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Dreger Report: Trade talks heating up and Penner update

Darren Dreger
10/22/2013 1:33:59 AM
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Trade discussions between NHL clubs are starting to pick up.

The Detroit Red Wings are among the teams believed to be eager to make a move.

The Wings need to create some cap space and sources say Jordin Tootoo is in play.

Detroit would like to call up Gustav Nyquist from the AHL, but doesn't have the cap room to make it happen.

Tootoo makes $1.9 million this season and is valued by some teams because of his grit.

Also complicating things for Detroit from both a roster and cap standpoint is the potential return of injured forward Darren Helm.

Helm is scheduled to come off of I.R. on Saturday.

(He didn't skate today, so he may have other ailments he's dealing with, but, his 10-game, 24-day stint on I.R. ends on Saturday).

Eyes on Liles

Meanwhile, the Toronto Maple Leafs are willing to sweeten the pot to get John-Michael Liles back in the National Hockey League and off of the Leafs' books.

Toronto will retain a significant portion of Liles's salary for the remainder of his contract to encourage a trade.

Liles, currently with the AHL's Toronto Marlies, carries a $3.875 million cap hit through 2015-16. He has a modified no-trade clause, which includes a list of 12 teams, submitted during the summer, that he would accept a trade to. However, at this point, Liles is more than willing to consider all NHL interest.

Recovery Mode

Dustin Penner is resting, hoping the symptoms from his first NHL concussion won't sideline him for too long.

Penner was knocked unconscious by a hit from Dallas Stars forward Ryan Garbutt in the second period of the Anaheim Ducks 6-3 win over the Stars on Sunday.

No penalty was called on the play, however, Garbutt has been summoned by the NHL's Safety Department to an in-person discipline hearing, which allows league disciplinarian, Brendan Shanahan, the flexibility of suspending Garbutt for more than six games.

In spite of his injury, Penner was quick to engage with those on twitter on Sunday night who viewed the hit as far less heinous.

One tweet in particular from Penner (below) attached a video clip to emphasize referees Greg Kimmerly and Tim Peel missed the call:


@Dustinpenner25: To whom it may concern.....black&white vertical stripes.Orange horizontal stripe) Might of been 2 min minor?? http://t.co/JKxL0I8PPi

Penner says the tweet was sent to embarrass the people on Twitter who assessed the hit as clean. Furthermore, Penner says players want NHL officials held accountable and the use of social media might help deliver that message.

In this case, a mistake was made. Garbutt could have easily been called for charging after racing from the penalty box to make the hit on Penner, who clearly didn't see it coming.

Kimmerly and Peel would have received a call from their supervisor to discuss the incident, either postgame or Monday morning, and both are likely appreciative supplemental discipline is an option the NHL uses regardless of the call on the ice.

As for accountability, NHL officials are heavily scrutinized...just not publicly.

These men are constantly called to discuss their performance and each official is graded over the course of the season, which heavily impacts playoff assignments and, ultimately, job security.

As for Dustin Penner's tweeting habits, he's one of the best and constantly uses twitter to connect with NHL fans.

Also, this isn't the first time Penner responded to a thundering hit via twitter.

During the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, Penner was rocked by St Louis Blues forward T.J Oshie.

Afterwards, Penner posted the following tweet, acknowledging the quality of the hit and teammate Mike Richards's role in the subsequent melee:

@Dustinpenner25. Anybody catch the license plate of that Truck? #ithinkitstartswitha7. Wawawewa. #aliG Thanks @Mrichie_10 #thatsleadership

Penner has a keen sense of humour, although there's nothing funny about the health issues he's dealing with now.

Darren Dreger

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