The San Jose Sharks may be prepared to buck a recent trend among the NHL’s sellers. Head coach David Quinn has not talked to the team’s general manager, Mike Grier, about benching players for trade-related reasons, he told reporters, including The Athletic’s Corey Masisak, today.
Quinn emphasized that both of the Sharks’ high-profile trade targets, Timo Meier and Erik Karlsson, are currently under contract or team control for the next season, and the team is not obligated to trade them by the March 3 trade deadline. However, given the fervent pace of recent rumors surrounding both players, it would be shocking if neither were moved. While the financial hurdles to a Karlsson trade are understandable, Meier’s status as a pending restricted free agent gives his acquiring team some control in dictating his financial future, and a trade seems inevitable.
- Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery is reportedly optimistic about the return of winger Jake DeBrusk, says The Boston Globe’s Kevin Paul Dupont. DeBrusk has been out of the lineup since January 2 due to a fractured fibula and is two weeks behind schedule. Still, Montgomery is hopeful that he’ll be able to return for their game against the New York Islanders on Saturday. DeBrusk’s return will be a welcome addition to the Bruins lineup, as his 0.83 points per game rank fourth among Bruins forwards. He’s excelled with significant playing time on the top line alongside Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron.
- In a puzzling move, the Tampa Bay Lightning today loaned forward Gemel Smith to the Henderson Silver Knights, the AHL affiliate of the Vegas Golden Knights. Tampa’s affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch, announced the news this afternoon. Smith hasn’t played with the Lightning this season, but has lit up the minors with 37 points in 35 games with Syracuse thus far. It’s unclear what, if any, compensation Syracuse might receive for losing their third-leading scorer to a different organization.