Rene Bourque

Dreger: Rene Bourque and Tuomo Ruutu top early trade speculation list

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You think it’s too early for trade rumors? It’s never too early for those and TSN’s Darren Dreger has a pair of noticeable names being pursued by NHL GMs in need of a boost. Dreger reported on this evening’s Insider Trading that Calgary’s Rene Bourque and Carolina’s Tuomo Ruutu are two of the players teams are calling about to get them on their teams.

Both players are physical scoring forwards and Bourque is coming off back-to-back 27 goal seasons with the Flames. Bourque also comes with a sizable cap hit of $3.33 million over the next five years. Bourque is also a much more attractive trading option than guys like Niklas Hagman or Matt Stajan who GM Jay Feaster is apparently already trying to move.

Ruutu is in the final year of his contract that comes with a $3.8 million cap hit. He can score a bit and play physically tough although Dreger reports that Ruutu feels uncomfortable with the physical side of his game at the moment. For a power forward that’s a bit of a problem. Ruutu had 57 points last year though and for a team in need he’d be a great pick up.

It doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll see anything come of this, especially with those kinds of cap hits involved, but it’s something to lock away in your mind as the season rolls along. With GMs doing a lot of scouting and asking about players already, you never know when we’ll see something go down.

Derek Roy signs in Swiss league

Derek Roy, Jeremy Smith, Chris Kelly
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Derek Roy has finally found work — but it’s not in the NHL.

Roy, who spent the entire preseason in Washington’s camp on a PTO, has signed with SC Bern of Switzerland’s National League A, the club announced on Friday.

The news comes after Roy narrowly missed out on making the Caps roster, and just one year after he had something of a bounce-back campaign in Edmonton, scoring 22 points in 46 games while developing chemistry with young winger Nail Yakupov.

A 12-year NHL veteran, Roy is one of the more prominent names to be squeezed out of work this season, and head overseas. The 31-year-old has scored over 500 points in 738 career contests, and has twice represented Canada at the World Hockey Championships.

With Bern, Roy will play on one of Switzerland’s stronger teams, alongside a trio of ex-NHLers: Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Ebbett and Cory Conacher.

Lehner’s injury ‘doesn’t look like it’s short term’

Robin Lehner
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Robin Lehner might not be back anytime soon.

Making his debut with the Buffalo Sabres, the 24-year-old goaltender couldn’t complete Thursday’s game against his former squad, the Ottawa Senators, due to what has now been revealed to be a right leg injury.

When he left the arena, he was wearing a walking boot on that nearly went up to his knee.

“It doesn’t look like it’s short term,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told the Buffalo News. “It’s more than day-to-day at this point, but we need to evaluate further.”

It’s a rocky start to what’s an important campaign for Lehner. He has been given an opportunity to demonstrate that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender after being acquired by the Sabres over the summer, but it looks like that will have to be postponed.

While he’s sidelined, Chad Johnson is likely to be leaned on heavily.