Jason Brough

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 02:  Marc-Andre Fleury #29 of the Pittsburgh Penguins looks on from the bench in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Second Round against the Washington Capitals during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Consol Energy Center on May 2, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
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Don’t assume Fleury will be traded, says Penguins GM


Just because Matt Murray signed an extension doesn’t mean Marc-Andre Fleury‘s days in Pittsburgh are numbered.

That was the message today from Penguins GM Jim Rutherford, after Murray re-upped through 2019-20.

“The focus seems to be on what happens with Marc-Andre, but let’s let this play itself out first,” Rutherford said, per the Post-Gazette. “Let’s not just presume that Marc is automatically out. He’s been the franchise goalie here, he is a terrific person, he’s a terrific player and I think that assumption, we’re getting a little bit ahead of ourselves.”

This wouldn’t be such a hot topic if there was no expansion draft in June. But there is, and when it takes place, each team will only be allowed protect one goalie. And if the Penguins don’t trade Fleury, they’ll be obligated to protect him, unless he’s willing to waive his no-movement clause.

Protecting Fleury would, of course, leave Murray as a prime candidate to be chosen by Las Vegas. Unless, that is, Rutherford could strike a deal with George McPhee to, say, send Vegas a draft pick or player, in return for Vegas not picking Murray. Yes, that kind of deal is allowed.

So it’s complicated.

At this point in time, it’s quite possible that Rutherford doesn’t know what he’s going to do. The season is still young, and it remains to be seen which goalie will emerge as the starter in Pittsburgh. If it’s Murray, Fleury might want to be a starter elsewhere and Rutherford’s decision will be an easy one.

If it’s Fleury, the decision could be tougher. While keeping both goalies would be nice, it would also be expensive. Next season, Fleury and Murray will make a combined cap hit of $9.5 million, and there’s only one net.

Again, though, a decision doesn’t have to be made now.

“Our focus this year is winning,” said Rutherford, “and we’ll deal with the expansion draft at the appropriate time.”

An encouraging start for the Leafs, except for the blown leads

OTTAWA, ON - OCTOBER 12: Auston Matthews #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates his first career NHL goal against the Ottawa Senators with team mates Jake Gardiner #51, Nikita Zaitsev #22 and Martin Marincin #52 at Canadian Tire Centre on October 12, 2016 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.  (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)
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The Toronto Maple Leafs are a young team, and they showed it last night when they jumped out to a 4-0 lead in Winnipeg, only to lose, 5-4, in overtime.

Winnipeg scored three times in the third and Patrik Laine completed his hat trick in overtime, marking the second time this young season that the Jets had won a game they trailed 4-1 after 40 minutes.

“They got better in the third and, in the end, you get what you get,” said Leafs coach Mike Babcock, per the Toronto Sun. “It’s disappointing, you want to shut the game down.”

Frederik Andersen had another tough outing. The Leafs’ starting goalie allowed five goals for the second time this season. After three starts, his save percentage sits at just .876. It’s still very early, and he did play well Saturday, but it’s a story worth monitoring given he’s signed through 2020-21 with a $5 million cap hit.

Overall, though, it’s been an encouraging start for the blue and white. Auston Matthews and William Nylander have been a dangerous duo offensively, even if Babcock would like them to be better defensively. Mitch Marner has shown well; he scored his first NHL goal on Saturday. The Leafs have had a chance to win all three of their games. They did win one of them; they blew third-period leads in the two others, falling both times in overtime.

Toronto plays again tonight in Minnesota, then finishes its road trip Saturday in Chicago.

Backup Jhonas Enroth is scheduled to be in goal against the Wild, his first regular-season start as a Leaf.

Dumba to be healthy scratch for Wild, is ‘trying to do too much’ (Updated)

Minnesota Wild defenseman Mathew Dumba (55) dumps the puck behind Los Angeles Kings left wing Dwight King (74) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in St. Paul, Minn., Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)
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Matt Dumba turned 22 in July, so he’s still pretty young for an NHL defenseman. But for a seventh overall draft pick, the Minnesota Wild might’ve expected him to be making more of an impact by now.

