In today’s rumor rundown, there are some items on the New York Rangers, the Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers, and Los Angeles Kings.
Quick New York Rangers Rumors Hits
Larry Brooks of the NY Post wrote a few updates on the New York Rangers. Among them was that the team is trying to bring 2018 first-round draft pick Vitali Kravtsov to North America. Still in the KHL until the end of April, if he gets his release from his KHL team, he could join the Rangers.
The team will have to be careful about what kind of deal they sign him to because they don’t want to burn off one year of his entry-level deal just for a few games in the NHL. The Rangers might try to get him in on an amateur tryout (ATO).
According to Aivis Kalnins, who offered a statement from Traktor Chelyabinsk on the situation, they are willing to allow Krastov to come over and get a look so the Rangers can decide if he should stay in the KHL for one more year or join the team in the NHL.
In other Rangers news, the team could look to buy out the contract of Kevin Shattenkirk. Brooks notes that he was a healthy scratch again on Thursday and his two years remaining at $6.65 million is prohibitive. The buyout window opens at the start of June and if he is bought out the Rangers cap hits would be $1,483,333, $6,083,333, $1,483,333, and $1,483,333.
Part of the move to get rid of Shattenkirk appears to be to make space so that the Rangers can go after Artemi Panarin.
Keith Gretzky Expected to Stay With Oilers
Even if the Edmonton Oilers choose to hire a new GM at the end of the season, it appears as though interim GM Keith Gretzky wants to stay on with the organization.
There were some rumors that Bob Nicholson might move on from Gretzky, but according to Elliotte Friedman,“He [Gretzky] believes this is an important time to be part of the organization and that he wants to be part of the solution. He’s not looking to go anywhere.”
The Oilers don’t seem quick to move on from Gretzky either. They believe in his abilities and they are going to take their time making a decision on whoever the next GM is. Gretzky will get strong consideration.
Kings Going After NCAA UFA?
Fox Sports’ Jon Rosen reports that the Los Angeles Kings are interested in undrafted Michigan State forward Taro Hirose. Hirose is currently the leading scorer in NCAA and apparently friends with Kings’ prospect James Anderson-Dolan.
There is no word on whether Hirose is ready to leave college and join the NHL, but he has 16 goals and 37 points this season for Michigan State and it is expected he could make the jump.
Canucks and Quinn Hughes
Sportsnet’s Rick Dhaliwal reports that Quinn Hughes will talk things over with his parents and coaches before deciding on whether he will turn towards the pro game now that his Michigan team is officially eliminated from the first round of the Big 10 tournament.
Canucks’ general manager Jim Benning said of bringing Hughes in, “We’ll get right on it.” The team wanted him to focus on Michigan, but now that he’s not making a run with that team, they want him.
This doesn’t mean that Hughes will immediately join the Canucks but the reports are that the 19-year-old blueliner is ready. The Canucks have major issues on defense and if he comes right away, gets signed, he could play in the lineup as early as Wednesday.
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.”