The National Hockey League’s trade deadline day began with the anticipation that the Vancouver Canucks would make a blockbuster deal involving Ryan Kesler, but a deal never transpired.
Kesler remains with the Canucks for now, although general manager Mike Gillis didn’t get into specifics when asked during a conference call about the future of the second-line center when summer rolls around.
The Pittsburgh Penguins were believed to be pushing hard to make a deal with the Canucks for Kesler, with center Brandon Sutter as the biggest piece reportedly coming to Vancouver. Didn’t happen, however. Adding to the intrigue of whether a deal could be completed or not was a report from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that Vancouver’s ownership may not allow for a Kesler trade.
“We entertained multiple offers in multiple situations today and none of them fit with our expectations or our long-term vision,” Gillis said in a conference call Wednesday.
On the subject of ownership’s role in the deadline, he added to reporters: “Ownership is involved in all kinds of decisions that we make and when you’re in situations like this at trade deadline and draft, they’re going to be involved as you … evaluate situations.”
The Penguins weren’t the only team apparently interested in Kesler. The Anaheim Ducks also appeared in play, making two first-round and two second-round picks available, according to Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register.
The fact Ducks GM Bob Murray didn’t have any takers left him confused when it was all over.
They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.
The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.
In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.
The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.
Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.
The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).
McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.
It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.
Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.
Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.
Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.
“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”
Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: