In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is talk that defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere may be on the outside and looking in when it comes to playing with the Philadelphia Flyers. Meanwhile, one team looking to improve their blue line, the Los Angeles Kings, are being linked to a KHL defenseman. The Vancouver Canucks are in search of defensive help, but have little money to work with, and the New York Rangers might be calling upon a disgruntled forward to help with the playoff push.
Gostisbehere Not a Long-Term Fit in Philadelphia?
Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer was asked about where defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere fits in long term for the Philadelphia Flyers. Carchidi doesn’t believe the Flyers will keep the 27-year-old blueliner.
In fact, Carchidi expects Gostisbehere will have a difficult time even getting into the lineup if and when the season returns since the Flyers defense has excelled without him. Carchidi adds:
Bottom line: I think Gostisbehere, 27, will be shopped, but the Flyers will probably hold out for a first- or second-round pick, or a winger with 20-goal potential before they move him.source – ‘Ghost’s future, Carter Hart’s road woes, and other Flyers issues | On the Fly’ – Sam Carchidi – 06/02/2020
Canucks Looking to Improve Blue Line
Thomas Drance and Harman Dayal of The Athletic note that the Vancouver Canucks are trying to improve their defense but won’t have a lot of salary cap space to do so. Their biggest need is a right-handed defenseman.
The scribes noted that the Canucks might need to move out salary to land someone like: Tyson Barrie, Travis Hamonic, Radko Gudas, Dylan DeMelo. Justin Braun, Mark Pysyk, Tim Heed or Jan Rutta.
As for left-handed defensemen, they write:
And with Alex Edler and Quinn Hughes in the fold on the left side of Vancouver’s blue line, it’s not going to make much sense for the Canucks to commit UFA-levels of cap space and dollars to a left-handed defender.source – ‘Rebuilding the Canucks’ defence: 8 defencemen to target in free agency’ – Thomas Drance and Harman Dayal’ – The Athletic – 05/15/2020
Related: Top 3 All-Time Rangers Goalies
Nesterov Headed to Kings?
Rick Dhaliwal of TSN is reporting that he’s hearing former NHL defenseman Nikita Nesterov is leaving CSKA in Russia and is being linked to the LA Kings. Nesterov spent the last three seasons in the KHL after playing for both the Tampa Bay Lightning and Montreal Canadiens.
In March, Nesterov reportedly turned down a two-year deal with Kings, according to Igor Eronko of Sport-Express. But, as GM Rob Blake appears to have remained steadfast in his pursuit to improve the left side of his blue line, something appears to have changed.
Blake told Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider when talking about adding for the upcoming season, “I think that would be one area of need that we would look at, whether it’s the free-agent market or the acquisition market.”
New York Rangers Want Lias Andersson Back for Playoffs
According to a report by Swedish language publication Götenborgs-Posten (Gothenburg Post) (translation required) the New York Rangers have had discussions with Lias Andersson about re-joining the team when the 2019-20 season resumes.
Andersson had been in the news this past season because he was quite public about his discomfort as part of the Rangers’ organization and requested a trade. One wasn’t facilitated so he was loaded to the Swedish Elite League’s HV71 team. The report notes:
“Both GM Davidson and Coach Quinn has called Sweden in order to get Andersson interested in playing for @NYRangers in the playoffs”source – ‘The New York Rangers want Lias Andersson back for the playoffs’ – Götenborgs-Posten (Gothenburg Post) – 06/03/2020
It’s unknown if Andersson is actually interested in a return to the organization.
NHL Playoff Format News
As per Elliotte Friedman, the NHL Playoffs will not be bracketed, but re-seeded after every round. Qualifying will be best-of-five. All other rounds will be best-of-seven.
Pierre LeBrun of TSN notes:
“Keep in mind, this is just the format agreement. Still to come are Phase 3 (training camp) and Phase 4 (games/hubs/protocol) which still have to be negotiated. Only preliminary talks so far on those fronts.”
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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.”