NHL Rumors: Coaches, Buyouts, Kessel, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there are additional updates on the coaching situations in a few cities, there is a list building of potential buyout candidates and more details on a possible Phil Kessel trade out of Pittsburgh.

NHL Coaching Vacancies

As the interviews keep taking place, there are updates on the coaching jobs with a few franchises including the Anaheim Ducks, Edmonton Oilers, Buffalo Sabres and more:

Ducks Coaching Vacancy

John Shannon reports that the Anaheim Ducks will be interviewing Lane Lambert for their vacant head coaching position. Josh Cooper has backed up that report and says a source confirms that the Ducks will interview Lambert.

Oilers Coaching Vacancy

Jim Matheson writes that he doesn’t believe Edmonton Oilers GM Ken Holland has asked for permission to speak with Todd Nelson about their vacant head coaching position. Nelson was at one time an early candidate for the job and a former hire of Hollands. He still may be up for consideration, but it appears Holland might be leaning in a different direction. Dave Tippet seems to be an early favorite.

Matheson also notes he doesn’t believe that the Oilers have asked to speak with potential candidates Lane Lambert and Todd Richards.

Sabres Coaching Vacancy

Elliotte Friedman was on WGR 550 and suggested Ralph Krueger is the leading candidate for the coaching job in Buffalo. Friedman said, “I have had people tell me that I’m under-selling this and that talks are further along than we thought.”

Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Friedman believes this could be something that happens some time later this week. He added, “I think he has a legitimate shot at the job.”

Pierre LeBrun notes that the Sabres have spoken to Krueger. Originally, Krueger wanted back in the NHL at the level of President/CEO. Perhaps there wasn’t an opportunity there. Some believe if Krueger chooses to coach, he might see it as a gateway to an executive position and step up in the organization when a higher-profile coach is hired.

Related: NHL Rumors: Sabres, Panthers, 31 Thoughts, More

Biggest NHL Buyout Candidates

TVA SPORTS has compiled a list of the strongest candidates to be bought out by NHL clubs this summer (possible translation required). Among the names listed are Montreal Canadiens defenseman Karl Alzner, Edmonton Oilers winger Milan Lucic, and defenseman Andrej Sekera, New York Rangers blueliner Kevin Shattenkirk, and Vancouver Canucks winger Loui Eriksson.

Edmonton Oilers defenseman Andrej Sekera (2) and Carolina Hurricanes center Eric Staal (12) during the NHL game between the Edmonton Oilers and the Carolina Hurricanes at the PNC Arena.

The buyout period runs during the final two weeks of June and buyouts for these players count as two-thirds the remaining value over twice the remaining term. That means none of them will be easy pills to swallow for their respective NHL franchises but candidates to be moved along anyway.

Financially, Sekera tops the list of most feasible but he might also be the player who looked like he could be worth his contract if he sticks to form after returning from injury toward the end of this most recent regular season.

The other four players have signing bonuses that come into play and skew the numbers a touch. They are also harder players to trade thanks to these bonuses.

Related: NHL Rumors: Zuccarello, Hitchcock, Maple Leafs, More

Kessel Trade Details

Jonathan Bombulie of TRIBLIVE.COM reports that if the Pittsburgh Penguins trade Phil Kessel, he believes it must be more than addition by subtraction. Bombulie believes the Penguins will focus on targeting someone who makes them better away from the puck and improves the chemistry on the second line.

Penguins forward Phil Kessel
Penguins forward Phil Kessel (Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports)

Still a productive scorer, there will be interest in Kessel but he has an eight-team trade list. The team may ask if he is willing to widen that list and if he’s moved, the Penguins will target a younger, less expensive forward.

Related: [Rumor] Holland to Send “Jolt” Through Oilers Lineup