NHL Rumors: Skinner, Quenneville, Bruins, Kings, More

In today’s rumor rundown, there are numbers starting to surface when it comes to the contract negotiations for Buffalo Sabres forward Jeff Skinner and the Boston Bruins and Los Angeles Kings might be on the verge of big changes. James van Riemsdyk is not quite ready to return and Joel Quenneville’s name has popped up in connection to the expansion team out of Seattle.

Jeff Skinner Updates

A couple days ago, it was mentioned Jeff Skinner’s next contract was going to get a bit more expensive as time went along and that the Sabres and Skinner had decided to push back their negotiations until later in the season. Reports from Darren Dreger are that Skinner might be looking for a deal similar to the seven-year, $49 million deal Evander Kane signed, possibly more if he continues to play well.

Sabres left wing Jeff Skinner
Sabres left wing Jeff Skinner (Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports)

“Is it in the vicinity of Evander Kane? Is it slightly higher than that?” Dreger asked. He then answered, “I think it’s a little too soon to say, but if you get to the midway point of the season for the Buffalo Sabres and his production hasn’t dropped a little bit, maybe the number is a little bit higher than that.”

There were rumors at the start of the NHL season that perhaps Skinner would be a one-and-done contract for Buffalo, but if he has a great season, it would be hard to justify not trying to keep him around.

Related: NHL Rumors: Penguins, Maple Leafs, Sabres, More

James van Riemsdyk Not Quite Ready Yet

There was speculation James van Riemsdyk might be close to an on-ice return for the Philadelphia Flyers but reports by Dave Isaac of the Cherry Hill Courier-Post suggest that while he’s skating with the team, his return is still likely another week away.

James van Riemsdyk - Flyers
James van Riemsdyk, Philadelphia Flyers, September 17, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

van Riemsdyk’s season didn’t get off to the start he and the Flyers were hoping it would. He was brought in as a 29-year-old free agent and expected to boost the Flyers offense but got hurt in the second game of the season and hasn’t played since. He’s got one assist on the season.

Isaac writes:

He said that Friday was his fourth or fifth time out on the ice and that he’s probably another week away from returning to the lineup. That would peg his return as next Saturday when the Flyers conclude their homestand with a matinee against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

source – “Brian Elliott survives practice, but Flyers need him for when it counts” – Dave Isaac- Courier Post – 10/09/2018

Related: NHL Rumors: Puljujarvi, Hayes, Hurricanes, Penguins, More

Bruins on the Cusp of Major Changes

Sportsnet’s John Shannon reports that the Boston Bruins are extremely unhappy with their season to date and the team feels they have too many of the same style of player among their secondary scorers.

Ryan Spooner Anders Bjork Bruins
Ryan Spooner and Anders Bjork, Boston Bruins, Dec. 2, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Young forwards Danton Heinen and Anders Bjork have underwhelmed and players like Trent Frederic, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, Joakim Nordstrom, Chris Wagner, Sean Kuraly, and Noel Acciari are seen as similar-type players. Shannon believes a trade including one of these “redundant forwards” is coming.

LA Kings Going to Wait

Shannon also said the Los Angeles Kings are well aware that trades might be necessary but aren’t willing to dump a number of their contracts while their value is at its lowest. The Kings are hoping to string a few wins together, get some of the players who are being shopped to produce a few points and try to salvage something out of moving them.

The names that seem to come up most often are Tanner Pearson, Kyle Clifford, Alec Martinez, Jake Muzzin, and Tyler Toffoli.

Joel Quenneville to Seattle?

Interestingly, Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic made an offhand mention of the upcoming Seattle job on the latest edition of Insider Trading. With rumors of many jobs opening up for Quenneville after being released by the Chicago Blackhawks, news has surfaced that Dave Tippett will not be taking the coaching job in Seattle but an executive position and Quenneville might be interested in taking the rest of the year off, maybe more, then joining their organization.

It is the wait that might be the only thing stopping Quenneville from taking that kind of position. He’s coached for so long and for so many consecutive years, he clearly likes the work and he would have to turn down other coaching positions in the meantime.