Insider Trading: Is Ryan Reynolds' interest in buying the Senators real?
Is Ryan Reynolds' interest in buying the Senators real? How will Jake Muzzin's health status affect what the Leafs do the rest of the season? With the Habs having a surplus of forwards, could the Capitals be a trade partner? TSN Hockey Insiders Darren Dreger, Pierre LeBrun and Chris Johnston discuss this and more on Thursday’s edition of Insider Trading.
Major buzz in the nation's capital. According to one report, [Hollywood film star] Ryan Reynolds is very interested in buying the Sens. But his net worth is estimated to be about $150 million, while the team could sell for well over a billion. If the report is accurate, would he need to have a team [of investors] to buy the team?
Dreger: Well, that makes the most sense. But look, having Ryan Reynolds involved in Ottawa Senators ownership certainly spices the process up a little bit. But as Bruce Garrioch, our colleague, has noted, Reynolds' interest in owning at least a piece of the Sens is legit. But he hasn't reached out to the National Hockey League just yet. And it's also important to note that the formal sale process of the Ottawa Senators isn't underway just yet either. When that process kicks into full gear, it won't be just Ryan Reynolds who's interested in minority ownership. There will be a number of capable candidates who will step up.
Back on October 17th, Jake Muzzin collided with Coyotes [forward] Clayton Keller. [Muzzin] has missed six games since then. Any word on how he's doing or what the Leafs plans are?
Johnston: No. No clear prognosis or plan just yet for Jake Muzzin, but I'd say we're getting a little closer to that fact. Jake Muzzin was in California to see a specialist last week looking at the head and neck area where he's had a number of injuries. And I can tell you, there is legitimate concern about what the next hit could look like if he were to return – what his future is. And this has big cap implications for the Leafs. They've struggled out of the gate here and really have only been able to look at some minor moves around the depth pieces of the organization. But if there is a Jake Muzzin-sized hole in their lineup, they've got a need there for a defenceman and they [would] have more cap space to play with.
The Habs have a glut of forwards on their current roster, while the Capitals have got some issues up front. Could this work out for both?
LeBrun: Well, certainly on paper you could see why the two teams would at least want to talk and I'm told there has been communication between the Caps and the Habs, but it hasn't gone very much past that. And the reason is, despite the fact that Connor Brown is gone six-to-eight months and the Caps do have his $3.6 million cap hit to play with. For now, Washington is intent on looking at its internal options, whether that's Connor McMichael, or Sonny Milano [who] they just signed and recalled. So for now, Washington wants to look at that. The Habs have not only reached out, I'm told, to the Washington Capitals, they've reached out to several clubs around the NHL trying to create a trade market for their glut of forwards, whether that's Evgenii Dadonov or Jonathan Drouin or Mike Hoffman and beyond. The Habs have too many guys up front, which is why there were some noteworthy healthy scratches every night with that team. So, we'll see where that goes, but certainly Montreal is looking to make a move.
Speaking of healthy scratches, the Shane Wright watch continues. The fourth-overall pick has been a healthy scratch in more than half of the Kraken's games so far. And when he dresses, he doesn't play much. What's the plan for him?
Dreger: It's very likely he's going to stay with the Kraken. Now, here's an interesting sidebar to this story because there is a clause inside the agreement between the NHL and the CHL that allows junior-eligible players like Shane Wright to be loaned to the American Hockey League. Now, to qualify, Wright would have to be a healthy scratch in the NHL for five straight games. He can only be loaned once to the AHL and can only stay for a maximum of 14 days. So, I believe this is something that the Kraken are considering and they're also looking at loaning him to Canada for the World Juniors.
Last season we saw some significant confusion regarding the way teams and player agents agreed on no-trade clauses. Are we any closer to a fix on that?
LeBrun: Well, it's still not officially fixed. You may remember at the GM meetings in March that the league announced an intention to centralize a no-trade list so that you don't have a situation like you had last March at the deadline with Evgenii Dadonov when the trade involving Vegas was rescinded. So, they wanted to clean that up. But I checked on it today and the NHLPA and the NHL have still not finalized an agreement on that. That's not to say it won't get done, but it still hasn't been finalized.
The Coyotes continue to try to make the best of playing in a 5,000-seat arena. For now, they've got their eyes on a chunk of land just about two miles away for their future home. Any news on that front?
Johnston: Well, there's still hope that there's a vote that's going to come from the city council at some point in November. There are numerous hearings scheduled. There's been some reports from Craig Morgan (of The Athletic) about the possibility of a referendum being put to local citizens there. At this point, the council has not formally indicated that it's going to go that way. It's within Arizona law that legislation can be subject to referendum, but that's not a slam dunk. So, there is still hope from the Coyotes that this can move forward in the next few weeks.