While the rumors that the potential deal between the Carolina Hurricanes and Anaheim Ducks involving Justin Faulk and Ondrej Kase was unlikely to happen came in earlier today, Anaheim general manager Bob Murray declined comment, but did express displeasure in Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon (without mentioning his name), according to Elliott Teaford of the Orange County Register. Murray blames the Hurricanes’ owner for leaking out Kase’s name in the trade negotiations.
“When things are out there and haven’t happened and some owner decides he’s going to garner some friendship with the media, and he’s going to get close to the media, and he puts things out there, some of these people, I wish they were players at some point in their lives,” Murray said. “Obviously, they weren’t.”
Kase doesn’t seem affected by the trade talk as the 23-year-old winger is trying to recover from surgery to repair a torn labrum that allowed him to appear in just 30 games last season. The winger said he hopes to play in one exhibition game and expects to be ready for the start of the season.
- Edmonton Oilers fans who attended practice Saturday held their breath when star center Connor McDavid went down during a back-checking drill when he collided with linemate Zack Kassian. McDavid picked himself back up, but was shaking his leg as he headed back to the bench, worrying many around the rink. The good news is that he’s fine, according to Edmonton Sun’s Jim Matheson. “Kass is doing everything he can to stay on that line (McDavid and Leon Draisaitl) and he hits his centreman. That’s not going to keep Kass on that line,” kidded Oilers’ coach Dave Tippett. “Nah, he’s (McDavid) fine. They (McDavid and Kassian) were laughing about it.” McDavid, who was injured in the Oilers’ final regular season game last season, is being brought along slowly in training camp. While the injury didn’t require surgery, there is talk that McDavid likely will see either one or possibly be held out of all preseason games to keep him as healthy as possible.
- Postmedia’s Ben Kuzma reports that it’s been an interesting training camp already for Vancouver Canucks winger Jake Virtanen. The 23-year-old failed his physical and was immediately demoted to the training camp’s third group on Friday, finding himself in head coach Travis Green’s doghouse due to his lack of conditioning. He was then elevated on Saturday and had a dominant performance in camp. “You want young players to take responsibility and part of developing players is hoping they learn from lessons. Sometimes tough ones sink in the most,” said Green.
- Patrick Johnston of The Province writes that Canucks defenseman Olli Juolevi struggled in practice Friday, especially after the training camp ritual: the full-out, full-burn bag skate, a hated skating drill that players laugh about later. However, Juolevi, who is still recovering from a knee injury he suffered in November, struggled with the drill and was in obvious discomfort after the drill. Kuzma added that Juolevi looked a little better, but was put into the third group to allow him time to recover. “A bit of a load-management day,” said Green. “He had a tough day yesterday and he’s feeling better today and we just want to make sure that we bring him along well. We’ll see how he feels today after skating (third group).”
- Mercury News’ Curtis Pashelka writes that San Jose Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer said that defenseman Radim Simek continues to skate, but the team is being cautious and is “taking it slow. There is no rush right now. But he skating and he looks good,” said Simek. The 26-year-old has been out of the Sharks’ lineup since March after having his leg crushed in a collision with Winnipeg’s Andrew Copp and was forced to have surgery to repair his ACL, MCL and his meniscus.