In today’s NHL rumors rundown, there are serious chicken-or-the-egg style questions surrounding the New Jersey Devils coaching search. Which hire should come first, the head coach or general manager? Meanwhile, will Bryan Little of the Winnipeg Jets be back with the team this season? Would the Ottawa Senators consider trading one of their first-round draft picks? And, what will teams like Buffalo do with their No. 8 selection?
Devils Heavily Considering Lindy Ruff
It was mentioned earlier this week that Lindy Ruff was being considered as an option for the vacant head coaching job with the Devils but with candidates like Peter Laviolette, Gerard Gallant, Mike Babcock, John Stevens, Bruce Boudreau also on the list, it didn’t appear Ruff was a favorite. In fact, he might be.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman writes that Ruff is hardly an afterthought but what’s more interesting about the potential hire is that the organization is still looking for a general manager and candidates who have been interviewed for that job want some say as to who the coach becomes. It begs the question, why hire a coach first? The feeling is that the Devils are high enough on Ruff or have gotten the feedback from their GM candidates that they feel Ruff is a safe hire regardless of the GM.
Senators Would Listen to Trade Offers on First-Round Pick
Despite dropping spots in the draft lottery and their excellent combined odds of picking first-overall not helping them at all, the Senators are now slated to pick third and fifth at this year’s NHL Entry Draft.
Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun says that Ottawa Senators GM Pierre Dorion noted that the organization will listen to trade offers for the No. 3 and No. 5 pick but added that he’s 99.9 percent certain that they will keep those picks. This is a deep draft and Dorion is confident the team will get a good player.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports Dorion is cool to the notion of trading down. He indicated it would have to be “a special player coming our way” to make that happen.
Speaking of the draft lottery, there are more than a few insiders and media personalities trashing the NHL over the way the lottery took place. Perhaps the most vocal of them is Sportsnet analyst Brian Burke who called the whole thing a disgrace. He said:
“This makes no sense. It should’ve been just the seven teams that weren’t in the play-in round in the lottery. Give the teams who need the most help the best players.”
Sabres to Trade No. 8 Pick?
Mike Harrington of The Buffalo News believes Sabres new general manager Kevyn Adams should trade his club’s first-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. Perhaps because he’s new and wants to put his stamp on the club early, or because the Sabres need immediate help, the argument is that the team has more to gain by grabbing a strong player that can help today.
The Sabres aren’t in a situation where they can wait two or three seasons for a prospect to develop. He writes that the Sabres might want to package the pick with defenseman Brandon Montour. He writes:
This team needs help. Especially down the middle. See what’s out there for a No. 2 center. You wonder if Brandon Montour can sweeten the pot. You don’t know who might be willing to deal until you put up that “For Sale” sign.source – ‘Sabres’ GM Kevyn Adams should take a different approach by trading No. 8 pick’ – Mike Harrington – Buffalo News – 06/26/2020
Jets Will Not Get Little Back
Paul Friesen of The Winnipeg Sun writes that Bryan Little will not be back with the Winnipeg Jets this season. Whether the season starts or not or regardless of how far the Jets might advance, his injury situation will keep him out of the lineup.
The Jets have stated that Little will not return to action even after the league’s pause comes to an end and the postseason tournament begins. Little suffered a perforated eardrum and concussion and Friesen writes:
He had surgery to repair his ear in March, and said he’s feeling “pretty good” these days.
The Jets have already announced Little’s season is over, and that’s not expected to change if the NHL finds a way to stage a playoff tournament.source – ‘Still Olympics or bust for Winnipeg’s Wog… Jets’ Little recounts frightening injury… Wilson’s missing years a revelation… Forney longs for support from ‘Peg’ – Paul Friesen – Winnipeg Sun – 06/26/2020
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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.”