NHL Rumors: Flyers, Senators, Jets, Wild

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Philadelphia Flyers will be moving on from head coach Mike Yeo. Meanwhile, the Ottawa Senators are making offseason plans. What is their priority? There are more updates on the drama coming out of the Winnipeg Jets organization and why did Jared Spurgeon not get suspended after a nasty crosscheck in Game 1 of the Wild’s series with the St. Louis Blues?

Mike Yeo Done With Flyers

At his media availability, Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher confirmed that coach Mike Yeo will not be back behind the bench next season. There is a chance he will be hired for another role within the organization but those talks will take place over the next few weeks. Yeo is expected to interview for other positions around the league.

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Kevin Weekes of ESPN first broke the news on Twitter with Elliotte Friedman also providing a report during Monday’s playoffs broadcast. Other sources confirmed the news as well and for now, it sounds like Fletcher’s job is safe.

Senators to Find Right-Winger For Stuetzle

Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun is reporting that one of the priorities for the Ottawa Senators this offseason is to find a right-winger for Tim Stutzle through trade or free agency. He writes that the club has done a lot of groundwork trying to identify possible candidates that may be available.

Tim Stützle Ottawa Senators
Tim Stützle, Ottawa Senators (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

There is talk that the Senators will chase hard after Kevin Fiala and there are many who believe that if Claude Giroux doesn’t stay with the Florida Panthers next season, the Senators have a legitimate shot to land him.

As for other changes, Garrioch also writes:

Unrestricted free agent forwards Chris Tierney, Tyler Ennis and Scott Sabourin likely won’t be back. Defenceman Victor Mete, a restricted free agent, asked for a trade before the March deadline and wants a fresh start which means he likely won’t get a qualifying offer.

source – ‘GARRIOCH: As the Senators close the book on their season, it’s time to look ahead’ – Bruce Garrioch – Ottawa Sun – 04/29/2022

Hellebuyck Open to Returning But Jets Have Big Mess to Clean Up

During the 32 Thoughts podcast, Elliotte Friedman was clear that he believes more players than just Mark Scheifele will come forward and suggest that they’re not certain about their future with the Winnipeg Jets. One player that has apparently let it be known that he’s got no issue and is ready to return is goaltender Connor Hellebuyck.

Connor Hellebuyck Winnipeg Jets
Connor Hellebuyck, Winnipeg Jets (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

This is great news for the Jets who would be in real trouble if their starting netminder was among the names of people who were looking for a fresh start. There has been chatter the Jets could see what kind of offers are out there for him, but that’s much different than having to trade a player because he doesn’t want to return.

As for Scheifele’s comments leading to a possible trade, GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said when meeting with the media yesterday, that the forward has not submitted a trade request nor have the two held an exit interview yet. 

Mike McIntyre of the Winnipeg Free Press believes this situation in Winnipeg is a bigger mess than many people know. He called it a disturbing trend that so many players and personnel have wanted to leave the organization, naming Dustin Byfuglien, Patrik Laine, Jack Roslovic, Jacob Trouba, and Andrew Copp among the notable departures. He added:

Even beloved coach Paul Maurice packed up his whistle and pulled the plug after the Jets followed up a 9-3-3 start this season with just four wins in the next 13 games. He’s apparently seen, and heard, enough from this group. Which should have been the canary in the coal mine.

source – ‘ Chevy gets three more years to fix broken Jets, a mess he helped create’ – Mike McIntyre – Winnipeg Free Press – 05/02/2022

Spurgeon Unlikely to Face Suspension

Minnesota’s Jared Spurgeon has been fined $5,000, the maximum allowable under the CBA, for Cross-checking St. Louis’ Pavel Buchnevich. That said, it doesn’t look like he’ll be facing any other supplementary discipline. Michael Russo of The Athletic reports that part of what likely went into that decision not to suspend him is that this was an atypical sign of frustration for a player who was on many Lady Byng ballots this season.

Head coach Dean Evason said of Spurgeon’s play: “We were frustrated last night. We took some bad penalties. That’s a bad penalty. He knows it. When Jared Spurgeon does something like that, it means your group is off-kilter a little bit. So they’ll rein it back in and he’ll be the guy to do it.”