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NHL Rumors: Wild, Oilers, Islanders, Maple Leafs, More – The Hockey Writers

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In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Minnesota Wild have announced that they’ll be buying out the contracts of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter? What’s next for the team and for both players? Meanwhile, there is still mixed reaction in Edmonton after Oilers GM Ken Holland made a trade to land Duncan Keith but paid full price to do so. The New York Islanders are trying to trade Nick Leddy, the Vegas Golden Knights might be trying to move Reilly Smith and the Toronto Maples could look at trading Alex Kerfoot.

Wild to Buy Out Parise, Suter

Wild general manager Bill Guerin has made a huge decision for the franchise on Tuesday. He’s informed both Parise and Suter that their contracts will be bought out and each will become a free agent on July 28th. The move will save the Wild $10 million on the cap this season, but it will also require the team to take on $13 million in dead cap space in two years time and $15 million in three and four years from now.

Where each will end up isn’t known, but insiders are already connecting Parise to the New York Islanders. Rumors have surfaced the past couple of seasons that GM Lou Lamoriello would have been interested in acquiring Parise and reuniting with him (Parise played under Lamoriello in New Jersey).

Suter will have plenty of interest. He’s a veteran who played 22 minutes per game for Minnesota last season.

Oilers GM Taking Heat For Keith Trade, Not Confident About Larsson

The Oilers finalized a deal for the Duncan Keith, sending Caleb Jones and a conditional third-round pick to Chicago in the exchange. Where fans are really bothered is that Ken Holland absorbed all of Keith’s $5.5 million salary for the next two seasons, not using any leverage to save money on the trade.

The news of Suter’s availability will only frustrate Oilers fans more because this is a player that could have been just as useful without giving up any assets to acquire him and at a likely lower cap hit. Holland was quite defensive during his media available when asked if he could have pressure the Blackhawks more, saying, “What did you want me to do, get him for free?”

Holland suggests this wasn’t a numbers decision, arguing against the idea that analytics played a key role in his decision to add Keith. Instead, he looked at the “record book” and discussed what experience Keith brings and how he can help the team in a more limited role.

Holland also commented on how the Keith deal affects his negotiations with Adam Larsson and said, “I’m not pretty confident, but I’m not not confident.”

As per Jonathan Willis of The Athletic, the Islanders are shopping 30-year-old LD Nick Leddy. Willis writes, “He has one year left at a $5.5MM cap hit, and played 23 minutes per game for the conference finalists last year. It’s an expansion thing. ” Willis adds that the Islanders aren’t expecting a huge return because the team is needing to shed salary.

Nick Leddy (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Arthur Staple of The Athletic writes:

But two league sources indicated that the Islanders are shopping the 30-year-old defenseman this week so they would not have to leave him unprotected and potentially lose Leddy to Seattle for nothing…. but Leddy is still a useful top-four defenseman, so there almost certainly wouldn’t be any asset included in the deal, which is a plus.

source – ‘Is there interest in Vladimir Tarasenko? Could Nick Leddy be shopped? What we’re hearing about the Islanders as they enter the offseason’ – Arhtur Staple – The Athletic – 07/12/2021

Staple adds in that same article that two sources have indicated that Vladimir Tarasenko would indeed be open to an Islander trade. While his list of teams he’d accept a trade to isn’t small Tarasenko can control where he goes because of his full no-trade clause.

Rielly Smith on Move out of Vegas?

Frank Seravalli of The Daily Faceoff suggests that Vegas Golden Knights winger Reilly Smith could be traded as the team tries to improve their depth at center. He is on Seravalli’s trade list at No. 6 this week. Smith has a year left on his contract with an annual average value of $5 million and posted 14 goals and 25 points in 53 games for the Golden Knights this past season.

Considering the Maple Leafs are likely to lose Kerfoot in the expansion draft, that he comes up as No. 20 on Seravalli’s trade list should not be a surprise. If Kerfoot is left exposed, he would be an attractive option. Seravalli wonders if the Leafs will try to trade him elsewhere before the expansion draft.

