Even if it’s slightly exaggerated, it seems like the Nashville Predators are forced to find a new starter every year since their No. 1 always gets hurt. First, it was Tomas Vokoun making way for Chris Mason. Mason then had to fight off Dan Ellis, who was scuttled aside for their current big-money guy, Pekka Rinne.
After a sterling 29 for 30 save performance through most of the Predators’ season opener, Rinne went down with a “lower body injury” after his defenseman Francis Bouillon pushed Troy Bodie on top of him. The Sporting News has the story.
Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne is day-to-day with what team officials call a lower-body injury from Saturday’s 4-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. “I know it’s not anything major,” coach Barry Trotz told reporters after the game.
Rinne was seen walking without a limp after the game, The Tennessean of Nashville reported. He was not made available to the media.
Rinne left the game at 17:24 of the third period, just over a minute after Anaheim’s Troy Bodie fell onto him and into the goal. Bodie had been pushed by Predators defenseman Francis Bouillon.
“We both fell on (Rinne), and hopefully it’s not that bad,” Bouillon told The Tennessean. “I felt kind of bad, but it’s part of the game. My game is to play physical and to hit some guys, so I had no choice.”
Anders Lindback came in to relieve Rinne while Dirk Hoag of On the Forecheck states that Mark Dekanich might be called up while Rinne recovers from his injury.
It’s a tough blow to the Predators as Rinne enters his first season as a true unquestioned starter, but if any team can roll with the injury-based punches, it’s Nashville.
If the Buffalo Sabres can sign Jimmy Vesey, they may be more willing to trade winger Evander Kane.
That’s what TSN 1040 (Vancouver) radio host Matt Sekeres has been hearing, and what he’s hearing does make a lot of sense.
Kane, whose off-ice issues are once again making headlines, has two years left on his contract before he can become an unrestricted free agent. He plays the same position as Vesey, 23, who’s currently Buffalo property but can sign with any team he chooses on Aug. 15.
Even if the Sabres can’t convince Vesey to join them, Kane could still be traded. GM Tim Murray has already conceded that his patience is wearing thin with the 24-year-old that he acquired from Winnipeg not long ago. Alex Nylander, drafted eighth overall in June, plays the same position as Kane, and Murray has said it’s possible the teenager could make the jump to the NHL next season.
Buffalo, Boston and Toronto have generally been considered the favorites to land Vesey. Chicago and Pittsburgh have also been mentioned.
Related: Cue the Kane-to-Vancouver speculation
The Toronto Maple Leafs won’t require arbitration with forward Peter Holland. They’ve signed the 25-year-old to a one-year deal worth a reported $1.3 million.
Holland had a hearing scheduled for today. Last week, the Leafs sent a message by putting him on waivers, which he cleared.
Holland had nine goals and 18 assists in 65 games last season. With him signed, the Leafs have only defensemen Frank Corrado and Martin Marincin as restricted free agents. Corrado has an arbitration hearing scheduled for tomorrow; Marincin’s is next Tuesday.
Related: Corrado and Leafs aren’t that far apart
This is an important week in the Detroit Red Wings’ offseason, with Petr Mrazek‘s arbitration hearing scheduled for Wednesday and Danny DeKeyser‘s for Thursday.
GM Ken Holland would prefer to avoid the hearings, which can sometimes result in hurt feelings.
“I think a negotiated settlement is always better than having an arbitrated settlement,” Holland told MLive.com. “Obviously, both sides run (the risk) of somebody’s not going to be happy.”
That being said, in Mrazek’s case, the two sides still have a ways to go. Remember that the 24-year-old netminder was excellent for most of 2015-16, but in Holland’s words, “the wheels came off a little bit in the middle of February.”
Hence, the divide:
DeKeyser, meanwhile, is more of a proven NHL commodity. He’s had three full seasons in the league. In the 26-year-old defenseman, the Red Wings pretty much know what they’ve got.
“There’s way more comparables, I think, in Dan DeKeyser‘s case so it was easier to figure out what was the market place,” said Holland. “That’s certainly not the case of Petr Mrazek’s situation.”
Holland’s work will not be finished once Mrazek and DeKeyser are signed. He still wants to add another defenseman, and he’s got a surplus of forwards to work with.
Related: Holland makes argument to keep Jimmy Howard
The Flyers won’t require today’s scheduled arbitration hearing with Brayden Schenn. They’ve agreed to terms with the 24-year-old forward on a four-year contract with a reported cap hit of $5.125 million.
Schenn had a career-high 26 goals and 33 assists in 2015-16. His 59 points were the third most on the Flyers, behind only Claude Giroux‘s 67 and Wayne Simmonds‘ 60.
The Schenn signing leaves the Flyers with just over $1 million in cap space for 2016-17, but no major free agents remaining. RFA defenseman Brandon Manning still needs a contract, but that’s it, per General Fanager. Manning has an arbitration hearing scheduled for Aug. 2.
Related: Coyotes sign Luke Schenn