NHL Rumors: Jets, Lightning, Capitals, Hurricanes, Avalanche

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, are the Winnipeg Jets actually looking to trade Mark Scheifele? Is there a chance that Brayden Point returns for the Tampa Bay Lighting? The Washington Capitals might look to replace Nickas Backstrom if he’s eligible for LTIR and two more Carolina Hurricanes players said they would like to stay with the team.

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Finally, Darcy Kuemper was not on the ice for the Colorado Avalanche at Thursday’s practice, What does that mean?

Jets Not Interested in Moving Scheifele

While his end-of-the-season comments got people talking, Mark Scheifele is not expected to be traded by the Winnipeg Jets. The forward did say he needed to think about his future and see which way the team was going to go this offseason, but general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff told Mike Zeisberger of NHL.com that he expects Scheifele to be back on the roster in 2022-23.

Mark Scheifele Winnipeg Jets
Mark Scheifele, Winnipeg Jets (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

At the end of the year, Scheifele said, “I have to think about my career and what’s going to be best for me. I have to talk to my agents and everyone in my family and stuff like that and figure out what I really want.” Suggesting that Scheifele was upset at the way the season ended, Cheveldayoff called it an “emotional time” for the whole group after failing to reach the postseason. He didn’t think anyone should read too much into Scheifele’s comments and said their exit interview went well.

Point Unlikely to Be Back During Playoffs

In a press availability before Game One of the Eastern Conference Final between the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers, Lightning head coach Jon Cooper told the media (per Joe Smith of The Athletic) to “temper any expectations of [Brayden Point] coming back at all.” Point was on the ice skating and doing drills with assistant coach Jeff Halper, but he’s not likely to return after suffering an injury in the series with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Could Capitals Get Cap Relief By Moving Backstrom to LTIR?

Andrew Gillis of NBC Sports Washington recently noted that the health of key players like Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson will be key issues for the Capitals this offseason. Backstrom’s injury issues make him a potential candidate for LTIR and if the Caps go that route, the team could free up some money to find a free agency replacement.

Nicklas Backstrom Washington Capitals
Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Sammi Silber of Washington Hockey Now writes that a possible target for the Capitals would be Nazem Kadri. He’s expected to test the free agency market and is likely going to price himself out of the Colorado Avalanche’s budget. Backstrom’s cap hit is $9.2 million, which should be enough to fit Kadri in, and if his health is really a concern and he’s on the verge of retirement, the Caps wouldn’t be worried about a longer-term commitment to Kadri.

Related: Capitals’ Free Agency Targets Should Include Impact Forward

If Backstrom was able to return, the team would have a cap crunch issue on their hands.

DeAngelo and Staal Want to Stick With Carolina

One day after Vincent Trocheck said he’d like to find a way to stay with the Carolina Hurricanes and sign an extension, defenseman Tony DeAngelo has echoed the sentiment, as has center Jordan Staal. DeAngelo is a UFA this offseason and Staal is next summer. Both would like to return to the team.

Staal told Hurricanes beat writer Cory Lavalette: “It’s been a great ride, obviously. … I’m gonna ride out this contract, 11 years is a long time here, hopefully, go out with a bang and then see where things go.” DeAngelo said to Walt Ruff of the Hurricanes organization, “I’m a loyal guy. The #Canes were good to me, so hopefully we can get something done.”

Darcy Kuemper Out For Game 2

Pavel Francouz was in the starter’s net for the Colorado Avalanche at Thursday’s morning skate as regular starter Darcy Kuemper was absent. Head coach Jared Bednar confirmed that Kuemper will not be available for the Avalanche in Game 2 versus the Edmonton Oilers.

Francouz, who last played during Colorado’s first-round series against the Nashville Predators, is 3-0 in this year’s playoffs. The Avs are said to have a lot of faith in Francouz but this is obviously a loss for the team if Kuemper isn’t able to return.