In today’s NHL rumor rundown, the Tampa Bay Lightning got both good and bad news as far as injuries go. The Minnesota Wild are shopping one of their top defenseman and the Washington Capitals have interviewed a very interesting candidate for the head coaching position. One scribe asks if a familiar face could return to the Pittsburgh Penguins and in Montreal, Max Domi’s agent has spoken for the first time to represent his new client.
Stamkos Out, Kucherov Expected to Return
The Tampa Bay Lightning got bad news learning that they’d have to go through the Eastern Conference Finals without Steven Stamkos, but the organization also got good news in that they learned Nikita Kucherov should be back in time to start their series against the New York Islanders.
The Athletic’s Joe Smith reports that the undisclosed injury Kucherov suffered in Game 5 against the Boston Bruins is not long-term and the week recovery he’s had since suffering the injury should be enough to allow him to return. With 16 points in 13 games, Kucherov was critical to the Lightning’s success to this point and his return will be welcomed.
Wild Shopping Matt Dumba
As per The Athletic’s Michael Russo, the Minnesota Wild are apparently attempting to trade defenseman and King Clancy Award Winner Matt Dumba. On a recent episode of the Russo Hockey Show, the scribe said, “I am hearing from a lot of sources that the Minnesota Wild are shopping Matt Dumba.”
The comments were made during a discussion about the upcoming NHL expansion draft and how the Wild might approach protecting their lineup best. Saying the key would be to keep their top-four blue line in tact, and noting that Jared Sprugeon and Ryan Suter have to be protected based on the status of their contracts, the hosts also pointed out that Jonas Brodin and Dumba could be exposed. It was then Russo mentioned rumors of Dumba being on the block and said, “If that’s the case, I hope the one thing Guerin is doing is making sure that you sign Brodin before you trade Dumba.
Brodin only has one season remaining on his deal and Russo noted that if the Wild trade Dumba before extending Brodin, there’s no guarantee that Brodin will choose to come back.
Capitals Interview Mike Babcock
During Saturday’s Hockey Night in Canada broadcast, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that the Washington Capitals are currently undergoing a search for a new head coach and have interviewed some interesting candidates. Among them are Peter Laviolette, Gerard Gallant and Mike Babcock.
Obviously, the most interesting name here is Babcock’s who used to coach the Toronto Maple Leafs but left the NHL under some troubling circumstances. Friedman notes, “…this week it’s believed that they interviewed Toronto’s former head coach Mike Babcock, And he is a legitimate candidate for the position.”
Is Marc-Andre Fleury to the Penguins an Option?
According to Mark Madden of TRIBLIVE.com, there’s a chance, even if small, that goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury could make his way back to the Pittsburgh Penguins if the Vegas Golden Knights choose to buy out the netminder’s contract.
Madden cites the Golden Knights’ likely desire to extend Robin Lehner and Fleury’s $7 million salary for one more season as reasons to potentially move Fleury. But, because he’s 35 years old, and the market is flooded with goalies, he may be tough to trade. If bought out, Fleury might look for familiar surroundings in Pittsburgh.
The deal would have to be right on the Penguins end, otherwise they are likely to run with Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith as their tandem next season.
Domi Has Not Asked for a Trade
Rumors about Max Domi headed out of Montreal will persist most of the offseason, likely until he’s traded. But, his new agent has noted publicly that Domi has not asked for a trade from the Montreal Canadiens.
As per Friedman, the hockey insider revealed that he spoke with Domi’s new agent Darren Ferris and said Ferris was a bit hesitant to talk much about Domi’s situation. All he would say was that these rumors are not being initiated by Domi or his wanting to leave.
Friedman said during a recent segment of Headlines.
“He met with Marc Bergevin, he didn’t really want to say too much about the meeting, but the one thing he was willing to say was that Max Domi has not asked for a trade from the Montreal Canadiens,” said Friedman on Saturday.
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Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”