Growing speculation Oilers could hire Todd McLellan as their new coach, plus the latest on the Canadiens, Canucks, Flames and Senators.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: There’s growing speculation former San Jose Sharks coach Todd McLellan could be joining the Oilers as their new bench boss.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I know some Oilers fans are holding out hope the Oilers will hire Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock, but management’s focus seems to be on McLellan and has been for several weeks. He has a superb coaching record and should be a good fit on the rebuilding Oilers.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Pat Hickey joins the chorus of pundits noting the Canadiens’ need to bolster their anemic offense if they hope to become true Stanley Cup contenders. Hickey also speculates defenseman Andrei Markov could see a lighter workload next season as younger blueliners are cycled into the lineup. He also doubts the Habs can afford to re-sign pending UFA rearguard Jett Petry.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was only a matter of time until the Canadiens popgun offense caught up with them. They need a true first-line center plus another scoring winger or two. Management might find it easier to add the scoring wingers than landing that first-line center. GM Marc Bergevin could attempt to address this via trades with cap-strapped clubs this summer, as there’s no one available in this summer’s free-agent market to significantly bolster the Habs scoring punch.
THE PROVINCE: Jason Botchford acknowledges the possibility the Canucks could trade goalie Eddie Lack, who has a year left on his contract, if unable to reach an agreement on an extension. However, he expects they’ll retain Lack as part of their transition plan from Ryan Miller, who has two years left on his contract.
CALGARY SUN: Flames rookie Sam Bennett reflects on a crazy year which began with recovering from shoulder surgery and ended with a solid performance in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bennett’s playoff performance alleviated concerns about his shoulder and his durability at the NHL level. He, Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan will power the Flames offense for years.
OTTAWA CITIZEN: The Ottawa Senators Foundation announced “a $200,000 deal that aims to send more than 1,100 kids aged four to 17 in communities throughout Canada to camp this summer.”