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Insider Trading: Team Canada reaches out to Bedard, McTavish


TSN’s Hockey Insiders discuss Team Canada’s roster build for the 2024 Men’s Worlds, the Flyers working on a contract extension with new goalie Ivan Fedotov, Shane Wright in the spotlight after a call-up from the Kraken and coveted NCAA free agent Collin Graf nearing a decision on which NHL team to sign with.

Two summers ago, Mason McTavish made one of the greatest plays in World Junior history. Then a few months later, Connor Bedard had one of the greatest tournaments in World Junior history. Pierre, could they be reunited this time for Canada at the senior worlds?

Pierre LeBrun: That is the idea, James. Team Canada general manager Rick Nash has reached out to those two players because those two players' teams have been eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs. And that's why he's only reached out to two players so far because of all these other teams that he's waiting on to be officially eliminated keep hanging out hanging in there in the East and the West.

But those calls are coming around the league soon and, obviously, no official word from Bedard just yet. Been a pretty busy last couple of years for him with the draft and you mentioned he actually played in a couple of World Juniors. But it's expected that the answer will be a yes and all probabilities are Bedard will go play for Canada at the men's worlds. C.J. mentioned last week wouldn't it be amazing if Sidney Crosby and Bedard were teammates at a men's worlds. Yes, it's Team Canada's plan to reach out to No. 87 if and when the Penguins get eliminated. And they keep hanging in that playoff race but that will be the plan.

In the meantime, Nash continues to consult with Doug Armstrong, Team Canada's Olympic GM, about some of the kind of players that you also want to see on the radar perhaps for the Olympic team, all these events are sort of coordinated here. And finally, of note, Team Canada will keep one or two roster spots open even after they have named their roster for the end of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs just in case there's a couple of high-profile players that want to go join Team Canada.

A lot of buzz right now about this new goalie Ivan Fedotov. Tall in the Flyers' net and John Tortorella called him the only player who showed up for the Flyers in their game Monday against the Islanders. Do they want him to stick around already, C.J.?

Chris Johnston: He hasn't even played a full NHL game yet, came in relief on Monday night and already the work is underway on what would be his second NHL contract. And that's because of the unique circumstances at play here. With him being 27 years old, Fedotov would be eligible to be an unrestricted free agent as of July 1, but I don't expect that to happen. It sounds like considerable progress has been made towards an extension and it might not be something we see announced in-season here, might come a little bit after the year. But, certainly, from both sides of the equation for Fedotov and the Flyers, I think that they want this to be a longer-term stint together and I do expect him to be signed long before free agency.

A guy haven't talked about much this year who we talked about a ton in years past is Shane Wright, who had a good season in the AHL. Back with Seattle, at least for a stint here. What's the plan for the Kraken and Wright, Pierre?

LeBrun: (He) scored in his first game back Monday night and the idea is to give him some important minutes, James. And he played north of 15 minutes on the line with Jaden Schwartz and Jordan Eberle. Certainly, that is contrary to the way that he played fourth-line minutes when he was back in Seattle in November. So the idea is to give him a real role in the games that he plays for the Kraken, but he will go back to the AHL because the team wants him to be part of the AHL playoffs and get that experience as well. Twenty goals in 56 AHL games this year - they've been pretty happy with his play.

How close is Quinnipiac forward Collin Graf to making his decision, C.J.?

Johnston: It sounds like things are, basically, imminent there - perhaps as soon as Tuesday we'll see who Collin Graf has elected to sign his entry-level deal with. And he's an interesting player, considered one of the jewels of this free agent class. He scored a lot of goals this year at Quinnipiac and had upwards of 20 NHL teams interested in him. Initially, he's withered that list down to just a handful now and we are expecting his decision to come here in the very near future.

And finally, another blow to hockey fans in Newfoundland, another pro team comes and now goes, Chris.

Johnston: Unfortunately, the Newfoundland Growlers are ceasing operations immediately. They still had six games left on the schedule, but those will not be played. The Growlers are going the way of many teams as you mentioned before in St. John's, unfortunately. Really what it came down to is the ownership of that team had run into some financial trouble. The ECHL had put in a Tuesday deadline in order to execute a sale. They weren't able to get a sale completed ahead of that deadline so they ceased operations. The Trois-Rivieres Lions though, however, do have a new owner in place so they will continue on while the Growlers go away.