Seravalli writes:

“The trick is any return short of future assets would also require protection from Seattle. That may ultimately result in losing Kerfoot from the roster, plus whomever the Kraken decide to then take – which could be defenseman Travis Dermott. Like many teams, the Leafs are weighing that out at the moment.”

Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”

Other content contributions include: NHLtradetalk.com, The Sportster and hosting weekly video casts, THW News and Rumors Rundown, plus Oilers Overtime.

For interview requests or to provide content info, follow Jim on Twitter or his social media accounts. They appear under his photo on articles like this one.

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Canada earns first medal in Tokyo with silver in women’s 4×100 freestyle swimming – Sportsnet.ca

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Canada has earned its first trip to the podium at the Tokyo Olympics, claiming silver in the women’s 4×100-metre swimming freestyle relay Saturday night.

Penny Oleksiak, the decorated swimmer who anchored the Canadian women to the nation’s first medal of these Games, earned her fifth career trip to the podium in the process, tying the all-time record for a summer Olympian from Canada. Rower Lesley Thompson-Willie and sprinter Phil Edwards are Canada’s other two five-time summer Games medalists.

“I think it’s kind of crazy,” Oleksiak said after the race. “I think we were all hopeful that we would get a medal. We didn’t know what medal it would really be. I think we all just wanted one. For it to be a silver, it’s pretty crazy I think.”

Kayla Sanchez, Maggie Mac Neil and Rebecca Smith rounded out Canada’s medal-winning crew. Sanchez took the lead position in the final, giving Mac Neil and Smith a chance to inch Canada closer to its eventual silver.

Then, in the final length, Oleksiak took over, propelling Canada out of what could have been a fourth-place finish and onto the podium.

“I just knew I wasn’t going to touch third,” Oleksiak said. “And when I make a decision in the race I have to execute it, so I wanted a silver medal for these girls and I wanted it so bad I wouldn’t accept anything else.”

Taylor Ruck, the fifth member of the team, didn’t swim in the final but competed in the preliminary heats and also received a medal.

Earlier in the night Mac Neil, who replaced Ruck in the final, placed third in her semifinal of the women’s 100-metre butterfly, earning a place in Sunday’s final and a chance to earn an individual medal for Canada.

In that semifinal, Mac Neil, the 2019 world champion and Canadian record holder in the event, posted a time of 56.56 seconds. She finished behind world record holder and Olympic champion Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden, and Yufei Zhang of China, who finished first with a time of 55.89 seconds.

“I know from experience my second swim is usually better because I’m warmed up already,” Mac Neil said. “I was really looking forward to it. Having these girls with me definitely gave me that extra boost to get silver.”

The Australian women’s team earned gold in Saturday’s 4×100-metre freestyle, shattering the previous world record with a time of 03:29.69. Canada managed to beat out the USA by a mere three one-hundredths of a second, as the Americans finished with bronze.

The Canadian relay team secured its place in tonight’s final by posting the third-fastest time in yesterday’s semifinal with a combined time of three minutes 33.72 seconds, narrowly behind the Netherlands and Australia.

This relay team kicking off the nation’s Olympics success isn’t new. Five years ago, during the Rio Games, it was the Canadian women’s 4×100-metre freestyle relay team that earned Canada’s first medal with a bronze.

Canada’s women will seek to secure a podium position in all three relay events during the Tokyo games after achieving three bronze medals during the world championship in South Korea two years ago.

“I have a lot of faith in these people,” Sanchez said. “If you want someone to anchor it’s Penny. And if you want someone to swim second it’s Maggie. And Rebecca is a great trainer and consistent. We just did what we needed to do.”

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Tokyo 2020: Canada wins first medal after swimming to silver in women's 4×100 freestyle relay – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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The Canadian Press


Published Saturday, July 24, 2021 10:55PM EDT


Last Updated Saturday, July 24, 2021 10:55PM EDT

TOKYO — Canada has its first medal of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after the women’s 4×100 freestyle relay team raced to silver.

