHL Entry. However, he is currently playing in the KHL for SKA St. Petersburg. He is a very talented offensive player that is responsible defensively as displayed on the International Stage for Team Russia. While his numbers are not what SKA St. Petersburg had hoped they would be, many believe he is not being put in a situation to succeed. In the most recent tournament the Karjala Cup, Podkolzin was a standout performer for the Russians. He led the Russians with five points in three games. So there is no question of his offensive ability. Canucks general manager Jim Benning is not worried about the Podkolzin’s ability to play the game. The Canucks drafted him for a reason.

Benning feels it was good Podkolzin went to play in that tournament to help with his development and confidence. So when he gets back with the big club, he will be in a position to succeed. As far as when the Canucks would want for him to come to the NHL, they hope as soon as his season is over he can help the Canucks make a mid-to-late season push. It all depends on how long Podkolzin plays for his KHL team and if the IIHF hosts a World Championships this year. Benning believes the young Russian will be able to adjust to the NHL quickly. Podkolzin’s skillset suits his play for a smaller ice surface. The Canucks have a good player who will help those around him be better. He is not a game-breaker, but he will be a good addition to a young Canucks’ team.

Anaheim Ducks

Rumour: Anaheim Ducks beat reporter for the Orange County Register, Elliott Teaford writes that the Ducks should bring goalie prospect, Lukas Dostal, to this year’s training camp.

Analysis: The Anaheim Ducks are in a bit of a bind. They currently have one goalie on the roster. And that is John Gibson. Last season, Ryan Miller backed up Gibson. However, the Ducks have not re-signed him yet. Miller along with several other goalies are still on the free-agent market. The Ducks have six goalies in their system with Lukas Dostal being the most highly touted goalie prospect since Gibson. Dostal is currently playing in Finland and is putting up stellar numbers. It will be interesting to see with a rebuild going on in Anaheim if the Ducks will want to hamper his development. The best thing for Dostal to do is play. With a short and condensed season, he could see a lot of action.

The thing with Dostal is even though he is improving numbers-wise, it is a big jump from playing in Finland to playing in the NHL without getting used to the North American game. Now he is eligible to play in the AHL, if he were not to make the final cut on the main roster. So there is that option to consider for Ducks’ management. However, what better time to bring him over than now? Dostal is playing well. The best time to bring a player over is when the iron is hot… to use an old cliche. But, this will be a decision Ducks’ management will need to make. A big question facing the Ducks is do they want to risk Dostal’s development just to get a look at him at training camp, whenever that will be?

Ottawa Senators

Rumour: Emily Sadler of Sportsnet takes a look at the available free agents left on the market. She writes that a reunion between the Ottawa Senators and Anthony Duclair is not out of the question. 

Analysis: Duclair is coming a season where he scored a career-high 23 goals for the Senators. He found his stride with this group of young Senators fitting into the lineup nicely. The team offered him a reasonable contract to stay for the long term and be a part of the rebuild in Ottawa. However, right before free agency started Duclair decided to represent himself heading into negotiations with the Senators. General manager Pierre Dorion respected his decision to chase free agency and did not send Duclair a qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent.

However, in the financial market the NHL is in, it will be difficult to find a better offer than what the Senators originally gave him. If Duclair does circle back to the Senators, the offer will not be the same. In fact, with the signing of Evgenii Dadonov, Duclair’s role will be completely different. If Duclair did come back to the Senators that is something he would need to accept. The team is keeping the door open, but it is on Duclair if he wants to come back in a diminished role. The fit is right for both sides, and on a cheap one-year deal is a risk both sides should take.

That does it for a Tuesday of NHL Rumours stay tuned for another edition coming on Wednesday.

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