Quick Hits: Likely Saturday Scratches, Kessel, and Trade Talk

Quick Hits: Likely Saturday Scratches, Kessel, and Trade Talk

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    Speculation on who is likely to be scratched for Saturday’s rematch against the New York Rangers, an update on Phil Kessel, and (surprise, surprise) some early-season trade chatter.

    Saturday Scratches?

    Per Mike Zwolinski of The Star, Nik Kulemin and Jamal Mayers were wearing the maroon practice jerseys this morning, an indication that each will be a healthy scratch for Saturday’s game in New York.

    This of course means a return to the lineup for Nik Hagman and Matt Stajan.   Cue the “Welcome Back, Kotter” theme music.

    Update On Kessel

    Zwolinski reports that Phil Kessel was skating full-speed at practice, and although he appears to be ahead of schedule he has yet to be cleared for contact, which means he is still not close to returning to the lineup.  The latest estimate for Kessel’s probable return date is roughly one month from now — on or around November 15th.

    If Kessel can indeed return to the lineup around that time, he will have by that point missed 18 games, leaving him on target for 64 games played this season if he can remain healthy the rest of the way.

    Grapevine Chatter & Hearsay

    Although no deals are imminent as of yet, the Leafs‘ sloppy start has naturally sparked a fair amount of early-season tradespeak.   The grapevine circuit has the Leafs feeling out the possibilities with Minnesota and Colorado, recently.

    San Jose-Toronto rumours have been going around for a while now.  The Sharks did at one point express some interest in Mike Van Ryn, but were holding out to see him play before seriously exploring a deal.  Now that he is out for the season, expect rumours involving the Leafs and Sharks to die down somewhat … although some are suggesting the Sharks may have interest in another Leafs‘ defender.

    The rumour of the Leafs having interest in Marc Savard may have more legs than at first appeared.   Note that the Bruins aren’t shopping Savard; rather, rumour has it he may sign elsewhere next season, which has prompted some teams to put out feelers as to what his availability might be this season.  Given the financials involved, there would almost certainly need to be another deal made first before a Savard-to-Toronto scenario were to become feasible.  At this stage, consider the Leafs‘ interest to be of the exploratory sort only.

    Cheers,
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