NHL Rumors: Rangers, Flyers, Flames, Hurricanes, Jets

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, despite rumors they might wait to see what happens in Toronto and Pittsburgh, reports the New York Rangers might be leaning towards one particular coach that just split for his former team. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Flyers have said they’d be open to offers for goaltender Carter Hart. Might the Calgary Flames be forced into an Elias Lindholm trade and could the Carolina Hurricanes and Winnipeg Jets make for good trade partners?

Is Laviolette the Frontrunner for the Rangers?

According to Elliotte Friedman, it sounds more and more like Peter Laviolette could be named the next head coach of the New York Rangers An announcement could come as early as next week and before the start of the Stanley Cup Final. “A lot of people are beginning to lean Laviolette,” Friedman said. “If it is Laviolette, we are going to find out next week. That’s where I sit with the Rangers coaching job.”

Head coach Peter Laviolette, Washington Capitals
Head coach Peter Laviolette, Washington Capitals (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Laviolette, 58, was the former coach of the Washington Capitals. When he departed the team, Laviolette said, “I do want to coach again if somebody will have me.” He added, “I go to my Finals record and it’s 1-2, and that bothers me… I would like to at least like to even that up.”

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It’s not clear what team he’d be coaching if he took the job. There are a number of names potentially leaving the organization and with just $12 million in projected salary cap space to fill eight roster spots, GM Chris Drury has his work cut out for himself.

Could Hurricanes and Jets Work a Big-Time Trade?

Ken Wiebe of Sportsnet wonders if the Carolina Hurricanes and Winnipeg Jets could make for logical trade partners. There is speculation the Jets might look to shake up their “core four” by moving one of goaltender Connor Hellebuyck or forwards Mark Scheifele, Pierre-Luc Dubois, and Blake Wheeler.

Related: NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs, Penguins, Rangers, Senators

Wiebe writes, “The Hurricanes will be looking to get clarity from foundational pillars like [Sebastian] Aho, but they probably will also take a couple of big swings here when it comes to loading up for a Stanley Cup run next season. That’s where one of – or potentially both of – Hellebuyck and Scheifele could factor in.” Meanwhile, the Hurricanes are looking for a top-level star and could be open to trading Teuvo Teravainen, who will need a new contract next summer.

Flyers May Entertain Carter Hart Trade Offers

Philadelphia Flyers general manager Daniel Briere told Philadelphia sports radio 94.1 WIP that he’s open to trading goaltender Carter Hart. He noted, “If there are teams calling, we have to listen. That’s my job as a GM, I have to listen. I have to do what is best for the team and the organization. In saying that, I expect Carter Hart to be our goalie for many years to come.”

Carter Hart Philadelphia Flyers
Carter Hart, Philadelphia Flyers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

While Briere certainly didn’t come out and say that Hart would be traded, that he’s even open to the idea of moving arguably the team’s best player shows how open the GM is to make big changes. Bausman writes:

Of all the Flyers’ players, Hart might be considered the one untouchable. The Flyers clearly have weaknesses on the forward lines and on defense — but not in goal. Hart has shown he is a quality NHL goaltender who can be expected to improve with a stronger defensive unit in front of him.

When you consider Hart had a .907 save percentage and a 2.94 goals-against average on a team that was terribly bad at times defensively, and posted a final record of 31-38-13, the Flyers’ struggles were not his fault.

Will the Flames Be Forced Into Trading Elias Lindholm?

New general manager Craig Conroy is going to work hard to keep Elias Lindholm happy as a member of the Calgary Flames, but what if he says he’s not interested in staying? With one more season on his contract, the Flames can’t exactly let him walk into free agency. With that in mind, Julian McKenzie of The Athletic was asked about what the Flames might do if Lindholm isn’t interested in signing a contract extension and who might be open to trading for the forward. Could the Flames fetch a first-round pick in return?

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McKenzie said it would be a surprise if the Flames could net a pick in the top 10 pick as teams in that range likely would prefer younger players who will grow with a younger core over someone like Lindholm, who would be an immediate fix but whose production would decline in the coming years. That said, if there’s an extension in place with any trade, Lindholm is still only 28 years old.

McKenzie writes:

“I think the Flames would be more likely to get that first-rounder from any contending team below them. Think of teams like Colorado, Toronto and Minnesota as examples.”

source – ‘Could the Flames trade Elias Lindholm for a 2023 first-round pick? Mailbag’ – Julian McKenzie – 05/24/2023

McKenzie believes the one team that might be open to making a splash would be the Columbus Blue Jackets and a fellow contributor, Aaron Portzline, added the Columbus Blue Jackets wouldn’t trade the No. 3 pick straight up for Lindholm “but if there was a contract extension place and with a 2023 second-round pick, it might be something the Blue Jackets would consider.”