Insider Trading: How close is Tocchet to becoming coach of the Canucks?
How close is Rick Tocchet to becoming head coach of the Canucks to replace Bruce Boudreau? Does being a healthy scratch hurt Matt Dumba's trade value? Has there been any progress for a return to play for Toronto's Jake Muzzin? TSN Hockey Insiders Chris Johnston and Darren Dreger discuss this and more.
It feels awkward, uncomfortable, a little icky talking about Rick Tocchet being the next head coach of the Vancouver Canucks when Bruce Boudreau is still sitting there as the head coach of the Vancouver Canucks, but where are we, how close is it to happening, C.J.?
Chris Johnston: Well, this now appears to be a question of when, not If, Rick Tocchet succeeds Bruce Boudreau as the coach of the Canucks. Tocchet was very careful with his wording, he was on TNT's broadcasts on Wednesday night. (He) said he didn't have a contract with Vancouver. I would expect that to change at some point here in the next few days. It sounds as though negotiations have started on that deal that Rick Tocchet will probably arrive in Vancouver with a couple additions to his coaching staff as well. And, of course, nothing's officially 100 per cent until pens have been put to paper. That hasn't happened yet. But it does sound as though it's getting very close.
What do you make of the situation with Matt Dumba in Minnesota, Dregs?
Darren Dreger: Well, it's 100 per cent performance based, and the reality is Matt Dumba, as veteran defenceman for the Wild, hasn't been good of late. And he was not good versus the Washington Capitals on Tuesday. So this is Dean Evason, the head coach – the latest head coach – to send the message to try and wake up a big name, big money player. We've seen it in Vancouver with Oliver Ekman-Larsson. We saw it in Philadelphia with John Tortorella and Kevin Hayes. So I don't know if it's trendsetting, but there's more of a willingness to deliver that message. But there remains trade interest in Matt Dumba. He just has to get his game back on track.
Where are we at, as far as his status, the likelihood of him [Jake Muzzin] playing again for the Leafs [Toronto Maple Leafs] or playing hockey again whatsoever?
C.J.: Well, at this point, it doesn't sound like there's really been any developments. Jake Muzzin has remained ever present around the Leafs; going on the road with them being behind the scenes with [the] team. But in terms of moving towards returning to play, there's nothing happening there. And that's newsy in itself because the Leafs need to have clarity on his injury status when it comes to long term-injured reserve prior to the trade deadline. Knowing for sure that he couldn't return this year in order to use that cap space, perhaps in acquiring someone at the deadline. It sounds as though some clarity there may be coming in [the] not too distant future. Muzzin is scheduled to see specialists again in February.
Evander Kane returning from that really scary wrist injury, that's great to see. The surprising part, Dregs, perhaps was in the equipment he wasn't wearing?
DD: Yeah, and that's the cut-resistant sleeves that are available in many forms. The expectation given the severity of that wrist laceration that kept Evander Kane out of the Oilers lineup for quite some time was significantly serious. So the expectation was, yes, he would have some form of protection on that sleeve, but as we can see, he did not have that on Tuesday. Now Ilya Mikheyev suffered something similar back in his Toronto Maple Leaf days. I'm told he does wear the cut-resistance sleeve. Perhaps Evander Kane reconsiders and wears them moving forward. But I do know that the NHL still intends on presenting to the general managers in March just the products that are available to try and prevent serious injuries like this.
Seems like an obvious for all players not just the ones who've been through that. But we know that hockey players, perhaps more than any other athletes, are creatures of habit and don't like change.