In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news on when the NHL Draft might take place, the Toronto Maple Leafs may get back one of their forwards for cheap, and the New Jersey Devils have interviewed a candidate for the open head coaching spot. Finally, are the Vegas Golden Knights and Ryan Reaves working on a contract extension?
NHL Draft To Go Virtual?
TSN’s Pierre LeBrun is reporting that word today from NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly is that the league has considered a virtual format for their NHL Draft. They’ll be keeping a close eye on the NFL Draft this weekend and if things go smoothly, could do something similar, allowing the NHL to go ahead in June as originally planned.
Originally, the idea was to postpone the draft, but as the NHL pause lingers, a longer delay would cause far more issues than going virtual would. The biggest problem with this idea would be the NHL basically abandoning the regular season because there’s really no way to fairly determine a draft lottery, draft order, and conditional picks based on holding the draft first and playing the remainder of the regular season afterward.
So too, any insistence on playing the rest of the season makes the draft extremely difficult for teams that were looking to make trades as none would likely be permitted.
Related: 11 NHL Teams Without a Stanley Cup
Jason Spezza to Stay in Toronto
Veteran forward Jason Spezza told reporters today, including Luke Fox of Sportsnet, there is “nowhere else” he’d rather be than in Toronto. The assumption is that he’ll be willing to take another team-friendly deal to stay next season.
Despite a bit of a rocky start to the season under coach Mike Babcock, Spezza scored nine goals and 25 points in 58 games. He did so averaging fewer than 11 minutes a night. The Maple Leafs will be looking for cost-effective depth players, so Spezza seems like an easy solution to one of the team’s bigger issues, which is how to fit everyone in.
Still with the Maple Leafs, Fox also addressed speculation the Leafs might be interested in St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo via free agency. He hints that Pietrangelo joining the Maple Leafs is unlikely. He suggests instead that the Maple Leafs would prefer dealing for players with term left on their contracts and lists Anaheim’s Josh Manson, Buffalo’s Rasmus Ristolainen, and Minnesota’s Matt Dumba as possible trade targets.
Fox also believes Andreas Johnsson is the player the Leafs are most interested in trading but the player other teams are least likely interested in because of his injuries.
Devils Interview Gallant
He was considered one of the early candidates for the new opening in New Jersey and Pierre LeBrun reported on today’s Insider Trading for TSN that Gerard Gallant has been interviewed for the Devils head coaching position. He, along with a number of other candidates were interviewed by interim GM Tom Fitzgerald.
That alone is interesting because it might hint that Fitzgerald is getting the nod as the team’s permanent GM. Typically, a GM will hire his coach.
Golden Knights to Extend Ryan Reaves?
SinBin.Vegas, which is a trusted source out of the Vegas area is reporting that the Vegas Golden Knights and Ryan Reaves are discussing a new contract extension and may have already signed one. They were not able to detail terms of the deal.
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Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”