It appears that the injury that Sharks captain Logan Couture sustained last night is going to keep him out of the lineup for a while. Pierre LeBrun of TSN and The Athletic reports (Twitter link) that the center has a fractured ankle and will be given a week-to-week designation but that the issue should keep him out for six weeks. That would be a devastating blow to a San Jose team that is already eight points out of a playoff spot as the 30-year-old is one of the few players who is producing at a rate that’s at least comparable to expectations as he leads the team in scoring with 36 points (14-22-36) in 45 games this season. If San Jose wasn’t already leaning towards selling by the trade deadline, this could certainly push them in that direction.
More from the West:
- Canucks GM Jim Benning told Postmedia’s Ed Willes that it would be fair to say that goaltender Jacob Markstrom is their top priority when it comes to contract talks among pending free agents. The 29-year-old has posted a .914 SV% in 30 starts this season and has been rather consistent in that regard over the past several seasons; his previous two years as their starter saw his mark come in at .912. In a UFA market where there aren’t a lot of starting goaltenders in it, Markstrom appears to be well-positioned to land a sizable raise on his current $3.667MM price tag regardless of whether Vancouver gives it to him or someone else on the open market.
- Even though he’s currently dealing with a broken leg, the Wild are still receiving trade interest in winger Jason Zucker, notes Michael Russo of The Athletic (subscription required). Zucker is no stranger to trade speculation with former GM Paul Fenton having basically moved him on two separate occasions before the deals eventually fell through. However, current GM Bill Guerin hasn’t really shown any inclination towards moving him but with Minnesota once again on the outside looking in at a playoff spot, it’s something they’ll have to consider again. Pittsburgh had interest last summer and Russo suggests that they’d likely show some interest again if they haven’t already done so.