In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news that the Anaheim Ducks are willing to help out cap-strapped teams financially, the Toronto Maple Leafs will have to offer up a ready-to-play forward if they want a certain goaltender, Gerard Gallant has coaching options and why was Ray Shero really fired?
Ducks Willing to Take Money Problems
According to Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman, if you have salary cap issues heading into this year’s NHL Trade Deadline, you should consider calling the Anaheim Ducks.
The Ducks season has not been a good one in terms of playoff aspirations. John Gibson has struggled in net, the youngsters haven’t stepped up like some would have hoped and Friedman notes this has given them a pretty good indication of their plans as the regular season comes to a close.
The scribe reports that the team is willing to take on bad salary in order to acquire some additional young assets. They have a ton of room but could create more space by placing Ryan Kesler and Patrick Eaves on long-term injured reserve. If a contender wants to add but lacks the money to do so, the Ducks could take on spare parts but the teams moving those spare parts would need to give up a pick or prospect.
The only limitation for the Ducks is how many contracts they can take on as they are sitting at 47 out of the possible 50 slots their allowed to fill.
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Devils’ Analytics Dept. the Undoing of Ray Shero?
There’s some speculation the Devils’ advanced analytics department and former GM Ray Shero didn’t necessarily see eye to eye and that could have been part of the reason he was let go as manager.
Darren Dreger of TSN wrote, “[They] had considerable influence, and maybe the ear of ownership.” Meanwhile, Friedman noted that the closeness the analytics department had to ownership was an issue. “Not saying that anyone submarined anyone else, but I don’t believe Shero was ever comfortable with [this].” When called out for possibly suggesting that department influenced his firing, Friedman elaborated.
He wrote on Twitter, “I am not saying that. I am saying that Shero liked a tight group, the Devils wanted more people involved. Philosophical disagreement.” Friedman also noted that Martin Brodeur was close with the group. That said, don’t expect him to become GM. “I don’t believe Brodeur has any desire to be a full-time GM at this time,” Friedman noted.
As for what the Devils might do with player trades, Wayne Simmonds says he doesn’t want to go anywhere, Andy Greene says he’s not talked to management about his no-move clause and there has been at least one offer for Sami Vatanen.
Gallant Will Have Coaching Options
Friedman noted in his 31 Thoughts article that some around the NHL are still buzzing that the Vegas Golden Knights would let Gerard Gallant go. As a result, he will have a variety of suitors when it comes to coaching again. Seattle, will be an option. Jim Nill pursued him hard in Dallas, but he may keep Rick Bowness around and Gallant’s got a history with Steve Yzerman and Detroit’s coaching situation could change.
And, with seven firings already in the NHL, who knows how many more coaches lose their job between now and the end of the season?
Backstrom and Ovechkin Working Together?
In his media conference, Nicklas Backstrom suggested the recent contract he signed might not be the last. It sounds like he’s hoping the Washington Capitals will renew Alexander Ovechkin for the same term.
When asked if either player had approached the two having similar term deals, GM Brian MacLellan said, “Not with me.” He added, “I assume those two have discussed it. They’ve been tied together since day one. That would be fitting.” When you consider both Backstrom and Ovechkin negotiated their own contracts, it’s a near guarantee they’ve talked to each other about their futures.
MacLellan also said that any talks he’ll have with goaltender Braden Holtby will happen after the season and post-season discussion.
Maple Leafs and Georgiev Rumors
Friedman commented on the rumors of the Toronto Maple Leafs possibly offering up Jeremy Bracco for New York Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev. He said, “it will take more than that.”
Noting Georgiev beat the Islanders 6-2 on Monday, the Rangers will want a talented forward who can slot into the lineup immediately. The Rangers understand they have a potentially very good goalie on their hands in Georgiev.