In today’s NHL rumors rundown, where are the Toronto Maple Leafs at in their interview process to find a new general manager? Is it Brad Treliving or bust? Meanwhile, what do the Edmonton Oilers have planned for this offseason? Might they be a good trade partner for the Boston Bruins? Finally, what will the Carolina Hurricanes do after being swept by the Florida Panthers in the Eastern Conference Final?
Maple Leafs Just Getting Interviews Underway
After reporting yesterday that the Maple Leafs’ GM job might be Brad Treliving’s to lose, Darren Dreger of TSN reports: “Very early in the GM interviewing process for Brendan Shanahan and the Maple Leafs. Brad Treliving involved in discussions earlier this week as the process continues.”
Oilers Already Getting to Work on Next Season
GM Ken Holland was a guest on Oilers Now with Bob Stauffer this week and noted, “We’re going to try here over the next six weeks to make moves and make the team the best that we can within a salary cap.” He added, “Obviously, we’ve got challenges. Probably half the teams in the League are in the same position as we are right up against it. You’ve got to make difficult decisions.”
According to CapFriendly, the Oilers have just shy of $6 million in cap space and they need to get contracts done for Evan Bouchard and Ryan McLeod and noted that he’s keen to bring back Derek Ryan, Nick Bjugstad, and Klim Kostin.
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The Oilers have some dead cap space money coming off of the books, but he might need some of these players to sign team-friendly deals because the annual average salary cap increase is only projected to be $1 million for this coming season.
What’s Next for the Hurricanes?
After losing out to the Florida Panthers in four games, the Carolina Hurricanes will have some questions to answer. Kristen Shilton of ESPN.com took a look at some of their off-season plans and noted that the Hurricanes will have to address their goaltending situation. “Both Frederik Andersen and Antti Raanta are pending unrestricted free agents and rookie Pyotr Kochetkov likely isn’t ready to be a full-time starter,” she writes. She adds that if the Hurricanes want to replace either Andersen or Raanta — potentially acquiring a veteran free agent — it will take careful consideration and plenty of cap space.
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She also notes, “With veterans like Jesper Fast, Jordan Staal, and Paul Stastny all hitting free agency as well, there is room for Carolina to grow and change things throughout their lineup.” They’ll also need to make a decision on Jesse Puljujarvi and there’s a good chance they don’t qualify him.
Bruins and Oilers Possible Trade Partners?
Boston Hockey Now’s Jimmy Murphy writes that a source told him that the Boston Bruins could target the Edmonton Oilers for a potential future trade. He writes, “When asked Monday, about potential external replacements at center the Boston Bruins could target if Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci retire, an NHL source told Boston Hockey Now that the Oilers ‘might move’ 30-year-old center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and that they’re looking for a defenseman in the return.”
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While Holland did say the Oilers would have to make tough decisions and Don Sweeney said the same Bruins team won’t be coming back next season, it seems like a long shot the Oilers would trade Nugent-Hopkins after the season he just had. There are also salary cap implications there to work through. Murphy writes that another source told him the Bruins might be forced to move a player on the NHL trade market they don’t necessarily want to trade, which makes it even more unlikely Nugent-Hopkins is an option.
As a potential Plan B, Murphy writes, “Another NHL source on Monday suggested the Bruins look into 23-year-old, 6-foot-3, 201-pound Oilers center Ryan McLeod.” Murphy does acknowledge that the Oilers might not even entertain trade offers for McLeod.