After Jim Rutherford pulled off his latest deadline deal, acquiring Ron Hainsey for a second-round draft pick today, he met the media to answer questions about his team and rest of the trade deadline. At the same time, Washington Capitals GM Brian MacLellan was meeting with media to discuss his team’s aspirations at the deadline. Here are the highlights from both, plus other news from the hockey world.
- Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported several things on Twitter, including that Rutherford thinks the next 24 hours will determine whether the Penguins add another defenseman at the deadline. Since the Penguins don’t play until Saturday, he’s likely referring to both Kris Letang and Justin Schultz and their battles with injury.
- Schultz hit practice without a non-contact sweater today and took part in nearly all the drills. After a successful practice, the plan is to get him into a game on Saturday night against the Flyers.
- Letang on the other hand is day-to-day with an upper body injury suffered Tuesday night against Carolina. His health is likely a determining factor in the deadline for Pittsburgh.
- Rutherford also mentioned, according to Mackey, that Olli Maatta and Trevor Daley who are both out for over a month, will not be placed on LTIR and could return before the end of the season. Six weeks from today would be April 6th, just a few days before the playoffs begin. The Penguins face the Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Rangers on back to back nights to end the season (April 8 and 9). Perhaps we’ll see them back by then.
- On the Capitals, Isabell Khurshudyan of the Washington Post gives us a series of tweets from MacLellan. He has been in touch with T.J. Oshie’s camp and wants to sign him. He doesn’t think it will get done in-season though.
- MacLellan doesn’t think the team will do anything at the deadline except perhaps in the “fringes” of the roster. He mentioned a third goaltender as a possibility.
- Max Jones of the London Knights will face a 10 game suspension, according to Ryan Pyette of the London Free Press. Jones was the first-round pick of the Anaheim Ducks this past summer, and has faced multiple suspensions this year limiting him to just 29 games.
- The Alaska Aces of the ECHL will shut down their doors after this season, leaving the state without a professional hockey team. Winners of the Kelly Cup three times in their fifteen years, they once rostered players like Scott Gomez, Nate Thompson and Brandon Dubinsky and are currently the affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks.