NHL Rumors: Flyers, Rangers, Canadiens, Blues, Maple Leafs

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, there is talk about how much money the Philadelphia Flyers are willing to spend on the next head coach. Meanwhile, the New York Rangers would like to re-sign Ryan Strome but need to find a sweet spot on their contract offer. Tyler Toffoli is out for eight weeks with the Montreal Canadiens and there’s speculation he might not want to go through a rebuild and why is Vladimir Tarasenko still looking to be traded out of St. Louis? Finally, like Connor McDavid, there’s a lot of talk surrounding Auston Matthews and how few penalties he’s drawn this season.

Flyers Won’t Be as Cheap on a Coach as Originally Expected

Previous reports by insiders suggested the Flyers were going to be cautious about how much money that would have tied up in their coaching staff because they’re still being forced to pay Alain Vigneault $5 million for the next two seasons. Word was they weren’t going to go after an expensive option.

Alain Vigneault, Philadelphia Flyers
Alain Vigneault, Philadelphia Flyers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

As per Charlie O’Connor of The Athletic, that’s not entirely true. He writes:

So there’s been some conjecture that because of the money still owed AV, PHI might be tight with their purse strings on a new head coach. Did some extra digging on this, and my understanding is that’s not the case. Money will NOT be an object in this Flyers’ coaching search.

He goes on to say that Mike Yeo (the current interim coach) could ultimately win the job, especially if the Flyers start playing better, and it doesn’t mean they’ll go after the biggest name on the market. It just means the Flyers won’t be making a decision based on saving money.

Ryan Strome’s Next Deal With Rangers

According to Steve Greeley of Daily Faceoff, there’s some talk that the New York Rangers might be thinking about tacking on an extra year to a contract extension offer in an attempt to get Ryan Strome’s annual average salary down a little bit. Strome has been playing great and has built chemistry with Artemi Panarin that the Rangers want to keep intact but they need to be careful about how much they pay him per season.

Related: Tortorella Terrible Take Two: Zegras and Milano Goal “Not Good For” NHL

Greeley says the Rangers might be looking at Charlie Coyle (six years at $5.25 million) and Phillip Danault (six years at $5.5 million) as comparables but Strome’s agents are likely thinking more in the area of Brayden Schenn’s eight years at $6.5 million and Kevin Hayes’ seven years at $7.14 million.

Toffoli to Miss 8 Weeks, Canadiens Rebuild Talk

Canadiens forward Tyler Toffoli is expected to miss eight weeks after undergoing hand surgery. He suffered an injury on December 4 against the Nashville Predators and it was assumed he’d only be out a few weeks. The recovery time is longer than expected.

Tyler Toffoli Montreal Canadiens
Tyler Toffoli, Montreal Canadiens (Photo by Curtis Comeau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

In other Canadiens news, Jeff Marek recently placed Ben Chiarot on his trade bait list, suggesting the defenseman would fetch a first-round pick in a trade prior to the deadline and also wondered if Brendan Gallagher and/or Toffoli would want to be part of a potential rebuilding in Montreal. He says, “Much like Gallagher, if the Habs go the teardown and rebuild model, does Toffoli want to be part of it at this stage of his career? This is not what he signed up for when he joined the Habs.”

Relationship Between Tarasenko and Coach Berube Not Good

We’ve talked at great length about how Tarasenko still would like to be traded by the St. Louis Blues. He has not rescinded his trade request. Marek reports that part of his desire to still leave might be due to his relationship with head coach Craig Berube.

Marek writes:

“We know he’s previously asked for a trade (and one team who was interested was scared off after seeing x-rays, and also couldn’t make his salary fit), and although at times he’s looked inspired and productive, it’s pretty obvious that this isn’t working in St. Louis. And if you watched the Blues-Panthers game last Saturday afternoon, you can sense that things are frosty between the player and his coach, Craig Berube.”

Matthews Hasn’t Drawn a 5-vs-5 Penalty All Season

Any time Connor McDavid‘s name and how few penalties he’s drawn over his career is brought up, there’s a contingent of fans that argue he gets away with infractions too or the game shouldn’t change to accommodate his incredible skill. Well, McDavid isn’t the only one this is happening to.

Auston Matthews Toronto Maple Leafs
Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Maple Leafs’ head coach Sheldon Keefe brought up an interesting point a couple of days after Auston Matthews was mugged in Winnipeg by Pierre-Luc Dubois. He said, “If I’m not mistaken, I don’t think Auston has drawn a penalty the entire season, which is strange just given how much he has the puck and how involved he is.”

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Upon further looks, Matthews has drawn three penalties, but none at 5-vs-5. Other star players on the Maple Leafs don’t get many calls either. Food for thought for anyone who truly believes the star players aren’t being treated differently.

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