NHL Rumors: Oilers, Blues, Capitals, Panthers, Avs, More

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, there is news that Edmonton Oilers forward Josh Archibald will have a hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. Meanwhile there is talk about Alex Ovechkin’s need for a new contract and roster changes the St. Louis Blues might be making. The Florida Panthers might start a rookie in goal for Game 5 vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning and Nazem Kadri has elected to appeal his suspension.

Archibald to Have Phone Hearing with NHL DoPS

The Department of NHL Player Safety has announced that Oilers RW Josh Archibald will have a phone hearing for clipping Winnipeg Jets defenseman Logan Stanley in Game 3. It was an bad penalty to take by Archibald and it sparked a three-goal comeback by the Jets, ultimately allowing the team to beat Edmonton in overtime.

Archibald could be looking at a suspension, but also just a fine. A decision will need to be made today as the Oilers and Jets play another game Monday night in the back-to-back contest.

Ovechkin’s Contract Officially Expires

With the Washington Capitals now officially out of the playoffs, talk will turn to the contract of Alex Ovechkin. His 13-year, $124 million contract with the Capitals has now expired and there will be talk about what it will cost to get that deal done, or if there’s a chance he looks to play elsewhere before leaving the NHL.

Alex Ovechkin Washington Capitals
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Emily Kaplan of ESPN.com wonders how much it would cost the Capitals to keep him around and how long a term they’ll need to offer. Previous reports were that he might be seeking $12.5 million per season before the pandemic struck. It’s not clear if the Capitals are willing to go there now, or if Ovechkin will ask, but Kaplan believes the sniper will be staying in Washington. Capitals Coach Peter Laviolette said: “Well I’d like to think he’s going to be back. This is his team.”

There’s talk of changes in Washington as center Evgeny Kuznetsov might be on the move. If they do move him, the team should have plenty of money to get Ovechkin what he wants.

Related: Canadiens News and Rumors: Caufield, Drouin, Markov and More

Blues to Make Offseason Changes

With the St. Louis Blues also officially out of the playoffs, ESPN.com’s Greg Wyshynski writes that the Blues roster could have a different look next season. He notes that pending UFAs include Jaden Schwartz, Mike Hoffman, Tyler Bozak and Carl Gunnarsson will need to be looked at more closely and the only player the Blues seem to be interested in retaining is Schwartz.

Jaden Schwartz St. Louis Blues
Jaden Schwartz, St. Louis Blues (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

The Blues may also be on the lookout for an experienced backup for starter Jordan Binnington and there is talk Vince Dunn could be playing elsewhere next season as part of a trade. Wyshynski also wondered if the Blues would dare leave Vladimir Tarasenko unprotected in the expansion draft.

Panthers Might Play Rookie Spencer Knight in Goal

Florida head coach Joel Quenneville says he will announce the Panthers’ Game 5 goalie just before the game, but rookie netminder Spencer Knight was in the starters’ net at practice and could get the call. Roberto Luongo said of Knight’s development: ”We want to make sure we do right by him and not rush him. But, we hear he’s special. So we want to make sure we don’t waste too much of his time.”

The Panthers drafted Knight 13th overall in 2019, but signed Sergei Bobrovsky to a seven-year free-agent deal with a $10 million AAV and a full no-move clause.

Kadri Appealing Suspension

The NHLPA has filed an appeal on behalf of Colorado Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri. After being suspended for eight games, speculation is that Kadri is looking to have that suspension reduced by a couple of games so he can rejoin the team in the second round of the playoffs.

The first step in the Kadri appeal could be heard as early as mid-week but there’s no guarantee that a change will be made. The NHL has to right to reduce it, keep in the same or actually increase the length of the suspension. While that’s not likely, appeals do come with an element of risk.

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