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NHL Rumours: Chicago Blackhawks and New Jersey Devils

Welcome to another edition of NHL Rumours! The All-Star break has finally arrived and has come at a good time for certain teams. It will be a great weekend of festivities in Toronto and an enjoyable weekend for the fans. However, the rumour mill is churning and the buzz is growing larger. Today’s rumours are around the Chicago Blackhawks and New Jersey Devils.

NHL Rumours

Chicago Blackhawks

Rumour: Elliote Friedman on 32 Thoughts discusses a Vancouver Canucks forward being a landing spot in Chicago

Ever since Connor Bedard got hurt and suffered a broken jaw on January 5, it has been a tougher go of things. The Chicago Blackhawks will compete but if there is an area they lack it is goal scoring. Since the time of the injury, the Blackhawks have scored ten goals at 5v5 (worst in the league) and 16 in all situations. What’s even more concerning is they are averaging a subpar 1.32 goals per game. It’s no secret they miss Bedard, but the team needs more offence.

That’s where Friedman brings in Andrei Kuzmenko. It has been a tough go in Vancouver, where he’s been scratched on a few occasions. This is a player that scored 39 goals and 74 points in 81 games but has only 21 points in 43 games this year for the Canucks. The potential is there but it has not worked out well. His name has been brought up in trade talks before and the fit is there.

Friedman always thought that Kuzmenko would land with the Nashville Predators, which would be huge for them going forward. Jeff Marek mentions the New York Islanders, who have also struggled to find the back of the net this season. Kuzmenko and Chicago would be great for an offensive boost and giving Bedard a skilled winger to play alongside.

New Jersey Devils

Rumour: Elliote Friedman on 32 Thoughts discusses the Devils reuniting with a former player

The next set of NHL Rumours takes us to the East. One team to keep an eye on is the New Jersey Devils. It has been a very wild season for the Devils, who are sitting right outside the playoff picture. They’ve been decimated by injuries all season long and are without Dougie Hamilton and Jonas Siegenthaler for the remainder of the season. It is a tough blow, but young rookies have been able to take the next steps. Nothing has been as bad as the goaltending, which has been the Achilles heel.

One player they’ll be without is Michael McLeod, who is indefinitely out for the club regarding the 2018 World Junior team scandal. McLeod was turning into a force for the Devils and was excelling on faceoffs. Replacing him will be necessary and one player Friedman links is a familiar face.

With the Anaheim Ducks out of the playoff picture, Adam Henrique has seen his name surface in the rumour mill. Henrique could anchor the third line behind Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier and give the Devils an extra scoring line. Henrique has excelled on faceoffs, winning 53.4% of his draws. In addition, he has 15 goals and 32 points in 48 games this season.

If a deal was to go through retention may be needed, but Henrique back where he was originally drafted is a great feel-good story.

Main Photo: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports


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