We’re closing in on Christamas and we’ve got the gift of more NHL rumours. COVID-19 has caused the NHL to pull out of the Olympics, but the All-Star Game may still be in play. We also have items on the Ottawa Senators and Boston Bruins on this Christmas Eve Eve.
All NHL rumours come from the original source and are subject to change.
Rumour: ESPN NHL writer Greg Wyshynski said the NHL is still hoping to hold its All-Star Game in Las Vegas.
From what I’m hearing, no discussion about canceling NHL All-Star Weekend in Las Vegas at the moment. Clearly with NHL in triage mode over COVID, there are other priorities.
Would expect a robust debate over having so many players from so many teams converging in one spot.
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) December 20, 2021
Analysis: Wyshynski said the NHL is in “triage mode” when it comes to COVID. The league’s main priority is to complete the full 82-game slate for the first time since 2018-19. With the Olympics off the table, the NHL now has more leeway to try and get those games played.
However, the league does want to get All-Star Game in because it would get more exposure thanks to the new ESPN/Turner Sports relationship in the United States. Coverage of the game and skills competition likely wouldn’t get relegated to less than a couple of minutes in the final 15 minutes of SportsCenter. The All-Star Game generates a ton of revenue for the league and in hockey-mad Vegas, it will make even more. All-Star Weekend is about the other events besides what is happening on the ice. And that is where the league makes its money.
The main concern is the gathering of players coming all over North America in one place. Infections could spread and may cause even more issues with the schedule. Nashville Predators general manager floated the idea of a compromise where the players would get two of the three weeks off and the final week would be used for makeup games. The final week of the regular season would be pushed back one week for more slack at the end of the slate.
Rumour: Ian Mendes of The Athletic speculated on if goalie Anton Forsberg will be on the move.
Brady Tkachuk has taken more than 100 face-offs this season. And only Patrice Bergeron has a better success rate on draws.
My Sens notebook on Tkachuk’s dominance in the circle, Batherson’s brilliance, Zaitsev’s injury and the Forsberg conundrum. https://t.co/2S9nRoxan1
— Ian Mendes (@ian_mendes) December 18, 2021
Analysis: Ottawa has struggled in recent seasons with backup goalies. Look at the previous experiments of Andrew Hammond and Mike Condon for proof of that. However, Craig Anderson was the steady starter at that time and could be relied on to take the bulk of the work.
The main issue is the Senators don’t have a bonafide number one after Matt Murray has faltered. Joey Daccord was taken in the Seattle Kraken expansion draft and Filip Gustavsson has a save percentage of .893 with a 3-7 record.
Forsberg has given Ottawa steady play in net and that’s raised the question on whether general manager Pierre Dorion should flip the Swede to the highest bidder. The 29-year-old is on a one-year deal worth $900,000 and will likely get a raise from someone. If the Senators can sign Forsberg to a low-cost deal, it would be ideal for both sides.
Rumour: Bruins writer Mark Divver said Zach Senyshyn wants a chance to play somewhere in the league.
Zach Senyshyn: "I want to play in the NHL. I feel like I haven’t been given that opportunity in the Bruins organization'' https://t.co/899BL917Y4
— Mark Divver (@MarkDivver) December 22, 2021
Analysis: The young Bruins forward asked the team for a trade earlier in the week. He was the 15th overall pick of the 2015 NHL Draft, but the Ottawa native hasn’t been able to crack the lineup with Boston.
Senyshyn has spent the season in AHL Providence, where he has eight goals and 13 points in 21 games. The 24-year-old wants more consistent game time in the NHL and it looks like he might not get it with the Bruins.
He wasn’t one of the players that Boston called up when the team was hit by a COVID outbreak. That seemingly didn’t sit well with him and probably made him want to seek a new situation.
We talked earlier in the week that the Edmonton Oilers might be in the market for players not happy in the AHL. Senyshyn could be someone that helps the Oilers with depth on their bottom-six. However, are the Bruins ready to throw in the towel on the former first-rounder?