NHL Rumors: Canucks, Oilers, Stars, Predators, Islanders

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, could the Vancouver Canucks be collecting enough assets to be offer sheet ready? Meanwhile, have the Dallas Stars and John Klingberg patched things up when it comes to contract negotiations?

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Finally, the New York Islanders have fired head coach Barry Trotz.

Canucks Might Be Thinking Offer Sheet

After it was mentioned the New Jersey Devils might have their eyes on Kevin Fiala of the Minnesota Wild and could be thinking about using an offer sheet to lure him away, the Devils aren’t the only team that might be toying with the idea of using offer sheets as a tool.

General manager Jim Rutherford Pittsburgh Penguins 2019 NHL Draft
General manager Jim Rutherford of the Pittsburgh Penguins, 2019 NHL Draft (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek noted during the 32 Thoughts segment that the Vancouver Canucks might be thinking about using the offer sheet process as a weapon in their retool arsenal. He noted that if you trace back a trade the Canucks made that included Travis Hamonic going to the Ottawa Senators for a third-round pick, it’s important to note the pick was Vancouver’s own third-round pick. He explains:

Here’s why it’s important. When you are going to offer sheet a player, this year it was between $4.1 million and $6.1 million, you have to have a first and a third. The caveat being, it has to be your first and your third.

Related: NHL Rumors: Sharks, Jets, Devils, Avalanche

The Canucks now have their own first and their own third and while they might not extend an offer sheet, nor do they necessarily have the cap space to bring a bigger-ticket RFA in, they will technically have the option. Marek said, “they are certainly getting as many weapons together as possible. Nice business.”

Oilers and Canucks In on Kuzmenko

The Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks are the two Canadian teams reportedly still in the running for KHL free agent forward Andrei Kuzmenko. The Vegas Golden Knights, Carolina Hurricanes, and Nashville Predators are the other teams interested. Because Kuenko can only sign a one-year, entry-level deal, it will come down to the right team and the right fit.

Stars Would Like to Re-Sign Klingberg

NHL.com’ Tracey Myers reports that Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill is still hoping to re-sign defenseman John Klingberg, despite the blueliner’s trade request earlier this season. He knows Klingberg will likely want to test the waters of free agency but Nill said he intends to speak with Klingberg’s representatives once the playoffs are over.

John Klingberg Dallas Stars
John Klingberg, Dallas Stars (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

It’s not out of the question the two sides patch things up and get a deal done. Klingberg was unhappy with the way he felt disrespected by the Stars’ lack of negotiations and with how few conversations were going on in respect to a new deal but he has since said he refocused on his game and has been happier. Nill and Klingberg have spoken many times since then and the two apparently have “a great relationship” now.

Predators Could Make Multiple Changes

Gentry Estes of The Tennessean writes that, should the Nashville Predators be swept by the Colorado Avalanche in the first round of the playoffs, they could face “a tough postmortem”. The idea was to hang onto assets like Filip Forsberg to be a competitive playoff team. They have been anything but. Estes writes:

First of all, there’s the important matter of Hynes’ contract. It’s about to expire. You’d have to assume – given that this team wasn’t widely forecast to even make the playoffs – that he’ll be retained. But if that’s such a simple decision, why hasn’t it been announced yet? … Filip Forsberg’s future remains a major question, too. He was kept past the trade deadline in hopes for a playoff run that’s about to end as a major bust.

source – ‘Nashville Predators are almost done in NHL playoffs, but hard questions await for franchise | Estes’ – Gentry Estes – The Tennessean – 05/07/2022

Islanders Fire Trotz

New York Islanders President and General Manager Lou Lamoriello announced today that Barry Trotz has been relieved of his duties as Head Coach. This will come as a surprise to many and sources close to the team don’t seem the buy into the idea that it was merely a results-based decision based on one bad season.

As Charlie O’Connor of The Athletic writes, “Unless Trotz lost the room (and I don’t cover the Isles so I wouldn’t know and don’t want to imply that he did), this just strikes me as a classic case of Lou being Lou.” Trotz will become one of the more attractive coaching options this off-season.

Lamoriello was asked why he made this decision. He responded that Trotz going into the final year of his current contract did not play a factor in the decision and added, “It would be a tremendous understatement to say that this wasn’t an easy decision to make.” Beyond that, he noted, “I would rather not get into any of the reasons.”

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