Penny Oleksiak and Kayla Sanchez of Toronto, Margaret Mac Neil of London, Ont., and Rebecca Smith of Red Deer, Alta., finished in a time of three minutes 32.78 seconds as Canada picked up a medal in the event for a second straight Games.

Australia won gold in a world-record time of 3:29.69, while the United States finished third in 3:32.81.

Oleksiak swam the anchor leg and narrowly beat out American Simone Manuel at the wall.

Canada’s women are looking to duplicate the success they had in the pool at the 2016 Rio Games, where they picked up six medals.

Earlier on Sunday, Mac Neil also advanced to Monday morning’s 100-metre butterfly final. The 21-year-old world champion in the event posted the sixth-fastest time in the semifinals.

An hour after qualifying for the butterfly final, Mac Neil drew into the relay lineup for Taylor Ruck who swam the heat for Canada. The women posted the third-fastest time in the preliminaries.

Sanchez led off the final followed by Mac Neil and Smith with Oleksiak bringing the team home.

Oleksiak and Ruck won a pair of freestyle relay bronze medals as 16-year-olds in Rio de Janeiro five years ago.

They teamed with Sandrine Mainville and Chantal Van Landeghem in the 4 x 100 to win Canada’s first medal of the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Oleksiak also swam the anchor leg in Rio.

Canada’s women aim for the podium in all three relays in Tokyo after earning three bronze at the world championship in Gwangju, South Korea two years ago.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 24, 2021.

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The Edmonton Oilers select big German defender Luca Munzenberger at #90 overall – Edmonton Journal

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The Edmonton Oilers trading down on Day #1 of the NHL draft was converted not 24 hours later into Defenceman Luca Munzenbeger.

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Gotta love the name! Munzenberger is an 18-year old out of Dusseldorf, Germany. He has a late (November) 2002 birth date.

He’s a big, left-handed shot at 6’3, 194 LBS.

Munzenberger spent the majority of 2020-21 with Kolner Junghaie of the DNL U20. In 6 games he went 1-2-3 and served as Team Captain. His time in junior versus pro left open the door for him to play in college. Munzenberger also played for Team Germany at the World Junior Hockey Championships in Edmonton (0-0-0 in 5GP). More on that in a minute…

Munzenberger is considered to be an excellent PK man, but possesses a big shot which makes him a threat from the point as well. Scouts say he has a soft set of hands and makes an effective first-pass out of his own zone. Those who have seen him play, namely amateur scout Brock Otten, describe the kid as a “suffocating physical defender” with a mean streak. He’s an above-average skater for his size with a massive stride and a big wingspan. He’s effective at clearing the slot and his reach helps him get to pucks ahead of attackers. In my own viewing of his highlights from the WJC’s, Munzenberger closes quickly and effectively on the opposition along the walls. The foot-speed, reach and size are visibly key tools in his ability to break up the cycle.

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A side note from that tournament that may indicate the quality of his intangibles: Munzenberger was in COVID quarantine at the very beginning ot the WJ’s, but emerged from that status prior to Christmas and rebounded with a strong performance. That would seem to speak to the kid’s resilience. The young man in a foreign country responded to a stressful situation and considerable uncertainty extremely well.

Draft analyst Steve Kournianos says of him: “A big bodied vacuum cleaner on defence… He has ideal size but the mobility and agility to cover faster players… He plays a mean, physical brand of hockey and can be considered a throwback… He has soft hands and delivers clean passes to any area in the offensive zone, but what makes Munzenberger dangerous is his lethal shot — he owns a bomb of a shot, not only for its velocity but for the sheer power he generates with little backswing. His wrister is just as nasty.”

It is fair to consider this pick as somewhat “off the board”. Elite Prospects had him at #214. No other service had him listed at all. One wonders if fellow countryman Leon Draisaitl had and offered any insight on the player to the Oilers draft team? He and his father surely know of every sharp prospect in that nation.

Munzenberger is committed to NCAA University of Vermont in 2022-23 which offers another interesting tidbit. Todd Woodcroft is the coach of that program, the brother of Bakersfield Condors bench boss Jay Woodcroft.  So, there may well be some added insight from that connection.

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