The Vancouver Canucks NHL neighbours to the south discovered some bad news this week. Seattle Kraken goalie Chris Driedger will be in recovery for seven to nine months after surgery Monday to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee. The netminder suffered the injury while playing for Canada against Finland in the Gold Medal game of the World Championship on May 29th. The Finns won the game in overtime 4-3.
In 24 starts and 27 total appearances as the back-up to Philipp Grubauer, Driedger was 9-14-1 with a 2.96 goals-against average and .899 save percentage.
With that, time for a hefty morning skate around the NHL …
National Hockey Now
— Former Philadelphia Flyers winger Nic Aube-Kubel has found a niche on the 2022 Western Conference Champion Colorado Avalanche. The kid was a stand-out at Val d’Or in the Quebec League for four seasons. (See Simmer and Louie DeBrusk call one of his games on Sportsnet)
Related, how will the Colorado Avalanche handle their goaltending situation in the Stanley Cup Final with both Darcy Kuemper and Pavel Francouz both available?
— Will Mackenzie Weegar’s rising value force the Florida Panthers to eventually move on from the defenceman? Could he eventually end up on the NHL trade market because he’s too expensive?
— Former Detroit Red Wings star Sergei Fedorov is favoured to be the next head coach of the Red Wings. That would be something: Alleged in-house rivals (likely bunk) back in the 1990’s, number 19 (Steve Yzerman) would be number 91’s boss. Fedorov has had a very successful run in management and then as head coach for CSKA Moscow in the Russian KHL. His team just won the Gagarin Cup championship.
— Vegas Hockey Now has the story of how Vegas Golden Knights forward Nolan Patrick continued his injury-riddled career in 2021-22.
— 23-year-old San Jose Sharks prospect Joachim Blichfeld is leaving the Sharks to play for Växjö in the Swiss Hockey League.
Canadian Trade Markets
— Edmonton Oilers winger Jesse Puljujärvi became a hot name in NHL trade rumours again after general manager Ken Holland left the restricted free agent’s future in Edmonton up in the air. Could the Washington Capitals be one of the team’s looking to acquire him?
After Mike Smith struggled in the playoffs, the OIlers should be looking for a goalie on the trade market.
— Could the Montreal Canadiens become a suitor for Puljujärvi?
— We did some comparison shopping for the Vancouver Canucks earlier Thursday with all of the David Pastrnak rumours flying around Boston.
Although some BC folks were rooting for them and many against them, now that the Edmonton OIlers are bounced from the Stanley Cup chase, for whom will Vancouver Canucks fans root? I reckon there could be a variety of personal reasons or tie-ins that could bring about individual allegiance to one of the three remaining teams.
The Colorado Avalanche are waiting to see which team they’ll play in the Stanley Cup Final, either the Tampa Bay Lightning or the New York Rangers. The Eastern Conference Final is tied 2-2 with Game-5 tonight at Madison Square Garden.
Enjoy the Hockey Action !!