In today’s NHL rumors, the Montreal Canadiens are hoping their coach will make his stay with the team a permanent one. Meanwhile, the Minnesota Wild may have to make some moves after signing Alex Goligoski. Finally, the Toronto Maple Leafs got bad news when it comes to Petr Mrazek and one insider suggests Wayne Simmonds’ days with the team could be numbered.
Hughes Wants to Remove Interim Tag From St. Louis
When asked about what the future holds for Martin St. Louis as coach of the Canadiens, GM Kent Hughes responded, “I’d like to see him a part of the Montreal Canadiens organization for the long term and remove the interim tag, if that’s the question you’re asking.”
Hughes was interviewed by Gino Reda of TSN during this week’s GM meetings from Florida and said he knew St. Louis would make an impact, but even he is a bit surprised at how quickly he’s done so. “He’s a pretty special guy and he’s proven to be a pretty special coach,” Hughes added. If St. Louis doesn’t take the job, it will likely be because of his family and the fact he’s more interested in staying close to them and being with his kids.
The Canadiens are 10-7-4 since St. Louis replaced Dominique Ducharme on Feb. 9.
Could Dumba Be Traded by Wild?
According to James O’Brien of NBC Sports, the extension signed by defenseman Alex Goligoski — a two-year contract extension worth $2 million per season — leaves the Minnesota Wild with even less room than they were going to have next season with the buyouts for Zach Parise and Ryan Suter starting to take up a big chunk of their cap space. With six defensemen under contract for next season and with Calen Addison coming up through the system, the team might choose to move out some salary from their blue line.
O’Brien wonders if Matt Dumba could be traded to clear space. Dumba makes $6 million for next season and freeing up that money would be helpful. His name has been in the rumor mill before and he could still attract an audience if the Wild makes him available.
O’Brien also wonders if the Wild will have to say goodbye to Kevin Fiala, who is slated to become a restricted free agent this summer. So too, it is unlikely Marc-Andre Fleury and Jacob Middleton are back this summer. They could be purely rentals unless either or both are keen to stick with the Wild and prepared to take significant discounts on what they’ll make in free agency.
Mrazek to Miss Six Weeks
It’s a good thing the Maple Leafs are set to get Jack Campbell back in goal because the news on Petr Mrazek’s injury is about as bad as the organization could have gotten. According to head coach Sheldon Keefe, who spoke with reporters including Jonas Siegel of The Athletic, Mrazek will require further evaluation but is out for the rest of the regular season.
The Maple Leafs missed the deadline with this injury by just a few days. While the team would never wish an injury upon a player, had Mrazek suffered this injury just a week earlier, the team would have had another $3.8 million in cap space with which to work to add another piece at the deadline.
Simmonds Done in Toronto?
Also with the Maple Leafs, James Mirtle of The Athletic writes that Wayne Simmonds’ run with the organization could be coming to an end. In fact, his days in the NHL might be numbered. At 33 years old and with numerous injuries on his resume, he may not be a part of the team’s playoff plans. Mirtle writes:
Simmonds has four goals in 60 games this season. More troublingly, of late, his production has trailed off even from last year’s numbers: He has no goals and only two assists in his last 27 games. He’s also averaging only eight minutes and 49 seconds a game in that span. And the underlying numbers are not pretty.source – ‘Mirtle: Is this the last stop for the Wayne Train?’ – James Mirtle – The Athletic – 03/31/2022
If he isn’t part of the plan this season, what does it mean for next season? He’s got one more year on his current deal.
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.”