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Insider Trading: The latest on Kyle Connor

Kyle Connor IT Kyle Connor - TSN

TSN’s Hockey Insiders discuss the Jets’ update on their injured star winger, the Flames and Chris Tanev, where Ethan Bear is expected to land, Kyle Dubas’ recent comments, the latest on the Blues, and Ismo Lehkonen trying to clear the air on Mikko Rantanen.

One of the stories of the year in the NHL are the Winnipeg Jets so far 16-8-2 heading into their game in San Jose. But now without Kyle Connor, one of their key players, that is a major test. How long is he likely to be out, Dregs?

Darren Dreger: Initially, the thinking is that it could be as few as six weeks or as long as eight weeks, but that's cautiously optimistic. The Winnipeg Jets needed to get Kyle Connor back to Winnipeg so he could be fully evaluated by their trusted doctors and specialists in Winnipeg. As we can see this was a violent knee-on-knee collision. The initial worry was that there was significant ligament damage here. But until there's more testing and more imaging, the Jets can't be sure. Which is why they also haven't confirmed that six-to-eight-week timeline.

Pierre LeBrun: From one injury to another and the Flames avoiding the worst with Chris Tanev. Day-to-day only after that injury on Monday night. And it's a reminder, though, of the position that a team like the Flames are in with Chris Tanev, who's a pending unrestricted free agent and someone they are very likely going to trade before the March 8 trade deadline. It's the risk of injury, especially for a player like Tanev. What you love about the guy is also what worries you is that he goes through a wall for his teammates. He's a shot-blocker - and so this is his style of play. But the Flames have told teams they're not ready to deal him yet, that they want to be patient and, obviously, what they're doing is letting the market play out. If the price right now is a second-round pick for Tanev, maybe there's hope that as teams continue the lineup for him - and there is sizable interest - that maybe they can get a first, which is what the Montreal Canadiens got for rental defence from Ben Chiarot two years ago from the Florida Panthers.


You guys spoke last week about number of possible destinations for free agent defenceman Ethan Bear and, C.J., it appears he has chosen one.

Chris Johnston: Yes, indeed. The final details and some of logistics are still being ironed out. But it does appear that Ethan Bear will join the Washington Capitals. And they emerge among a group of teams that included his former team the Vancouver Canucks. I think the Toronto Maple Leafs at least inquired there too. And some others, but the Capitals offered him a two-year contract. And it looks like that two-year deal will come in in the neighborhood of $2 million once it's completed. Bear, of course, is coming off shoulder surgery in the offseason - an injury suffered last year at the World Hockey Championship while playing for Team Canada. And the opportunity to play somewhere like Washington, a little bit of security, ultimately, is going to be what takes him to D.C.


It hasn't been a smooth start for general manager Kyle Dubas in Pittsburgh, a team second last in the Metropolitan division right now. He held court to give an update and raised some eyebrows with his comments, Pierre.

LeBrun: Well, one comment in particular where he said he would make a full evaluation of the team around the All-Star break, and I think people read different things into that. I don't think it was meant to be cryptic. Kyle Dubas, what he was saying is that he owes it to this core, given their history, given their Cup rings, given their legacy, to give them as much time as possible to get the season back on track. That's what he meant. But he still said what he said, which is that if this team is still out of the playoffs come the All-Star break some hard decisions are coming. And Kyle Dubas signed a seven-year deal. Not a three-year deal, not a five-year deal: a seven-year deal. Because eventually, the long-term thinking is going to take over in Pittsburgh, they're going to need a retool or a rebuild, but it's just not going to be right now. They want to give Sidney Crosby and that core one last shot at it but they have to get on track here pretty soon.


C.J., I don't think we've ever had an item that involved a Finnish father feud.

Johnston: Some tough words from Mikko Rantanen after a good game on Monday night, saying he was fueled by some comments from Ismo Lehkonen - the father of Artturi Lehkonen, who has a job much like we do in Finland commenting on the NHL. I did speak to Ismo Lehkonen today, and he said he's tried to clear the air. He sort of issued an apology to Rantanen and he thinks there's a misunderstanding about his comments in which he basically said he thinks he's too busy in the off-season doing all sorts of charitable things, business things, and maybe wasn't as focused on his preparation as he should have been. And he also added it's probably a good thing there's a mother's trip in Colorado this year rather than one involving the fathers.