NHL Rumors: Blackhawks, Rangers, Avalanche, Oilers, Sharks

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, how much has the announcement of Connor Bedard being a potential Chicago Blackhawk changed interest in tickets for Blackhawks games? Meanwhile, there is talk about some of the coaching considerations for the New York Rangers.

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In Colorado, it was learned that Gabriel Landeskog will miss the entire 2023-24 NHL season. The San Hose Sharks haven’t spoken to any of their free agents yet. Finally, will the Edmonton Oilers play Jack Campbell in Game 4 versus the Vegas Golden Knights?

Blackhawks Selling Tickets Like Crazy Following Draft Lottery

According to a few sources, including Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times, “The Blackhawks have already sold $2.5 million worth of season-ticket plans for 2023-24 in the 1.5 hours since winning the #1 pick — including more than 500 new full-season plans.” As per Sportico, the Blackhawks responded when reached for questioning, “We haven’t stopped smiling, and the phones haven’t stopped ringing.”

Connor Bedard Regina Pats
Connor Bedard, Regina Pats (Keith Hershmiller / Regina Pats)

Darren Rovell of Action Network provided an update on ticket sales a few hours later and noted that the number was up to $5.2 million. He also points out that the Blackhawks can pay a maximum of $4.54 million, including salary, signing, and performance bonuses to Bedard for the 2023-24 season.

Are the Rangers Looking at Kris Knoblauch?

Elliotte Friedman noted on Monday’s 32 Thoughts podcast that one name he’s hearing as connected to the Rangers’ search for a new head coach is Kris Knoblauch. Knoblauch is currently the head coach of the Hartford Wolf Pack and there is a lot of positive talk surrounding him, but Friedman also wonders if the Rangers will take a risk with an inexperienced NHL coach.

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The NHL insider points out that the Rangers just fired a coach who had two back-to-back 100-point seasons and made the Eastern Conference Final last year. There’s a real possibility that anyone they bring in needs to be a sure thing.

Gabriel Landeskog Out For All of Next Season

As per a team statement, the Colorado Avalanche announced that forward Gabriel Landeskog will undergo a cartilage transplant in his right knee. He is expected to miss the entire 2023-24 season. This is huge news for the Avalanche and their team captain as it would be the second-straight season he’d miss due to injury. It’s not clear what the future is for him beyond that.

Landeskog and Avs GM Chris MacFarland will speak with the media at 11 am MT about what’s next for the player and the team. The hope is that he can come back and play in the NHL again.

Will Jack Campbell Get Game 4?

It seems clear that Adin Hill will get the start for the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 4 versus the Oilers after Laurent Brossoit left Game 3 with an injury. But, who gets the start for Edmonton? Stuart Skinner was pulled and Jack Campbell took his place, letting in one more goal before shutting the door the rest of the way in a dominating win for Vegas.

Related: Canadiens Could Target Oilers as Holland Sheds Cap Space

The last time head coach Jay Woodcroft made the switch, Campbell saved the series for the Oilers but was only given parts of that one game before Skinner was brought back in as the starter. Will Woodcroft go the same route again? The argument might be that Skinner is starting to look tired. The counterargument is that the entire Oilers team looked flat in Game 3.

Sharks Haven’t Talked Extensions with Pending Free Agents

As per Curtis Pashelka, GM Mike Grier said that he hasn’t spoken with any of the organization’s pending UFAs and RFAs. Noting there was lots of time for that, Pashelka also notes that Grier said he’ll talk with Evgeni Nabokov and Thomas Speer in the next couple of weeks about the possibility of signing Ben Gaudreau: “We’ll sort that out and figure out if we’re going to sign Ben or not.”