Around the league, there are plenty of big stories and rumours, and we’ll get to those in a second. When it comes to the Edmonton Oilers, the big story, for now, is still centred around Josh Archibald, who is in Edmonton but has not skated with the main group at training camp yet.
The most recent update in regards to Archibald’s status came yesterday when Dave Tippett spoke to the media.
Doctors are doing tests on Archibald to determine what the issue is. He has not tested positive for Covid acc to Tippett. He also said that at this point while he’s dealing with these health issues he isn’t able to get vaccinated, but didn’t specify if he planned on doing so.
— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) September 29, 2021
The language around the Archibald situation has kind of changed over the course of the last week. It’s gone from talking about him choosing not to get the vaccine and what the ramifications of that are to talk that he couldn’t get the vaccine right now even if he wanted to. It’s been very interesting.
Going back to last week, Mark Spector of Sportsnet was on 630 CHED and said he doesn’t believe the Edmonton Oilers will work around Josh Archibald and the fact that he is currently unvaccinated. That sounds like they sent him a bit of a message.
It at least seems like the Oilers are really putting pressure on Archibald to change his stance and the fact that the wording has changed a bit when you look at the reporting around this story, I’m starting to think Archibald might change his mind in order to potentially save his NHL career. We should have a resolution here in the next seven to ten days though. If not, I would imagine that Archibald starts the season on the IR.
DALLAS STARS GOALTENDING
The Dallas Stars will likely start the season with Anton Khudobin and Braden Holtby as their two goaltenders. But what will happen once Ben Bishop is 100% healthy and ready to return to the lineup? Mike Heika of NHL.com answered that question yesterday on Twitter.
Because of cap concerns, my guess is they would have to try to trade one of Khudobin or Holtby, which is one reason they want to make sure Bishop is 100 percent healthy. If you get to that point, you better be able to trust Bishop. https://t.co/Tv7hcniSkd
— Mike Heika (@MikeHeika) September 29, 2021
Oilers GM Ken Holland will likely be keeping a very close eye on the goaltending market this season and if the Starts are looking to move on from one of their veteran options, I’m sure Holland would come calling.
The other interesting wrinkle when it comes to the Stars is that they’ll likely have Jake Oettinger start the season in the minors even though his numbers in 29 NHL games last season were pretty good. The bottom line: a goalie will likely get moved out of Dallas at some point this season.
THE CANUCKS & HAMONIC
Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning has a lot on his plate right now. Not only has the club still not agreed to terms with either Quinn Hughes or Elias Pettersson, but there really haven’t been any substantial reports that things are even heading in the right direction.
On top of that, the club is awaiting a decision from veteran defenseman Travis Hamonic, who may opt out of the upcoming season or outright retire from the NHL due to family matters.
Hamonic has a cap hit of $3 million this season so his decision might have a pretty big impact on the negotiations between the Canucks and their two unsigned RFA’s.
Of course, this is a family matter for Hamonic and it sounds like the Canucks are being respectful during the process and aren’t pushing Hamonic at all. It will be interesting to see what Hamonic ultimately decides to do and if we get a resolution to the Hughes/Pettersson drama shortly after the team knows what Hamonic’s plans are.
- Chris Johnston of TSN (felt weird typing that) said on Insider Trading this week that there it is not a lock that Auston Matthews will be in the lineup for the Maple Leafs on opening night. Johnston said that Matthews is progressing well and wants to play game one but it’s a day-to-day situation.
- Pierre LeBrun brought up the fact that Marc Bergevin is heading into the final year of his contract and doesn’t have a new extension. Bob Murray in Anaheim, Rob Blake in LA, Don Sweeney in Boston, and Don Waddell in Carolina are all also in the final years of their deals.
- Still sounds like a short-term deal is the most likely outcome when it comes to the Brady Tkachuk negotiation. I said it last week and I’ll say it again, there is no excuse for the Senators to not get this thing done before the start of the season.
- Tarasenko is still in St. Louis and Kuznetsov is still in Washington. I wonder if that changes at some point during the season.
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