NHL Rumors: Islanders looking for help, Canucks player agents fielding calls, and Rangers’ goalie conundrum

Latest NHL Rumors buzz

new york islanders covid
Nov 20, 2021; Elmont, New York, USA; New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz talks to his team during a time out during the third period against the Calgary Flames at UBS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Islanders are not just dealing with injuries, they are also getting hit hard by COVID-19.

This season has been a nightmare for a team many picked to be a top Cup contender. It all began with a unsuccessful 13 game road trip to start the season waiting for their new home to be complete. In two games at the UBS Arena so far, they remain winless and will face the red-hot Rangers with a depleted lineup.

NHL Rumors: Islanders looking for help

Defenseman Zdeno Chara entered the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol on Tuesday bringing that number to seven players on the team to enter the protocol. He joins captain Anders Lee, Josh Bailey, Kieffer Bellows and Ross Johnston and defensemen Adam Pelech and Andy Greene.

The Isles have also lost Ryan Pulock for 4-6 weeks and Brock Nelson for 2-4 weeks, both suffering lower body injuries.

“You can’t deal with things that are out of your hands,” GM Lou Lamoriello said yesterday. “Certainly, these are difficult times, but we will stay focused on the players we have, what our abilities are to replace players if necessary and just stay as positive as we possibly can.”

When asked if he is looking for help outside the organization, Lamoriello simply replied: “We are always looking to improve.”

The Islanders are dead last in the Metro with 12 points, and 8 points out of the final Wild Card spot as we approach Thanksgiving.

Canucks messy situation

canucks trade rumors
Feb 8, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Vancouver Canucks head coach Travis Green watches the play during the third period against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The chaos in the Canucks dressing room only seems to be getting worse if you listen to the insiders.

Yesterday, it was Elliotte Friedman commenting that the situation was becoming like the show Game of Thrones. Last night, Darren Dreger doubled down on those remarks and it seems the players’ agents are taking the brunt of the uncertainty.

“General manager Jim Benning is shielding himself away from the media, from the noise outside, so he’s committed to making his club better. The coaching staff, their commitment is to try and help this group through a real tough start to the regular season,” Dreger said on TSN Insider Trading. “Meanwhile, you’ve got the agents who are now fielding the calls amid all the speculation, trying to separate fact from fiction. So, truthfully, it’s just another day of turmoil in the season that is for the Vancouver Canucks.” 

Right now, J.T. Miller is the biggest name said to be available.

Rangers goalie conundrum

It looks like the New York Rangers may have completely misplayed their goaltending situation regarding backup Alexandar Georgiev.

The team opted to hold on to Georgiev and buyout Henrik Lundqvist. A move that upset the fanbase and caused $1.5M in dead cap space that ends this season.

Things have not turned out as they hoped with the 25 year-old goalie struggling mightily this year.

At one point this summer, the Rangers were said to be looking for a first round pick in a trade for Georgiev. According to Larry Brooks, they didn’t receive a single bite.

Georgiev, unhappy with his status as backup to Shesterkin, has wanted out for a while, even if he might never have formally requested general manager Chris Drury to trade him. The Blueshirts made Georgiev available over the summer, but never got more than a nibble.

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The Blueshirts are certainly in a conundrum and face the real fact that Georgiev will be lost for nothing. Either on waivers or just letting him walk at the end of the season.

Georgiev is a RFA with arbitration rights, sources indicate the Rangers have no plans to sign him.