While Canucks goaltender Jaroslav Halak has come up in trade speculation lately with him being close to reaching a $1.25MM bonus for games played, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports in his latest 32 Thoughts column that the veteran doesn’t seem inclined to want to move. As part of Halak’s contract, he did receive a no-move clause, giving him control over where he goes if Vancouver is able to find a trade taker for him. The 36-year-old is two games away from triggering a $1.25MM bonus payment, one that will count against Vancouver’s salary cap in 2022-23 with the team being in LTIR and having no cap space to apply the bonus money against this season. If Halak doesn’t want to leave Vancouver, however, it’s a payout they’re going to have to make.
Elsewhere around the NHL:
- Still with Vancouver, team president Jim Rutherford told Rick Dhaliwal of CHEK and The Athletic (Twitter link) that he has narrowed his list of potential new general managers to around five. The Canucks have technically been without a GM since Jim Benning was fired back in early December although Rutherford has effectively been acting in that role since joining the team on December 9th.
- Penguins forward Drew O’Connor is listed as out week-to-week with an undisclosed injury, notes Seth Rorabaugh of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The injury was sustained in Saturday’s game against San Jose and the 25-year-old has been placed on LTIR, meaning he’ll miss at least 10 games and 24 days. O’Connor has three goals and two assists in 22 games this season.
- The Rangers announced (Twitter link) that winger Alexis Lafreniere has cleared COVID protocol and has been reinstated to the active roster. The 20-year-old has had a quiet sophomore season so far, notching just 11 points in 37 games which isn’t what New York was expecting when they drafted him first overall in 2020. Morgan Barron was assigned to the taxi squad to make room for Lafreniere on the active roster.