NHL Rumors: Flyers, Capitals, Maple Leafs, Hurricanes, Oilers

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Philadelphia Flyers are going to take the patient approach when it comes to improving their team. Meanwhile, the Washington Capitals are working on an extension for Tom Wilson. The Toronto Maple Leafs learned of Michael Bunting’s suspension. How will that affect the rest of his time in Toronto? Finally, what is the status of a few injuries coming out of the Hurricanes and Oilers organizations?

Flyers Won’t Spend Big Money During the Offseason

Flyers interim GM Daniel Briere said that he knows the team could use some help at left wing but he’s not going to spend big money to acquire a winger in the offseason. He noted at the end-of-season press conference, “Looking quickly at it, yeah, on the left side, we might need some help there.” He added, “But we’re not looking to go out and sign a big-time free agent with lots of terms on a contract at the moment. We want to give our young players the opportunity to develop and we want to see what we have before kind of blocking the young guys.”

As for what happens with Kevin Hayes and Ivan Provorov, Briere says it’s too early to jump to any conclusions about their future. He also noted that whatever issues exist between the team and defenseman Tony DeAngelo, the two sides will work things out privately.

Tom Wilson Wants to Stay in Washington

According to Tarik El-Bashir of The Athletic, Tom Wilson of the Washington Capitals is looking to sign a long-term deal to stay with the team. The 29-year-old has a year left on his contract and is eligible for an extension after July 1st. Talks haven’t started yet but it is expected they will soon.

Tom Wilson Washington Capitals
Tom Wilson, Washington Capitals (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Bashir writes:

Wilson, 29, has one season left on the six-year, $31 million contract he signed in 2018 and is eligible to sign an extension on July 1. Talks have not begun, MacLellan said, but both the GM and player said they want it to happen.

source – ‘Capitals’ end-of-season availability: 15 takeaways on what went wrong, coaching search, more’ – arik El-Bashir – The Athletic – 04/15/2023

GM Todd McClellan said of trying to extend Wilson, “I’d like for Tom to finish up in Washington. He’s been a big part of our culture, our group, he’s consistently gotten better throughout the years. We’re going to do everything we can to sign him.” Wilson was also asked about a possible deal and noted, “Everyone knows I love it here and I want to be here.”

Are the Maple Leafs Done with Michael Bunting?

Toronto’s Michael Bunting has been suspended for three playoff games for an illegal check to the head and interference against Tampa Bay’s Erik Cernak. It is said that the fact there were two infractions on the play and Cernak was injured played into the decision to go three games.

Michael Bunting Toronto Maple Leafs
Michael Bunting, Toronto Maple Leafs (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Realistically, this could be the end of Bunting’s time in Toronto. Should the Maple Leafs be swept by the Lightning, Bunting’s season and the Leafs season would be over. There’s a lot of talk coming out of Toronto over the past 48 hours about Bunting’s decision making and James Mirtle of The Athletic writes:

He hasn’t made much of anything by NHL standards. This opportunity was going to be his chance to establish himself, and to cash in as a free agent, after back-to-back 23-goal seasons in Toronto. Now, it’s hard to know how his story ends with the Leafs. There likely aren’t many chances left. But it’s safe to say this isn’t going to make it any easier.

Related: Nazem Kadri Laughs Off Negative Michael Bunting Comparisons

Mirtle adds that there were virtually no contract talks between Bunting and the Leafs during the season and Sheldon Keefe was trying to reach Bunting on a coaching level all season but hasn’t gotten through. Mirtle adds, “He’s quickly run out his rope with the league head office, with referees and, now, his own team.”

Mirtle adds that even without this incident, he didn’t believe Bunting was coming back to Toronto. Their salary cap situation and a potentially changing front office meant he was lower on their priority list.

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Matthew Knies will see his first playoff action in Game 2 on Thursday night.

Teuvo Teravainen Suffers Broken Hand, Janmark Out For Oilers

Rod Brind’Amour shares that Teuvo Teravainen suffered a broken hand as a result of a slash. He’ll have surgery tomorrow and will miss the rest of the series. The Hurricanes are extremely depleted at forward with Max Pacioretty, Andrei Svechnikov, and now Teravainen out.

Meanwhile, Mattias Janmark missed Game 2 for the Edmonton Oilers and Jason Gregor believes he could be done for the series after blocking a shot.