NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs, Devils, Jets, Oilers, Bruins

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, there are updates on the coaching situation in Toronto, talk about how the core for the Winnipeg Jets might change, speculation the New Jersey Devils have been asked about Damon Severson, and will the Edmonton Oilers be bold and take a big swing this offseason?

Keefe to Get an Extension If Maple Leafs Choose to Keep Him

After saying that he thinks it’s a seven-year deal for Kyle Dubas in Pittsburgh, Elliotte Friedman noted during the second intermission of Game 1 between the Florida Panthers and Vegas Golden Knights that Toronto Maple Leafs’ head coach Sheldon Keefe will likely get an extension if new general manager Brad Treliving chooses to retain his services.

Sheldon Keefe Toronto Maple Leafs
Sheldon Keefe, Head Coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Friedman noted, “If he’s back, I think we’re in a situation where they won’t go in with him in his last year, I think there will be an extension if he returns as coach of the Leafs.” The sense here is that the team doesn’t want the cloud of uncertainty surrounding their coach to hang over the season and the pending negotiations that will occur with Auston Matthews, William Nylander, and others.

Jets Core Could Look Very Different

Friedman also noted that the Winnipeg Jets understand they will have to listen on Connor Hellebuyck, Mark Scheifele, and Pierre-Luc Dubois, all entering the last year of their deals, but they have made it clear there will not be a rebuild, they want players that can help now.

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That means blockbuster trades that will bring a new core to Winnipeg, moving out some of the old core. Teams that would be talking with the Jets would have to include clubs with a lot of cap space or franchises that have their own core players they’d like to move but could use a change of scenery.

Devils Could Trade Severson’s Rights

Friedman reports the New Jersey Devils could be opening to trading the rights of pending UFA defenseman Damon Severson and that the team has gotten calls about the defenseman. It’s not clear how high he is on their priority list and he’ll be one of the more sought-after free agents if he hits the market. If the Devils can’t or won’t sign him to an extension before July 1, there are teams that would like to negotiate early.

Bruins and Oilers Speculation Won’t Go Away

Following a rumor I don’t believe to be at all accurate linking Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to the Boston Bruins, Kurt Leavins of the Edmonton Journal suggests fans in Edmonton keep an eye on two different Bruins forwards who have ties to Edmonton. One is a former player and one is from the area.

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Leavins writes:

I will be watching the Boston Bruins with interest this off-season, in part because of two players with Edmonton ties that I think could be in play in Beantown: Jake DeBrusk and Taylor Hall.

source – ‘The big game quarry the Edmonton Oilers are loading up for this off-season: 9 Things’ – Kurt Leavins – Edmonton Journal – 06-04-2023

Leavins isn’t necessarily linking the Oilers to either player, but if Ken Holland is looking for upgrades on his roster, both players would qualify when compared to names like Kailer Yamamoto, Warren Foegele, or Nick Bjugstad. The money is an entirely different issue as Gary Bettman confirmed next season’s salary cap will likely only increase by $1 million. That would make it difficult for the Oilers to bring back a player like Hall without salary retention by the Bruins (which they can’t afford to do).

Leavins did also quote Friedman who was on Oilers Now with Bob Stauffer when he said:

“I really do think that there is an overall feeling in your (Edmonton’s) organization to be bold because your window is now. … And if there is something out there (and) you guys think even if it’s, I don’t know if risky is the right word, but its big but you guys think it’ll help I…I don’t think you’re gonna be afraid to do it, I think you’re loading up for the next couple of years”.