Hughes, Thompson out with injuries, Blues trade Tarasenko to Rangers, and LOTS more: Around the League
Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
9 months ago
Welcome back to Around the League — the series here at CanucksArmy in which we examine news from around the National Hockey League — oftentimes through a Vancouver Canucks-tinted lens.
Folks, this is NOT a drill. We’ve got actual news from around the National Hockey League! Thursday was a busy day around the league, as we had injury updates, trades, and more. With that, let’s get right into it!
Jack Hughes out with injury
Jack Hughes, brother of Canucks defenceman Quinn Hughes, is out week-to-week with an upper body injury, the Devils announced Thursday morning.
The injury is believed to have been sustained in the Devils’ 5-4 overtime win over the Canucks on Monday. Hughes logged 21:44 of ice time in that game, scored two goals, and picked up an assist on the overtime winner. Hughes missed practice the following morning and was nursing ‘upper body soreness’.
Hughes has tallied a team-leading 35 goals while also picking up 32 assists for 67 points in 50 games this season. He is currently in the midst of a career-high season.
Blues trade Tarasenko to Rangers
The biggest news of the day on Thursday was the trade of Vladimir Tarasenko from the St. Louis Blues to the New York Rangers, along with defenceman Niko Mikkola. The Rangers gave up a conditional 2023 first-round pick, a conditional 2024 third-round pick, forward Sammy Blais, and defence prospect Hunter Skinner in the trade.
The Blues are going to retain half of Tarasenko’s remaining salary. The 6’1″, 228-pound winger is set to become an unrestricted free agent when his contract, which carries a $7.5 million cap hit, expires at the end of the 2022–23 season.
There’s no real Canucks spin on this one, although it does showcase the winger market a bit, along with the need for teams to retain salary in order to get business done in the current NHL flat-cap world. If a rental like Tarasenko at $3.75 million went for that, what would Brock Boeser, who’s producing at a similar clip to Tarasenko but is signed for two additional seasons beyond this one, go for on the trade market, especially if the Canucks aren’t willing to retain?
Logan Thompson leaves game with injury
During Thursday night’s game between the Vegas Golden Knights and Minnesota Wild, Vegas goaltender Logan Thompson left with a non-contact injury.
Canucks — and all hockey fans, really — know that when a goalie goes down with an injury like that, it typically means he’ll be out for a considerable amount of time.
Hopefully, it’s a speedy recovery for Thompson, who has been stellar for Vegas this season. Through 36 games played this season, the 25-year-old has a .914 save percentage and has been a key reason why Vegas currently sits atop the Pacific Division.
Vegas also recently lost captain Mark Stone for what appears to be for at least the rest of the season and potentially even longer following back surgery on February 1st.
The only Canucks spin on this is if Vegas struggles over the next couple of weeks, they could be inclined to look for an upgrade at the forward position, or perhaps even in the crease as they get set to make a final push for the playoffs. It would take a lot for the Canucks to part with Thatcher Demko in a trade, and with Thompson emerging as an elite starter this season, Vegas may not be looking to make any commitments to goaltenders signed long-term like Demko is.
Vegas has yet to provide an update on Thompson’s status.
Jesse Puljujarvi to waivers?
The writing has been on the wall for some time with Jesse Puljujarvi in Edmonton. As soon as Kailer Yamamoto returns from injury and is activated off of LTIR, the Oilers are going to have to shed some salary, and the player who makes the most sense is Puljujarvi.
Puljujarvi has become a whipping boy of sorts in Edmonton, and both the team and player would probably be more than open to a fresh start for Puljujarvi elsewhere.
He’s a defensively responsible winger with some promising underlying offensive numbers. He’s young, and we’ve already laid out the case of why the Canucks should consider trading for him if the price is right. But the reason he’s in this Around the League column is because of The Athletic’s Daniel Nugent-Bowman recent interview with Oilers GM Ken Holland. In the interview, Holland notes that with Yamamoto coming off LTIR, two players (forwards) will be moved. Holland noted that it’ll likely be through waivers. While Puljujärvi isn’t mentioned by name, he would be the most logical option, as his salary of $3 million is similar to Yamamoto’s $3.1 million.
If Puljujarvi hit waivers tomorrow, the Canucks would have to get creative if they wanted to add him to their team. To read why they should at least consider taking a flyer on Puljujarvi, click here.
Leafs extend Connor Timmins, Habs extend Harris
We know how much you all love reading and hearing about the Toronto Maple Leafs!
On Thursday, the Leafs extended defenceman Connor Timmins on a two-year deal worth $1.1 million annually. Timmins was acquired by the Maple Leafs from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for Curtis Douglas earlier this season. Through 18 games with Toronto, Timmins has one goal (the first of his NHL career) and 12 points along with an even +/- rating and two penalty minutes. He’s managed to carve out a role for himself on the Maple Leafs’ blueline after Jake Muzzin and Victor Mete went down with long-term injuries.
And moving one province over…
On Friday morning, the Montreal Canadiens announced a two-year contract extension with defenceman Jordan Harris. Harris’ new deal will carry an annual average value of $1.4 million.
The Habs drafted Harris in the third round at 71st overall during the 2018 NHL Draft. Harris spent four seasons at Northeastern University of the NCAA and is a two-time NCAA Champion. In 2021-22 he was named the NCAA (Hockey East) Best Defensive Defenceman.
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