NHL Rumors: Canucks, Sabres, Panthers, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, Jim Benning comments on the Vancouver Canucks’ plans in free agency, there are some updates out of Buffalo and Joel Quenneville might bring in a friend to help with the Florida Panthers.

Canucks to Be Busy, But Not Overspend

Iain MacIntyre of Sportsnet writes the Canucks could use another winger for the line of Bo Horvat and Tanner Pearson, as well as grab another reliable defenseman that has more to offer than what the Canucks currently employ.

Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning head coach Travis Green
Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning and head coach Travis Green (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)

The team would like to get help for their power play and they aren’t sure about Sven Baertschi who has the potential skills but also suffered a concussion last season.

Canucks GM Jim Benning said regarding what the Canucks intend to do:

“We’re continuing to talk to Alex Edler and try to figure out a new deal for him there, and we’re in conversations with Brock and his camp. I don’t think we’re going to be going crazy with a lot of the top-end guys (in free agency).

“Whether it’s a player good enough to complement Pettersson and Boeser or complement Pearson and Bo, if we can add a player through free agency or trade that fits in with those guys, I think it’s going to improve our group.”

Loui Eriksson and the Canucks

There could be an issue between head coach Travis Green and Loui Eriksson. Patrick Johnston of the Vancouver Province writes Eriksson doesn’t plan to leave the NHL but has been frustrated with how things have gone in Vancouver.

In an interview with Swedish site HockeySverige, he said:

“The coach and I don’t really get on 100 per cent. It is difficult when I do not get the same trust that I received from all the other coaches I had during my career. Of course, it is tough on that front.”

source – ‘Loui Eriksson: ‘Travis Green and I don’t get on 100 per cent’ – Patrick Johnston – Vancouver Province – 05/03/2019

Bye, Bye, Brendan Gaunce

Rick Dhaliwal writes the Vancouver Canucks won’t be qualifying restricted free agent forward Brendan Gaunce. The 2012 first-round pick could use a change of scenery.

Gaunce gets added to the list of players Benning is informing won’t be back. The other day he told Derrick Pouliot the team isn’t keeping him.

Related: NHL Rumors: Lundqvist, Panarin, Canucks, Oilers, More

Buffalo Sabres Updates

During an interview on WGR 550, TSN’s Darren Dreger said that a decision by the Buffalo Sabres on their next head coach isn’t imminent and that it could come by the end of the month. “We know it’s the usual suspects: Jacques Martin, Todd Richards, Dave Tippett although it seems to be a bit of a long shot, and maybe they wait for Sheldon Keefe.”

Jason Pominville Sabres
Buffalo Sabres right wing Jason Pominville (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

Paul Hamilton of WGR 550 said the Sabres haven’t made a decision on pending UFA Jason Pominville yet. If he wants to stay with the team, he’ll need to take a big pay cut.

Pominville said he feels good enough to play but he needs some time to think about things.

The Sabres also need to decide on a contract offer for Jeff Skinner and whether or not they’ll trade Rasmus Ristolainnen. They also have a long list of RFAs: Zemgus Girgensons, Johan Larsson, Jake McCabe, Linus Ullmark, C.J. Smith, Sean Malone, Remi Elie, Eric Cornel, Jack Dougherty and Brycen Martin.

Related: NHL Rumors: Niemi, Pouliot, Blue Jackets, Stars, More

Quenneville Looking to Familiar Friends?

Andy Strickland of Fox Sports Midwest tweets that Andrew Brunette’s name is coming up in connection with Joel Quenneville, and that Quenneville may look to bring in Brunette.

The two have had a“strong relationship that goes back several years” and Brunette was fired along with several others last month when Paul Fenton made sweeping changes.

Brunette is quite versatile having served as an assistant GM, director of player personnel and assistant coach.