Buffalo Sabres head coach Ralph Krueger isn’t having a good week. The team has lost three straight, including a 3-0 shutout loss to Philadelphia Sunday. When star Jack Eichel went down with an injury and was expected to miss time earlier this week, Krueger told the press, including The Athletic’s John Vogl that Eichel got hurt during warm-ups on Thursday and his injury was not related to the fact that he missed the morning skate that day.
Eichel, who played Sunday, said after Sunday’s game that the injury didn’t happen in warm-ups like Krueger said. Eichel said the injury occurred during Tuesday’s game against New Jersey, contradicting Krueger’s statement three days earlier.
When Vogl asked about his job status, Krueger said he wasn’t worried.
“Absolutely not, John,” said Krueger. “If you do, I don’t know. But I’m not wired that way, just so you know. I’m wired to work on solutions and take responsibility, and I do both right now.”
Not a good sign in Buffalo.
- Vancouver Canucks center Brandon Sutter is having a solid season in the final year of his five-year, $21.9MM contract. The 32-year-old has scored six goals in 24 games so far this year. Despite being a logical trade chip for the upcoming trade deadline on April 12th, Sutter says he wants to stay with the Canucks past this year, according to The Province’s Ben Kuzma. “You know when your contract is up there’s always going to be speculation and talk,” he said. “For me, I’m just focused on this group and this team. I want to be here and this is where I want to stay. Really no secrets there from me.”
- Just because the Winnipeg Jets asked defenseman Toby Enstrom to waive his no-movement clause so the team could protect seven forwards, three defensemen and a goalie in the 2017 Vegas expansion draft, don’t expect Winnipeg to do the same with Blake Wheeler this year for the upcoming Seattle expansion draft. The Athletic’s Murat Ates (subscription required) writes that Wheeler would fit the profile of someone the Seattle Kraken would pass on if he were left exposed, considering he’s 35, has three more years at $8.25MM and is no longer a dominant top-line forward (although still a solid top-six player). The scribe notes that the Jets would never ask him to waive his no-movement clause. Winnipeg intends to use Wheeler as well as Mark Scheifele as examples to other Jets’ players that the team will stick with their stars for their entire career.
- Joe Haggerty of BostonHockeyNow writes the Boston Bruins could see the return of top-four defenseman Matt Grzelcyk soon. The 27-year-old blueliner practiced Saturday, but wasn’t ready to go Sunday against the Rangers. Grzelcyk has been out with a lower-body injury and has missed all but two games since Jan. 21. He has tried to come back twice when he obviously wasn’t ready. Grzelcyk has only appeared in six games this year.