NHL News: Rangers cancel morning skate, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Oilers to resume talks, and Pekka Rinne wants to retire in Nashville

Yesterday, New York Rangers forward Phil Di Giuseppe turned up on the NHL COVID-19 protocol list. From a team perspective this is not normally a cause for alarm this season – it has become the new norm.

NHL News: Rangers cancel morning skate

The Blueshirts were scheduled to skate this AM prior to tonight’s contest at MSG versus the Flyers, but it was cancelled. That’s a red flag in the COVID era.

At the moment no additional Rangers are listed on the COVID list and there is no word that tonight’s game will be postponed. There are fans in attendance at MSG, so if there will be a cancellation the announcement would need to come soon.

NHL News: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Oilers to resume talks

The NHL Trade Deadline is less than a month away now and the Oilers need to know if they can come to terms with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. During the offseason both sides were talking about an extension until the wheels fell off the bus. The speed bump came in the form of Oilers GM Ken Holland telling RNH they wouldn’t go a penny over $7 million.

ryan nugent hopkins contract
Feb 15, 2021; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (93) celebrates a third period goal against the Winnipeg Jets at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

“It’s got to be a deal that works for both sides,” Holland told Sportsnet 590. “The way the system is built, it makes it more difficult to compete. We’ve got to find a solution that works for Ryan and his agent and also for the Edmonton Oilers.”

The 27 year-old forward has 23 points in 30 games this season.

NHL News: Pekka Rinne wants to retire in Nashville

Pekka Rinne first pulled a Predators sweater over his head on December 15, 2005 in a win over the Blackhawks. He became their number one goalie in the 2007-2008 season has never looked back.

The 38 year-old goalie was asked about his future and he provided a straight forward response. “I believe in this team,” he said. “I do want to retire as a Predator.”

It’s unlikely he will be moved at the deadline as previous reports listed him as an untouchable.