NHL Notebook: Jack Campbell practices with Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers looking to deal Anthony Dulcair and more
By Zach Laing2 months ago
Jack Campbell practiced with the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday a day after taking a puck in the face while sitting on the bench.
Campbell was backing up Stuart Skinner in the Oilers’ 5-2 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Monday night. Late in the second period, teammate Dylan Holloway tried to dump a puck into the Devils’ zone, but Dougie Hamilton accidentally deflected the shot.
The stray puck appeared to catch Campbell near the eye, and on Tuesday he said he wound up with a broken nose.
Thankfully, it looks like Campbell is okay after the flukey incident.
Duclair to be dealt?
With the trade market starting to shake loose, the Florida Panthers could be looking to deal Anthony Duclair.
“Yeah, so we take a look here at the next five guys on our trade targets list, and Duclair, you see, has an asterisk next to his name, and those are also his 2021-22 stats, because Anthony Duclair sustained an Achilles injury on July 2nd, and has missed the entirety of the season to this point. Why is this significant, and why is his name on the board?Because the Florida Panthers have been flying incredibly close to the sun with the salary cap this season. They’re dressing the league minimum, they’re carrying the league minimum of players. You saw last week with Aaron Ekblad when he was sick, they didn’t get a replacement, they played one player short. And so, they don’t have anyone to send down and that means if they’d like to activate Duclair, who I’m told is closing in on a return, he’s already skating, looking like sometime around Christmas at the earliest, he’s got a $3 million cap hit, and in order to activate him, they have no space. They absolutely must make a trade.One option, may be one of the easiest options, would be to take Duclair and unload him somewhere for free, have someone take him off your hands, you might even have to pay given the scenario that the Florida Panthers are in, to have someone bail you out in order to make that happen. But the reason Duclair has the asterisk and I call him a placeholder is I believe at this point he’s just as likely as some of the other players on the Florida Panthers roster that could be moved.It could be anyone of them, but the point is to point out the Florida Panthers will have to make a move barring another injury, will have to make a trade, and I think if it’s not going to be Duclair, I think they might be able to find some value elsewhere, whether it’s Sam Reinhart, Sam Bennett, they have some different options. But it’s going to need to be someone that makes $3 million or more on their cap, and an important transaction to point out as some teams around the league begin to look at some vulnerable positions, the Florida Panthers certainly are in one.”
Huberdeau and Backlund gelling?
The Jonathan Huberdeau era is off to a rocky start in Calgary — that’s no surprise. The production hasn’t quite been there and there’s been some… uh… tense moments, to say the least.
But as FlamesNation’s Pat Steinberg writes, Huberdeau could be finding a spot alongside Mikael Backlund.
Across the board, Huberdeau’s best centre fit thus far has been Backlund and it’s not really close. So as much as I was preaching patience a few weeks ago when Huberdeau was playing with Lindholm and Tyler Toffoli, now that things have changed, I can’t deny the early results.And it’s not like Backlund has never succeeded with good, skilled players. Prior to last year’s offensive explosion, Matthew Tkachuk’s best five-on-five season came on Backlund’s wing in 2018-19. Tkachuk was on the ice with Backlund for 15 of his 17 five-on-five goals that season in a year those two formed one of the league’s most dominant two-way forward duos.I’d also like to push back on a narrative I don’t agree with. There’s an opinion held by some that playing with Backlund relegates Huberdeau to Calgary’s third line. But if you look at how head coach Darryl Sutter has rolled out his centres this year, that’s not accurate. In fact, Backlund, Kadri, and Lindholm are playing almost identical amounts at five-on-five right now.
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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