In today’s NHL rumors rundown, there is news about the chances the Vancouver Canucks re-sign head coach Bruce Boudreau. Meanwhile, there is an injury status update on Darnell Nurse of the Edmonton Oilers. The Toronto Maple Leafs are being cautious with Auston Matthews but his injury is unrelated to his wrist issue and the Winnipeg Jets might end up trading Pierre-Luc Dubois if they can’t get him signed. Finally, what’s going on with Robin Lehner and the Vegas Golden Knights?
Optimism Canucks Will Re-Sign Boudreau
As per Rick Dhaliwal, Thomas Drance was on the Donnie and Dhali show and noted that there is a good chance the Vancouver Canucks will extend head coach Bruce Boudreau. He said, “Hearing the same stuff as you Rick, there is optimism, there will be an attempt to get it done, they will try.”
There is a lot of buzz this weekend about how good a job Boudreau did since joining the Canucks. Most believe the team had no right to be in the playoff conversation but they fought extremely hard, and as Harman Dayal of The Athletic writes, “played above their talent level for months and pulled off a near miracle by keeping the playoff chase alive this late.”
Oilers Might Have Nurse For Start of Playoffs
Head coach of the Edmonton Oilers, Jay Woodcroft says that neither defenseman Darnell Nurse (lower-body injury) nor Jesse Puljujarvi (non-COVID illness) made the trip to Columbus as the Oilers are set to face the Blue Jackets on Sunday afternoon. While there’s not much in the way of an update on Nurse, TSN’s Ryan Rishaug is reporting that Woodcroft told reporters on the road with the team that the Nurse injury is minor. When asked if he would be ready for the playoffs, Woodcroft said, “we’ll see”.
As much as the fan base is divided on Nurse and how much he’s going to get paid next season, him out of the lineup for any lengthy period of time is a huge loss for the Oilers. Not only does he play massive minutes but he allows players like Duncan Keith and Brett Kulak to play the number of minutes they should, keeping them more effective in their own roles.
Elliotte Friedman has sources who said Nurse should be ready for playoffs, if not before.
Matthews and Maple Leafs Being Cautious
Elliotte Friedman noted during the recent 32 Thoughts segment on Hockey Night in Canada that Auston Matthews and the Toronto Maple Leafs are taking a more cautious approach to his return to the team. His injury is not believed to be related to his past wrist issue. “The Maple Leafs are obviously very tight-lipped. You don’t get a lot of information around this time of the playoffs,” Friedman said.
Matthews has a chance to reach the 60-goal marker tonight as the Maple Leafs take on the Washington Capitals.
Jets and Pierre-Luc Dubois
Friedman also commented on Pierre-Luc Dubois‘ situation in Winnipeg and suggested he was a player to watch with interest. Dubois is up for a new contract as a pending RFA and he’s got two years of unrestricted free agency left that the Jets can buy in an extension. He is believed to the be one of the players the Jets would like to build around.
Friedman suggested the Jets would like to sign him long-term but if they feel they can’t — and Dubois has a lot of leverage in his contract negotiations –, watch for trade speculation to kick up over the summer.
Robin Lehner’s Situation an Odd One
When Friedman was asked about what was going on in Vegas between the team and goaltender Robin Lehner, the NHL insider responded that the best he could piece together was that Lehner is playing hurt and was upset at some criticism and being pulled the other night. He subsequently told the team that he was going to get surgery and shut things down. They’ve tried to talk him out of it over the last 24-48 hours and are hoping he’ll be in the lineup Sunday evening.
At this point, the Golden Knights are denying reports that Lehner is going to get the surgery and be done for the season.
Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”
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