NHL News & Rumors: Canadiens, Canucks, Bruins, Sabres, More

In today’s NHL news and rumors rundown, there is talk about coaching contracts, including deals for Travis Green and John Tortorella. For the Boston Bruins, there are talks surrounding contracts for Taylor Hall and David Krejci. Will either get a new deal, or maybe both? The Montreal Canadiens lost Shea Weber to injury and Buffalo Sabres forward Sam Reinhart has really upped his game since moving back to center.

Canadiens Lose Shea Weber

Weber did not play in Friday’s game against the Winnipeg Jets because of an upper-body injury. It’s not clear what is ailing the veteran or how much time he’ll miss. Nick Suzuki said on not having Weber in the line-up: “He’s the biggest piece for our team, he’s our leader, hopefully we get him back soon – he definitely doesn’t want to miss games but we got to win games for him until he’s ready to go.”

Shea Weber Montreal Canadiens
Shea Weber, Montreal Canadiens (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Jake Allen figures it must be something serious. He said, “Webby is as tough as they come whether it’s blocking shots, bumps, bruises – no one is playing healthy but that guy can play through anything; he’s a tough competitor and always wants to be on the ice.”

Green Extension Coming Soon?

Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic provided updates on a few of the pending coaches in the NHL, among them Brind’Amour, Travis Green, Jeff Blashill, Rick Tocchet and John Tortorella.

LeBrun gave the Canucks a hard time for leaving Green’s contract so long, especially because they know they want to keep him and not getting him signed has garnered unwanted media attention. That said, he believes there could be news on that front sooner rather than later. He writes:

There have not been talks regarding an extension this season, which is a mistake in a Canadian market with a rabid fan base and intense media scrutiny. You don’t let a good coach like Green enter the season on an expiring deal. 

source – LeBrun: What does the future hold for NHL head coaches on expiring contracts or in interim positions?’ Pierre LeBrun – The Athletic – 04/26/2021

LeBrun also noted that both sides in Carolina are hopeful a deal will eventually get done when it comes to Brind’Amour. There remains a gap in both positions after some negotiations earlier this season. When it comes to Tocchet and the Arizona Coyotes: “This one feels like it’s headed for an exit by a coach who is well respected around the league.” Finally, with Blashill, he has no good read on where this is going.

Tortorella and Blue Jackets Heading For a Split

With Tortorella, LeBrun notes, “I feel like this one is headed for a split after a fun journey together.” He believes that the situation here is not just about whether or not the Blue Jackets want to keep their head coach after his contract expires, but what Tortorella wants to do.

The season has been a rocky one for the Blue Jackets in more ways than one. Perhaps it’s time both parties simply moved on.

Bruins Thinking About Keeping Krejci and Hall?

According to Fluto Shinzawa of The Athletic, there’s a strong case being made that the Bruins might be thinking about keeping both David Krejci and Taylor Hall after this season. Krejci’s contract expires at year’s end and Hall is pending UFA, but both have played extremely well since being placed together.

Boston Bruins David Krejci
Boston Bruins David Krejci (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Shinzawa suggests that not only does the uncertain future surrounding other centers like Brad Marchand and Charlie Coyle play a factor, but the fact that Krejci’s six goals and four assists in 10 games since Hall arrived, along with Hall’s five goals suggests to try and keep them as a pair.

Shinzawa writes:

The numbers sparkle. In 114:22 of shared five-on-five play, according to Natural Stat Trick, the No. 2 line has been on the ice for nine goals for and just one against. The line just … looks … right, all starting with a center who appears thrilled to play with two rope-pulling veterans.

source – ‘David Krejci is playing himself into a contract extension’ – Fluto Shinzawa – The Athletic – 04/29/2021

Reinhart Making Himself For Valuable

Lance Lysowski of the Buffalo News writes that Sam Reinhart is upping his value as a restricted free agent with his play at center since being moved to that position by interim coach Don Granato. He has been almost a point-per-game player and seized the opportunity that opened after Eric Staal was traded, and Jack Eichel and Dylan Cozens suffered injuries.

As a pending RFA, Lysowski believes it will cost the Sabres more to get him signed to a long-term contract. He writes:

However, the bold move by Granato and General Manager Kevyn Adams has given the Sabres intriguing options entering a pivotal offseason for the franchise. It also likely increased the cost of a potential long-term contract for Reinhart, who is a pending restricted free agent for the second consecutive year.

source – ‘Sam Reinhart’s successful transition to center strengthens Sabres’ depth’ – Lance Lysowski – Buffalo News – 04/28/2021

Sign up for our regular 'Rumors Newsletter' for all the latest.