NHL Rumors: Flyers, Penguins, Panthers, Hurricanes

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, are the Philadelphia Flyers taking a risk by moving too slowly on Barry Trotz? Ron Hextall has commented on the status of negotiations between the Pittsburgh Penguins and two of their veteran UFAs.

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The Florida Panthers were swept out of the playoffs and changes are expected. Finally, is Frederik Andersen set to make a return to the Carolina Hurricanes lineup?

Trotz Could Force Flyers’ Hand

Elliotte Friedman said during his latest 32 Thoughts podcast that he wonders if the Flyers are moving too slowly on a coaching decision? He notes the organization is high on Trotz and is exactly what they need — a structured guy who will bring some stability to a fragile organization — but Chuck Fletcher and the Flyers want to take their time. He asks, ‘What happens if Trotz wants a decision made by the end of the week?’

Barry Trotz
New York Islanders coach Barry Trotz behind the bench in Game 4. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Friedman isn’t suggesting that Trotz has gone to the Flyers and told them to make a fast decision, but with so many team interested in the former Islanders coach, the NHL insider could envision a scenario where Trotz tells the Flyers he needs to know if they are in or out.

Hextall Comments on Malkin and Letang

After getting Bruan Rust signed to a six-year contract extension, Penguins’ GM Ron Hextall confirmed he is working on deals for Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang. As per Pens Inside Scoop, Hextall said, “We have had discussions very recently, and will continue those. We would like to sign both players. We’d like to keep Geno as a Pittsburgh Penguin for the rest of his career; Tanger is the same.” Hextall wouldn’t provide any insight as to what term the Penguins were comfortable with, only that he said he’d like to work something out so that both players were with the team in September.

Related: Panthers’ Brunette Should Win Jack Adams Award Despite Playoff Struggles

Marc-Andre Fleury‘s name has also been linked to the Penguins, but it would be hard to envision where they get the money to sign him unless he’s willing to accept a deal somewhere around the $2 million range.

What’s Next for the Panthers?

After being swept by the Tampa Bay Lightning in their second-round playoff series, the Presidents Trophy winners have some serious questions to answer. According to ESPN.com’s Kristen Shilton, the first will be deciding if Andrew Brunette becomes their full-time head coach or is replaced. Brunette is still only with the team on an interim basis after taking over for Joel Quenneville. He’s a Jack Adams Award finalist, but a four-game sweep is not a good look.

Claude Giroux Florida Panthers
Claude Giroux, Florida Panthers (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Shilton also doesn’t believe that Claude Giroux and Ben Chiarot will be sticking around with the team long-term. Both were acquired as rentals ahead of this year’s NHL Trade Deadline and both will need to be replaced. There is speculation Giroux might return to the Flyers or join his hometown Ottawa Senators.

Joe Thornton is likely to retire.

Is Andersen Returning for the Hurricanes?

Walt Ruff of NHL.com, reports that Frederik Andersen skated for the first time since his April 16th injury, and he looked good against his teammates. There is speculation that he might be inching closer to a return which would give the Hurricanes options in net. When asked about his status or the potential he could play, coach Rod Brind’Amour was more reserved and wouldn’t give anything away. Brind’Amour told the media: “I’ll tell you when he’s an option, how about that.”

What is known is that the Hurricanes are not rushing Andersen back because of the strong play of Antti Raanta. During this season’s playoffs, Raanta has a .939 save percentage and a 1.86 goals-against-average. He’s played so well, that it’s not a given Andersen gets the crease when he is ready to go.