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Eastern Conference

Mark Hunter Dismisses Islanders Rumor, Comments On Leafs Departure

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Former Toronto Maple Leafs assistant general manager Mark Hunter is not far removed from his departure from the Leafs and he already has to swat away rumors of his next move.

One of the rumors has him heading to the New York Islanders, joining former Leafs’ GM Lou Lamoriello, something Hunter addressed.

“Isn’t it quick how people want to (make those connections?)” Hunter said, according to the Toronto Sun’s Terry Koshan.

“There is nothing to that. I have not talked to Lou. Lou has a million things going on right now. He has bigger fish.”

Hunter referred to the Maple Leafs general manager gig, a position he interviewed for that ultimately went to Kyle Dubas, calling it a “job you dream for”.

Despite his disappointment, Hunter says he is not bitter over how things played out in Toronto.

“No, I don’t get bitter,” Hunter said. “People make decisions and Shanny [Toronto team president Brendan Shanahan] had his reasons. (I) feel good about what has happened with the team, where we have gone and where we can go. Sure, it’s disappointing. But we all make decisions and move ahead and don’t look back.”

Hunter will have to wait until June 15th to find a new gig, thanks to a non-compete agreement.

 

Eastern Conference

Lightning Shopping Slater Koekkoek

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The Tampa Bay Lightning are shopping defenseman, and former first round pick, Slater Koekkoek, according to SportsNet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Tampa Bay is now motivated to trade away their once prized prospect, who is currently playing with the Syracuse Crunch on a conditioning stint.

Koekkoek is waiver eligible and will become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights in the summer of 2019.

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Columbus Blue Jackets

Blue Jackets’ Sergei Bobrovsky Will Not Dress Due To Team Incident

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The Columbus Blue Jackets have announced that veteran goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky will not dress for tonight’s game against the Nashville Predators due to what is being described as an “incident”.

Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen stated the following:

“There are certain expectations and values that we have established for our players that define our culture. An incident occurred in which Sergei failed to meet those expectations and values, so we made the decision that he would not be with the team for tonight’s game. This is an internal matter and we will have no further comment at this time.”

In corresponding moves, the Blue Jackets has recalled Jean-Francois Berube, and placed both Brandon Dubinsky and Markus Hannikainen on injured reserve.

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Eastern Conference

Leafs’ Frederik Andersen Targeting Saturday Return

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Toronto Maple Leafs’ goaltender Frederik Andersen said that he is eyeing the team’s upcoming game against the Boston Bruins on Saturday to make his return to the ice.

Andersen was placed on injured reserve on January 3rd, retroactive to December 23rd, and hasn’t played since December 22nd.

Despite his goal of a Saturday return, Maple Leafs’ head coach Mike Babcock is looking towards Monday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche as the best time for his return.

Babcock pours a little cold water on Andersen’s reveal, saying it might be Monday vs. Colorado. Hmmm…— luke fox (@lukefoxjukebox) January 9, 2019

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