March 31, 2023

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Calgary Flames keep losing and some of that has to do with Jonathan Huberdeau’s injury and some friction between the coach and the players. The New Jersey Devils are dealing with some injuries in goal. Does that mean they’ll explore the trade market? The Boston Bruins are getting a message from Mike Reilly, the Columbus Blue Jackets lost Zach Werenski for the season and the Vegas Golden Knights are gearing up to trade Robin Lehner.

Friction Between Flames Players and Coach Sutter

On a recent episode of Barnburner, a Flames Nation Podcast hosted by Dean “Boomer” Molberg, Ryan Pinder, and Rhett Warrener, Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli explained that the players in the Flames’ locker room are not entirely happy with their coach. Stemming from comments made about Jonathan Huberdeau missing some game action — where Sutter joked the forward was taking a sh** — Seravalli reports that this didn’t sit very well with much of the team.

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There are questions about whether Sutter’s messaging is growing tiresome and his propensity to be a tough coach to play for, especially when things aren’t going well, is wearing thin. Sutter has been very complimentary of the team during their losing streak. While he seems to speak the truth that the Flames are working hard, some are wondering if the compliments are a way to try and get the team back on his side a little.

Devils Exploring Trade Market For Goaltenders

GM Tom Fitzgerald indicated that the New Jersey Devils are open to making a move when it comes to the goalie front. “We’ll explore anything and everything. If it makes sense to keep us from overworking certain goalies or if we prefer to keep our guys in AHL,” he said when speaking with Ryan Novozinsky of the Newark Star-Ledger.

Vitek Vanecek New Jersey Devils
Vitek Vanecek, New Jersey Devils (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Fitzgerald said he isn’t terribly worried if the team can’t make a trade. Novozinsky explained:

“…when surging netminder Vitek Vanecek collapsed with his own injury on Thursday, Fitzgerald didn’t flinch. The reason? We’ve got two young kids (prospects Akira Schmid and Nico Daws) who are now a year more experienced,” Fitzgerald told NJ Advance Media. “We’re maturing as a group, understanding how to pull out games and not just scoring the goals, but getting big saves.”

source – ‘Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald says he’ll ‘explore everything and anything’ amid goalie injuries’ – Ryan Novozinsky | NJ Advance Media for – 11/11/2022

With questions about Mackenzie Blackwood, Jonathan Bernier, and now Vitek Vanecek, it makes sense the Devils would be feeling some pressure to do something, especially considering they don’t want to derail the hot start the team is off to. The Devils are 11-3-0 on the season.

Is Mike Reilly Looking for a Trade Out of Boston?

According to Mark Divver of the New England Hockey Journal, “Mike Reilly not playing tonight. I don’t expect to see him Sunday either. Word is he’s hoping for a trade. No idea whether there is something in the works or not.” The not playing tonight is in reference to Reilly suiting up for the Providence Bruins. He was sent back to the AHL earlier this week.

Blue Jackets to Dump Assets?

With the news that Zach Werenski is out for the season with a shoulder injury, it will be intriguing to see what the Columbus Blue Jackets do next. Already off to a poor start, losing their best defenseman is a huge loss for the team and might tell the club that they aren’t likely to make the postseason and to plan for such a fact.

Zach Werenski Columbus Blue Jackets
Zach Werenski, Columbus Blue Jackets (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

The chemistry that the Blue Jackets were hoping would exist among their forward group isn’t exactly there and their blue line is depleted. They’ve also got a number of pending UFAs that could fetch something on the market and the team has tried to sign their next-best defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov and had no luck. They are not a deep team and trying to make trades to bolster their lineup with the cap space created by Werenski’s injury might be a waste of time and energy.

Will the Blue Jackets be among the first clubs this season to make it known they are sellers?

Golden Knights Likely To Trade Robin Lehner

Dan Rosen of notes during a recent mailbag segment that the Vegas Golden Knights will likely try to trade goaltender Robin Lehner this offseason. With the way their current goaltending duo of Logan Thompson and Adin Hill have performed, if they keep up the good work, Vegas is confident they can afford to lose Lehner, who is often injured anyway.

Lehner carries a $5 million cap hit for another two seasons, and his injury troubles won’t make him the easiest player to move. Vegas may need to retain some of his salary and/or take back a contract. Before they can make this move, the Golden Knights may need to have an extension for Hill in the bag. He is in the final year of his contract and if Hill keeps play well, he could price himself out of Vegas.

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