Alas, Dumba will be a healthy scratch tonight at home against Toronto. He’ll be replaced by AHL call-up Mike Reilly.

“Dumba is going to be a really good player,” said coach Bruce Boudreau, per Michael Russo of the Star Tribune. “He is right now. He’s trying to do too much. We just want him to calm it down.”

The 2012 draft was notable for the eight defensemen that were taken with the first 10 picks. Four years later, some of them have panned out, like Morgan Rielly (fifth overall) and Hampus Lindholm (sixth). Some of them haven’t, like Griffin Reinhart (fourth). But for most of them, it remains to be seen what they’ll ultimately become. Dumba is in that boat, along with Ryan Murray (second), Derrick Pouliot (eighth), Jacob Trouba (ninth), and Slater Koekkoek (10th). Even Reinhart may figure it out, though it doesn’t look good right now.

Dumba signed a two-year, $5.1 contract extension over the summer. It was the kind of deal that highly touted young players sign when they still have something to prove, which Dumba clearly does.

Updated: It appears Dumba will, in fact, get into the Wild lineup Thursday. According to Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, fellow defenseman Marco Scandella didn’t take warm-ups and is dealing with an illness. Dumba did take the pre-game skate.

Smith heads home to get diagnosis from Coyotes’ doctors

GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 15:  Goaltender Mike Smith #41 of the Arizona Coyotes is introduced before the NHL game against Philadelphia Flyers at Gila River Arena on October 15, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Arizona Coyotes still have five games left on their road trip, but goalie Mike Smith is headed home to see the team’s doctors after getting injured Tuesday in Ottawa.

Smith had an MRI yesterday but head coach Dave Tippett said there’s still no diagnosis, per Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic. For now, the Coyotes are considering Smith day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

Louis Domingue will start tonight in Montreal, backed up by Justin Peters, who’s been recalled from the AHL on an emergency basis.

“It’s definitely not the plan having Mike down,” Domingue said, per the team’s website, “but when someone goes down the guys have to step up, and I’m just one of them.”

The Coyotes also play tomorrow in Brooklyn and Sunday in Manhattan, so it’s possible that Peters could see some action. The 30-year-old spent all of last season in the AHL. He hasn’t been in the NHL since 2014-15, when he struggled as Braden Holtby‘s backup in Washington.

Brian Campbell expected to be healthy scratch

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 01:  Brian Campbell #51 of the Chicago Blackhawks participates in warm-ups before a preseason game against the St. Louis Blues at United Center on October 1, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell is expected to be a healthy scratch Friday in Columbus, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

It’s a somewhat surprising development considering the attention Campbell’s return to Chicago was given over the summer, but the ‘Hawks have eight defensemen on the roster and that means, when everyone’s healthy, two have to sit each game.

“We don’t want the same two guys sitting out all the time,” head coach Joel Quenneville said. “Sometimes you don’t want to tinker with a winning lineup, and sometimes . . . you’ve got to get them in there to play. That’s what we’re visiting.”

The Sun-Times says to expect Trevor van Riemsdyk to get back into the lineup against the Blue Jackets, paired with rookie Gustav Forsling. Van Riemsdyk has only played once this season, and his name has recently popped up in trade rumors.

Veteran Michal Rozsival has yet to play, but could get in the lineup soon. He skated with Campbell at practice Wednesday.

Starting Friday in Columbus, the ‘Hawks play three games in four nights. They host Toronto Saturday and Calgary Monday. So the decision to scratch Campbell could, in part, be a way to keep the 37-year-old fresh in the early stages of a long season.

But it may also be related to the side he plays. Campbell shoots left, and last season in Florida he played the left side paired with either Aaron Ekblad or Erik Gudbranson, both of whom shoot right.

So far in Chicago, Campbell’s been on the right side, paired with left-shooting Forsling, who was not expected to make the team. Van Riemsdyk and Rozsival both shoot right and may be more natural partners for either Campbell or Forsling.

At any rate, time will tell how everything shakes out.

“That’s the thing with our defense,” said Quenneville. “You haven’t etched in stone how long it’s going to be with one guy. … That’ll be fun to see exactly how it’s going to end up.”