Welcome to the Tuesday edition of NHL Rumours! We are only one sleep away from the NHL starting the 2020-21 season. As teams try to get under the salary cap by end of the day on Tuesday, things will continue to pick up. We here at Last Word on Hockey will continue to bring you the news surrounding the latest rumours. Today’s NHL Rumours feature the New Jersey Devils, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Vancouver Canucks.
New Jersey Devils
Analysis: The Devils thought they had solved the goaltending problems that have plagued them over the years. Having Crawford on board was an upgrade over Cory Schneider to backup Mackenzie Blackwood. With Crawford announcing his retirement, a position of strength has now become a weakness. It’s not like the Devils were going to make the playoffs, but at least with the tandem of Blackwood/Crawford, the Devils would have been in most games. Now the Devils will rely on Blackwood to carry the load again. The Devils brought in Scott Wedgewood to be the third goalie once the season started. He has looked the best in training camp so far. However, having a tandem of Blackwood/Wedgewood is not ideal for the Devils once the season starts.
Given the Devils want Gilles Senn and Evan Cormier playing in the AHL, the team needs to look for another option. On the UFA market, Jimmy Howard is still available. But that is not a route the Devils will want to pursue. What about on the trade market? Teams are required to carry three goalies so trade options could be tough. However, the Devils were one of the teams involved in trade talks involving Vegas Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. This could be an option as he is someone who could take the workload off of Blackwood. Maybe the Devils talk with the Arizona Coyotes about Antti Raanta or Darcy Kuemper. They could look at other teams like the Calgary Flames as well. Plus there is the waiver wire. There are some familiar names the Devils could bring back like Keith Kinkaid. This will be a situation to watch going forward.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Elliotte Friedman said on SN960 that CBJ have already received several offers for Dubois that they find intriguing. Other teams are not messing around given the rare opportunity to acquire a player of Dubois’ calibre. Habs were worried about losing Mete. Leafs worried about Dell.
— J (@Account4hockey) January 12, 2021
Analysis: Given all the tension between Dubois and the Jackets, it appears the parties will be going their separate ways eventually. It will be interesting to see how many teams have called about him. According to Pierre McGuire on TSN 690 in Montreal believes there are at least five teams that have the assets to make this type of trade. These teams include the Winnipeg Jets, Los Angeles Kings, Montreal Canadiens, Anaheim Ducks, and Ottawa Senators. Any one of these teams could use a centre like Dubois, but especially teams like the Canadiens and Jets. Especially the Jets. Winnipeg has been looking for that second-line centre behind Mark Scheifele.
It is interesting to see that Montreal is named considering they just traded for Josh Anderson. Marc Bergevin is trying to build a contender to win now in Montreal. The other three teams definitely do have the assets to make the deal. Especially for a player like Dubois. However, will they want to part with those assets? Considering Anaheim, Los Angeles, and Ottawa are all in rebuilding modes. Will Dubois want to go to a place where he may not have a chance to win now. He wants to be in a hockey market and there is no better market than Montreal. It will just be interesting to see who they want to give up to acquire him.
Rumour: Rick Dhaliwal of TSN 1040 in Vancouver reports that Vasili Podkolzin will not be leaving SKA St. Petersburg before the end of the season.
Lots of rumours of Podkolzin leaving SKA after he was a healthy scratch yesterday, sources tell me, as of right now, the plan is for him to stay with SKA for the remainder in the season. https://t.co/qST2J2FoKi
— Rick Dhaliwal (@DhaliwalSports) January 11, 2021
Analysis: There was some chatter Podkolzin was going to leave after being a healthy scratch for SKA St. Petersburg over the weekend. However, that is not the case according to Dhaliwal who spoke with someone close to the team. The prospect for the Canucks wants to finish the season before signing with Vancouver on April 30th. Podkolzin played for Russia at the 2021 World Junior Championships. He was one of the bright spots for Russia. Being very vocal on the bench and on the ice. This season with SKA St. Petersburg Podkolzin has six points in 24 games.
As the SKA St. Petersburg President told Dhaliwal, while he may want more ice time, he has to go out there and earn it. One of the contributing factors to why Podkolzin may not be playing much is that he did not sign a new extension. While this could be the case, sometimes teams have reasons for scratching players. However, when a player wants to leave for the NHL and has played in the KHL system for a while, that usually does not go over well.
Right now there is nothing the Canucks can do. The best thing they can hope for is that Podkolzin gets back into the lineup. And once April 30th comes they can sign him to a contract and get him into North America.
That does it for the Tuesday edition of NHL Rumours. Stay tuned for another edition on Wednesday.
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