After Evander Kane’s injury last week, TSN Hockey Insiders discuss how GMs talked about requiring cut-resistant sleeves at Board of Governors meetings in Toronto, how Bruce Boudreau is on borrowed time with the Canucks, how active Senators GM Pierre Dorion has been exploring the trade market, and why the Sharks are open to hearing offers for Erik Karlsson.
Gino Reda: They are the experts: Chris Johnston, Pierre LeBrun and Darren Dreger. Gentlemen, the GMs met in Toronto on Tuesday and, Chris, one of the topics seemed to have stemmed from Evander Kane’s nasty wrist injury.
Chris Johnston: That’s right, Gino. It might not have been the hottest GM meeting Tuesday in Toronto, but the one thing that stood out to me was the fact that the GMs talked about cut-resistant sleeves. Obviously, this is the biggest thing with the injury Evander Kane suffered last week: a nasty cut on his wrist. There was also a play that was shown to the GMs at the Karjala Cup in Finland recently where a player was cut like this, and the GMs are wondering, can we order this? The short answer is at this point, they can’t. It would have to be done in concert with the NHL Players Association. But as we look forward, I think there will be more discussion on this and maybe in the future. It’s something we could see required for all NHL players to wear.
GR: The surveillance of Bruce Boudreau in Vancouver seems to intensify with each passing day. Where are we on that front, Darren?
Darren Dreger: Well look, it’s changing. The preference would be to wait, but there is also growing concern among the Vancouver Canucks’ higher-ups that the longer they wait, the greater the effect on players. We can see in Vancouver that there are some players who are struggling, so is that going to become a bigger problem in the future? Also, we know that Bruce Boudreau likes to lean on a small group of players, which is contrary to the concept of a team. Another problem: Lots of speculation surrounding Rick Tocchet as one of the potential, if not the leading, candidates for the Vancouver Canucks. But are the Canucks the right one for Rick Tocchet? Does Rick Tocchet want to quit that wonderful job with TNT on TV? So big decisions are coming.
GR: Unlike the Canucks, who don’t have cap space to make any moves, the Sens (Ottawa Senators) have the space, but do they have the inclination to make any moves, Pierre?
Pierre LeBrun: Yeah, I mean, I asked Pierre Dorion after the GMs meeting how active he was exploring the trade market right now with his team struggling, and his response was, I quote, ‘very active.’ [With where he is right now], what better place than to be in a room with every other GM in the league like he was on Tuesday. But the bottom line is that not a lot of trading takes place this time of year and I think it’s been difficult for him to find a trading partner. (Dorion) feels like his team is playing better than his record indicates, which means he’d be in a bit more panic if they were being outshot and completely outplayed every night. However, he said: ‘I’m going to be patient, but we have to start winning games soon.’ Don’t read that. Anything to do with DJ Smith (Senators head coach). He doubled down, as the Senators’ general manager did that day, and said the problem isn’t training.
GR: I’m not going to suggest the two are related at all, since the Sens go shopping, but could a former Sen be in the market too, Chris?
CJ: Yeah, we should be activating the Trade Bait board at this point, because Erik Karlsson’s name would look pretty good at the top of that list. And that’s because his GM, Mike Grier, walked out of the GM meeting today and just acknowledged, look, there doesn’t seem to be anything urgent here. But if a team were to approach him about Erik Karlsson, who is having such a wonderful season for the (San Jose) Sharks, he (Grier) would at least be open to hearing that conversation. should be noted [that] Karlsson has a no-move clause in his contract; he has a hefty cap of $11.5 million. This would have to be a case where he wants to go and the team works with him. But the fact that they’re open to having that conversation is something to keep in mind as the March 3 trade deadline approaches.
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