In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the San Jose Sharks will begin an exhaustive search for a new GM. Who might be the early favorites? Meanwhile, the Buffalo Sabres could get Owen Power in their lineup as early as next week, while the Minnesota Wild are already thinking about salary cap concerns for next season. Finally, congratulations to Auston Matthews who set a franchise record on Thursday.
Sharks to Begin External Search for New GM
After Doug Wilson announced that he was stepping down as GM of the Sharks on Thursday, it was quickly announced the search for a new GM would begin. According to Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic, Joe Will is going to act as interim GM, but he’s not believed to be a long-term or serious candidate for the job.
By the mere fact that Will is part of the search committee, one can assume he’s not a front-runner to land the permanent GM job himself although I was told not to completely rule him out. But all things being equal, I think even Will himself feels it makes sense to look at a long list of external candidates and ultimately bring in a fresh voice to run things.source – ‘LeBrun rumblings: Doug Wilson’s NHL future without the Sharks, the Sharks’ future without Wilson, schedules and more’ – Pierre LeBrun – The Athletic – 04/07/2022
LeBrun also notes that the Sharks won’t rush into hiring someone as the current front office is being trusted to handle the draft and free agency. As for who the top candidates are, there will be at least a dozen legitimate options which include names that were once former GMs, are currently up-and-coming assistant GMs, player agents, and former players.
Sabres to Sign Owen Power
According to Emily Kaplan of ESPN, it appears the Sabres will be signing prospect and No. 1 overall draft selection Owen Power now that his college season is over. She believes he could play as early as April 12 against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Kaplan says there’s likely to be an exodus of players coming out of the Michigan organization (including Power).
Lance Lysowski of The Buffalo News said GM Kevyn Adams is going to wait just a little bit before approaching Power about his contract. Lysowski writes:
Power’s contract signing is a foregone conclusion. The details will be sorted out once the raw emotion passes. And once Power joins the Sabres, he’ll have all the lessons learned during a remarkable second season in college that allowed him to experience the exhilarating moments and this harsh ending.source – ‘Owen Power shows Sabres GM Kevyn Adams more ‘special’ traits in Frozen Four loss’ – Lance Lysowski – Buffalo News
How Will Wild Find Cap Room Next Season?
Chris Gear of Daily Faceoff looked at possible ways the Minnesota Wild might deal with the salary cap mess that is coming thanks to the buyouts of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter coming over the next three seasons. Trading Kevin Fiala appears to be the most obvious option.
Beyond that, trading other players to make room for Fiala would work and that opens up a conversation about what happens with players like Jordan Greenway, Marcus Foligno, Matt Dumba, or Mats Zuccarello. Both Dumba and Zuccarello carry a $6 million cap hit, and Zuccarello has a no-trade clause that allows him to exclude 10 teams following this season.
Auston Matthews Sets Maple Leafs Franchise Record
Congratulations to forward Auston Matthews who broke the Maple Leafs’ franchise record for the most goals in a single season by potting his 55th and 56th goals on Thursday evening. With his 56th goal of the season, he also has the most goals in a single season by an ‘American born’ player in NHL history.
The question now will be, is his goal-scoring record and pace in which he got there enough to secure a Hart Trophy win? Some are suggesting he just put all other competitors in the rearview mirror, but Roman Josi and Connor McDavid aren’t going to go down without a fight.
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.”