In today’s NHL rumor rundown, the Calgary Flames have said they won’t be looking at signing any deals on players during the NHL pause. The Winnipeg Jets could get a valuable player back if the season resumes and the San Jose Sharks seem to be leaning one direction with their coach. Are the New York Rangers still working on a Lias Andersson trade? Finally, could Donald Trump get involved in the NHL’s decision to pause the season?
Flames Are Making Decisions on Contracts Right Now
This pause in the NHL season gives general managers time to reassess their rosters and carefully plan out what they intend to do with upcoming free agents, some even talking to their pending players now.
The Calgary Flames are not one of those teams.
Flames GM Brad Treliving, told TSN’s Jermain Franklin who reports that Calgary won’t be making any decisions with regards on their pending unrestricted free agents. While the team has players like defensemen T.J. Brodie and Travis Hamonic coming up for renewal. Franklin said Treliving won’t make a move until the NHL shows a clear path as to how they will move forward and resume the NHL season.
This also includes removing the interim coach tag from Geoff Ward.
Related: Top 3 All-Time Flames Goalies
Jets to Get Little Back?
Winnipeg Jets center Bryan Little was ruled out for the rest of the season while recovering from surgery to repair a perforated eardrum. But, if play resumes on the 2019-20 season, NHL.com’s Tim Campbell suggests the Jets could get Little back.
This would be a huge addition to the Jets lineup if there’s any season left to be played and the Jets are part of it. Little had five points in seven games this season but was a 40-point and more player in six straight seasons.
Andersson Could Be Used in Trade Package
Larry Brooks of the New York Post writes that the New York Rangers did have some teams interested in 2017 first-round draft pick Lias Andersson at the trade deadline but were unable to make a move. The Rangers are still hoping to use him in a trade package this offseason.
If not, there is some expectation that the team might give him another look and see if he can play in their lineup next season.
Could Sharks Keep Boughner As Coach?
Speaking on a recent conference call, GM of the San Jose Sharks, Doug Wilson told reporters, including Curtis Pashelka of The Mercury News that interim head coach Bob Boughner Boughner has the inside track to stay full-time head coach.
The Sharks intend to do a thorough review once the season officially comes to an end but Wilson felt there was some progress made in the second half of the year even if the record didn’t reflect it. Pashelka writes:
“I was pleased to see some of the overall play improve over the last half of the year,” Wilson said. He added, “There were times more often than not that we were playing the game the right way.”source – ‘Sharks GM says Bob Boughner has “upper hand” to be coach next season’ Mercury News – Curtis Pashelka – 04/02/2020
Related: Scotty Bowman: A Coach’s Life
Trump Holds Conference Call With League Commissioners
Mike Florio of NBC Sports writes that United States President Donald Trump held a conference call with sports league commissioners and that call included a couple of names you might not expect. Both Dana White of the UFC and Vince McMahon of WWE were be part of that call and there’s were rumors that Trump’s messaging could be, “Find a way to play your games.”
From what we understand, that is not an accurate report.
Both McMahon and White have been holding their events in buildings with no fans but the big difference here is that the NHL and other leagues like it have too many players on the ice at one time to not violate CDC regulations and health codes. What UFC and WWE does cannot and would not apply to leagues like the NHL.
In the end, it sounds like Trump held the call to encourage the pro sports leagues and teams to continue to help those in need during the COVID-19 Pandemic. And, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN:
“He also told commissioners that he hopes to have fans back in stadiums and arenas by August and September, sources said, though it is currently unclear if medical experts find that to be a realistic timeline amid the current coronavirus pandemic.”
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Jim Parsons is a freelance writer who covers the Edmonton Oilers and news and rumors posts here at The Hockey Writers.
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