NHL Rumors: Capitals, Sabres, Islanders, Kraken, Bruins

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, what is the status of Tom Wilson for the Washington Capitals? Meanwhile, the Boston Bruins are losing Hampus Lindholm after a huge hit.

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Finally, there is talk about the offseason plans for the Buffalo Sabres, New York Islanders, and Seattle Kraken.

Capitals Lose Tom Wilson

Forward Tom Wilson is officially out for Thursday’s game and is listed as day-to-day, confirmed Washington Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette to reporters including Samantha Pell of the Washington Post. Beyond that, Laviolette didn’t want to speculate on Wilson’s availability for Game 3.

As a result, the Capitals shook up the forward lines and promoted Brett Leason from the Hershey Bears. Leason brings size and strength to the lineup but lacks the same level of skill. The Capitals leads the series 1-0, but a Wilson loss for any length of time would be a big loss.

Sabres Offseason Updates

As per Lance Lysowski, Buffalo Sabres 2019 first-round pick Ryan Johnson is ‘leaning towards’ returning to the University of Minnesota next year. Lysowski quoted GM Kevyn Adams who talked about the plans for Johnson when he wrote, “He is, at this point, looking like he’s going to go back to school. We’ve had conversations. He’s still kind of – it’s open-ended a little bit. But he’s indicated where he’s at right now, the team they have, the ice time he gets there.”

Related: NHL Rumors: Blackhawks, Canucks, Maple Leafs, Oilers

Also with the Sabres, they will be on the lookout for a veteran defenseman to play on the roster next season. Adams said it didn’t necessarily need to be a right-shot defenseman to play with Owen Power, but that would make the most sense if the Sabres could find someone like that.

Islanders to Shop For Winger to Play with Barzal

According to Kevin Kurz of The Atheltic, one of the New York Islanders’ offseason priorities will be to find a top-six winger who can play alongside Mathew Barzal. Kurz suggested the Isles try to pull off some “salary-cap gymnastics” and land one of Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau, Nashville’s Filip Forsberg or Florida’s Claude Giroux.

Filip Forsberg Nashville Predators
Filip Forsberg, Nashville Predators (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Kurz writes:

I would argue they need Barzal to play in the top six if they are going to truly contend again, and that means finding him at least one winger with high-end potential — as in, at least a 30-goal scorer. It’s not Parise, it’s not Wahlstrom (at least not yet), and it’s not Josh Bailey, Anthony Beauvillier or Kieffer Bellows. 

source – ‘The Islanders’ 5 biggest offseason priorities as they look to return to contention in 2022-23’ – Kevin Kurz – The Athletic – 05/01/2022

Kraken to Spend Money This Offseason

As per Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times, there is chatter that the Seattle Kraken are prepared to spend some money this offseason to improve their team. General manager Ron Francis would like to see more goals scored and is looking for an offensive defenseman. The team has plenty of cap space to add both of those things.

Francis said:

“We had chances, we just couldn’t do it. Goal-scorers are not easy to find, but if we can add something in the free-agency market — guys that can come in and play in our top six, top nine (forwards), that’s certainly something we’ll look for.”

source – ‘NHL insider: Kraken gearing for busy offseason to build off ‘foundation’ they feel was laid’ – Geoff Baker – Seattle Sun Times – 05/03/2022

As for who the Kraken have their eyes on for the blue line, most believe they’ll be taking a healthy run at trying to sign John Klingberg out of Dallas.

Hampus Lindholm Will Miss Game 3

The Boston Bruins will have to play without defenseman Hampus Lindholm in Game 3 versus the Carolina Hurricanes. That is not good news considering the Bruins have already lost the first two games in the series. Lindholm took a huge hit by Andrei Svechnikov behind the Bruins’ net and while he was given permission to fly home with the team, coach Bruce Cassidy said after Game 2, “He’s not doing well.”

Jeremy Swayman is likely to start Game 3 and if that doesn’t help kickstart the Bruins and they end up losing the series in four or don’t find any sort of offense to speak of, it will be intriguing to see what changes come to the roster in the offseason. The Bruins have been dominated by the Hurricanes this season being outscored 24-2.

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