In today’s NHL rumors rundown, Milan Lucic has been arrested on a domestic incident charge. He’ll be taking a leave from the Boston Bruins. Meanwhile, the Calgary Flames were extremely close to signing Noah Hanifin. Now, is the only way he gets signed so that he can be traded? Are the New York Islanders looking to make a deal? Is John Klingberg getting close to a return? Finally, one of Edmonton’s better prospects is done for the season after having shoulder surgery.
Lucic Arrested, Taking Leave from Bruins
Early Saturday morning it was learned that Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic was arrested after an alleged Friday night domestic incident. The team has announced his indefinite leave and it’s not clear what this means regarding his future with the team or in the NHL.
The team released the following statement:
“The Boston Bruins are aware of an incident involving Milan Lucic Friday evening. Milan is taking an indefinite leave of absence from the team. The organization takes these matters very seriously and will work with the Lucic family to provide any support and assistance they may need. We will have no further comment at this time.”
Flames and Hanifin Talking Sign-and-Trade?
TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, after discussing Noah Hanifin’s near contract extension with the Flames earlier this month, disclosed that the expected deal fell through. This revelation introduces the intriguing prospect of a sign-and-trade scenario for the young defenseman. The deal was reportedly worth around $60 million.
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However, LeBrun suggests the struggles of the team and early drama surrounding their play this season forced Hanifin (and potentially the Flames) to take a more cautious approach, evaluating the team’s trajectory before committing. Hanifin was set to sign and may now be reconsidering.
LeBrun also emphasized the strategic advantage for Calgary in a sign-and-trade, noting the benefit of trading a player with a secured contract for maximum return.
Islanders Looking to Make a Trade
According to Elliotte Friedman’s recent “32 Thoughts” podcast on Sportsnet, New York Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello is actively exploring options to bolster his struggling team. Friedman suggests Lamoriello is specifically seeking a scoring forward and could potentially be eyeing defensemen available from the Calgary Flames, such as Hanifin, Nikita Zadorov, or Chris Tanev.
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Friedman speculates that 23-year-old winger Oliver Wahlstrom might become a trade asset for the Islanders, especially if he sees limited opportunities with the team. The analyst believes Wahlstrom could be open to a move, and the Flames, having acquired Yegor Sherangovich in the summer, might find interest in such a trade. A change of scenery could prove be good for Wahlstrom. He has been stuck in a bottom-six role, with an average ice time of no more than 12-and-a-half minutes throughout his five NHL seasons.
Maple Leafs Growing Concerned with Klingberg Injury
John Klingberg won’t play Sunday, per Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe. When asked if he was worried that Klingberg’s injury will keep him out long-term, Keefe said, “It’s certainly getting to that place.”
Placing Klingberg on long-term injured reserve may work in favor of the Leafs this season. Some have said there’s a sense the Leafs are thinking of giving Klingberg the “Robidas Island” treatment and if he’s sent to pasture, it would open up cap space for Toronto, enabling them to explore acquiring or signing another defenseman to fill Klingberg’s role.
Oilers Lose Beau Akey for the Season
Oilers prospect Beau Akey will miss the remainder of the season thanks to shoulder surgery, reports Oilers Nation’s Robin Brownlee. The 18-year-old was a second-round selection in June (56th overall) and had a strong training camp, helping him land an entry-level contract before being returned to OHL Barrie. While this won’t likely affect anything on the ice for the Oilers this season — as he wasn’t likely to get a call-up — it does put his development back a bit and if there was any chance he might be part of a trade the Oilers make (unlikely anyways), that could be off the table now.