TSN Hockey Insiders Pierre LeBron, Chris Johnston and Darren Dreger join host Gino Reda to discuss the current market for Target in the NHL, the impact of the Ontario government’s announcement on the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators, the future of the CHL/NHL Prospects game, and more.
What are the Edmonton Oilers’ goal routing options?
Pierre Lebrun: There are goalkeepers available, but I don’t know if there is a knight in shining armor for the Oilers. They are, according to sources, looking into all options across the NHL. For example, we were told that they kicked tires [Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender] Jonas Korpisalu, which is an unrestricted free agent suspended at the end of the year.
They internally discussed about [Dallas Stars goaltender] Anton Khadobin, who authorized the concessions last month. But I think the point where the Oilers lose interest in Khodobin is the fact that he might keep his $3.33 million deal another year, which doesn’t mean they didn’t go there but it’s less attractive.
The other star goalkeeper who might be more interesting is Braden Holtby, which was UFA suspended at the end of the year. That’s key to Edmonton as it’s only making $2 million this year. But the funny thing is that who the Oilers want may not be who the stars want to trade with if you read between the lines.
They are looking at all options but the real question for them now is, “Is there a serious upgrade [Oilers’ goaltender] Mikko Koskinen? If not, why do we do this? It doesn’t mean they won’t but they are definitely talking about it.
Darren Dreger: For a number of reasons, there is a lot of speculation surrounding [goaltender] Marc-Andre Fleury and Chicago Blackhawks. He wouldn’t fit in Edmonton, primarily for financial reasons, but Florey was asked about the possibilities of the trade, and he said, “I’m not thinking about it now, I’m just trying to get the Chicago Blackhawks closer to a watershed.”
But there will be a conversation between the veteran goalkeeper and his agent, Alan Walsh, and that will extend to the management of the Black Hawks. There is also an agreement with the Blackhawks that Fleury will not go anywhere unless he wants to.
Again, pump the brakes here. We’re in the better part of two months before the March 21 trade deadline. If Florey says six weeks from now he wants to chase the Stanley Cup? Well, that’s a different story and there will be interest.
How will the announcements of the new Ontario government affect the Toronto Maple Leafs and senators in Ottawa?
Chris Johnston: It’s safe to say they haven’t been so well received by The Leafs or senators, that the Ontario government has come out and says it can’t increase capacity to 50 percent until February 21. [what’s] What’s interesting is that Toronto and Ottawa might approach this differently.
The Leafs have five home games scheduled in that window and they intend to go ahead and play those games. [This is] Primarily because they don’t have any future matches against upcoming teams, so they can’t be replaced.
In the case of Ottawa, they have 11 home games, more than 25 percent of their home schedule, within that window. I think senators will want to weigh their options and have more conversations before committing to their course.
I must [also] I state that the National Hockey League is optimistic that these new regulations will allow an outdoor Heritage Classic game in Hamilton. [between the Buffalo Sabres and the Maple Leafs] To proceed on March 13th.
The Ontario Guidelines and COVID Cases have postponed the 2022 Kubota CHL/NHL Prospects Project. What’s New?
Darren Dreger: usually it [would be] It was scheduled to take place in early February but they had to postpone due to epidemic reasons. Now, just in the wake [TSN Hockey Insider] Bob Mackenzie’s mid-season rating, I can tell you, is that the NHL Draft Combine and NHL Draft aren’t even on the NHL’s radar.
[However,] The NHL is in conversation with the Canadian Hockey League about a possible restart, awarding of the New Quebec Hockey League, the Ontario Hockey League and the Western Hockey League. [players] Get some form of spotlight.
There is no guarantee that this will happen, of course it will involve all three tournaments. But there is talk of it possibly bringing it back in late February and that could be a problem for CHL.
Now that Kent Hughes is the new general manager of the Montreal Canadiens, what happens to his clients as the player’s representative?
Pierre Lebrun: Other agents across the NHL are obviously lip licking but I don’t think there’s going to be a free-for-all here.
Hughes had two notable UFAs at the end of the year in [Boston Bruins forward] Patrice Bergeron And [Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman] Christopher Letang. I spoke to Philippe Le Cavalier on Thursday, who helped recruit Bergeron and Letang [to Quartexx Management], along with Hughes. He said that both Letang and Bergeron gave him a vote of confidence to take over as Agent #1.
A similar situation is with Quartexx, with Paul Capizzano taking on Khudobin as lead agent, even though he was already working on that file with Hughes.
Seems to be business as usual for Quartexx clients.