In today’s NHL rumors and news update, the Dallas Stars have solved their problem with Julius Honka for now, the Pittsburgh Penguins continue to have injury troubles and are the Edmonton Oilers hot at a Calgary Flames announcer who bashed James Neal for his hot start in Edmonton?
Honka Signs in Finland
It might not be the solution the Dallas Stars and defenseman Julius Honka were looking for, but it is a solution. For the time being, Honka will play in international hockey as Honka has signed a contract with JYP in Finland.
His deal includes an NHL out clause that could bring him back to North America if there is a team interested in acquiring him. This signing comes as a result of the Stars not being able to find a trade partner for Honka. There might have been teams interested but the speculated asking price was too high.
The Stars continue to retain his rights and if he’s to play in the NHL again, he’ll need to be moved by the Stars first.
Injuries Continue to Pile Up in Pittsburgh
The Pittsburgh Penguins just can’t catch a break as another player has gone down with an injury. The team officially announced that Alex Galchenyuk would be placed on injured reserve and the team would be recalling Adam Johnson.
Neither Galchenyuk and Patric Hornqvist were listed as day-to-day. Johnson recorded two points in his AHL debut this season and will be given a huge opportunity with Galchenyuk, Hornqvist, Evgeni Malkin, Nick Bjugstad and Bryan Rust all hurt.
This will only add to the rumors GM Jim Rutherford is looking for a trading partner to unload one of his defensemen.
Calgary Announcer Takes Aim at James Neal
James Neal is on fire offensively right now. With six goals in his first three games, he’s surprised many with how quickly he’s been getting on the board after a 7-goal season in Calgary, but the Oilers traded for him because of his long history with 20-plus goal seasons under his belt.
After a four-goal game against the New York Islanders on Tuesday, it’s understandable if Flames fans are a bit upset to see him doing so well while Lucic has yet to register a single shot on net. Most Oilers fans knew the Lucic-for-Neal trade had promise but even they may be surprised at how quickly the trade seems lopsided in Edmonton’s favor.
Calgary hockey commentator Eric Francis of Sportsnet tried to sell the trade as a win for the Flames, despite Neal’s performance to date and Oilers fans are taking aim at the commentator.
Saying that Flames fans were probably getting texts from Oilers fans, pouring salt in the wounds, Francis said:
“James Neal was never going to do that here in Calgary. Disengaged. Too slow. Not playing Top 6 minutes. Let’s talk about Lucic. Lucic now leading in his own category which is penalty minutes in the National Hockey League. And this is an element the Calgary Flames dearly were looking for. Look at that hit. He absorbs that and everyone in the building knew what was happening next. It turned this game around. There are several things that turned it around. But this is a big, big part of it. Again, Lucic and Tkachuk working in tandem.”
Lucic can provide that element, but $6 million per season to have someone sitting on the penalty bench more than any other player in the NHL might not be a selling feature.
Wayne Simmonds Upset With Flyers?
Wayne Simmonds didn’t mince words when speaking with Flyers insider Sam Carchidi. Talking about leaving Philadelphia for the New Jersey Devils in the offseason, it wasn’t because he didn’t want to stay in Philly.
“I put so much time and sweat and tears into this organization. I thought I did everything I could possibly do to at least get a bit of an extension.”
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