NHL Rumor Mill – August 13, 2016

by | Aug 13, 2016 | Rumors | 28 comments

Arizona Coyotes face a decision this season on Martin Hanzal's future.

Arizona Coyotes face a decision this season on Martin Hanzal’s future.

 Possible coaching candidates to replace Patrick Roy in Colorado, plus an update on Martin Hanzal’s contract negotiations with the Arizona Coyotes.

SI.COM: Allan Muir reports Colorado Avalanche GM Joe Sakic said he’ll meet with his staff today to begin the process of finding suitable candidates to replace Patrick Roy, who resigned as head coach on Thursday. Sakic’s indicated he’ll look outside the organization. While there’s talk of bringing back former Avs coach Bob Hartley, Muir claims the rumblings around the league suggests that’s unlikely.

The Avs could instead focus on assistant coaches on other clubs with out-clauses in their current contracts. Muir suggests Kevin Dineen (Chicago Blackhawks), Bob Boughner (San Jose Sharks), Paul MacLean (Anaheim Ducks and Todd Richards (Tampa Bay Lightning) could be possibilities. He also speculates Sakic could look at a younger coach such as Sheldon Keefe or Travis Green.

THE DENVER POST: Terry Frei reports the Avs must first seek permission from rival clubs to speak with coaches still under contract. That includes Hartley, who was fired at the end of last season but still has a year remaining on his contract with the Calgary Flames. When contacted for comment, Hartley politely declined. Frei also mentioned Dineen as a possible target for the Avs, along with Blackhawks assistant coach Mike Kitchen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Whoever the Avs hire must be able to work well with their young players and improve their overall defensive game. I expect Sakic prefers to have a new head coach in place before training camp opens next month. 

ARIZONA SPORTS: Craig Morgan reports it’s unlikely the Coyotes will have center Martin Hanzal re-signed to a contract extension before the start of the upcoming season. Hanzal, 29, is eligible next summer for unrestricted free agency. He is “entering the final year of a five-year, $15.5 million deal that will pay him $3.5 million this season with a cap hit of $3.1 million.” 

Coyotes GM John Chayka had preliminary talks with the Hanzal camp earlier this summer, but a busy offseason pushed those talks to the back burner. Chayka said it might not be a bad thing to see how things play out this season. Morgan speculates the Coyotes could shop Hanzal if he’s still unsigned,but  they need his experience at center right now. He doesn’t think it makes sense for the Coyotes to trade Hanzal until they’ve secured a replacement. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: At 6’6″ and 225 pounds, Hanzal is a big, rugged center with good playmaking and two-way skills. He also has a lengthy injury history, which could explain Chayka’s reluctance to ink him to a lucrative long-term deal right now.

If Hanzal has a healthy 2016-17, that could help the Coyotes GM decide if he’s worth retaining. It will also improve his value at the trade deadline and in next summer’s unrestricted free agent market. 


  1. I still think, given the state of the team right now, that Jacques Martin would be the best bet for the Avalanche IF they can secure his release by the Hawks.

    • I thought Martin did a decent job when he was in Ottawa.

      • He took a team of “individuals” and quickly turned them into a cohesive unit – especially Spezza who was up and down like a yo-yo until he learned team play.

    • Isn’t Jacques w/ Pens?

      • You’re right Vince – mistake there – and fresh off a Stanley Cup too!

  2. I think Travis green might get a call from the avs

    • I read that Green was in the running for the Anaheim job to the very end.

  3. I would like to see more fresh faces in the NHL coaching ranks. Stop regurgitating coaches that have passed their best before dates.

    There are a bunch of coaches in the AHL, Major JR, the College ranks as well as in assistant coaching roles in the NHL; although quite late in the summer for a team to lose that asset, ready for the opportunity to coach in the NHL.

    Travis Green would be a great option & the cost in $ nominal.

    • As an Ottawa fan I am tired of new guys and am OK with rehashing an old experience coach

      • Yeah, that approach really worked well for THEM didn’t it? Hartsburg, Clouston, MacLean, Cameron – not one of whom ever rebounded with another head coaching job. However, before them, Martin did and, career wise, did pretty good, with an overall record of 547 wins 410 losses and 96 ties. With Ottawa he was 341 – 235 – 96 over 9 seasons, 110 – 100 with Florida over 3, and 97 – 75 with Montreal over 3.

  4. I’m Pretty sure we will see Vesey signed to coach the Av’s in two days.

  5. I think it’s time for Arizona to move on from Hanzal. Can’t stay healthy & Arizona is ready to start giving his ice time to younger players.

    Keep him until the trade deadline & maximize his value in trade. It will cost over 4.5 mill per on at least a 5 year deal & really Hanzal is a #3 C that can play as a #2 for stretches but not really suited to that role.

    The issue though is with Vermette having been bought out Hanzal is the only veteran C with a pulse offensively. Richardson & White are checkers & numerous kids are coming that are or can play C but to young to turn the reigns over too.

    • Arizona does have amazing talent coming up at center. They got Strome, Dvorak and MacInnis. all of whom are very able. I don’t think there’s another team in the league that matches the prospect talent they got coming up.

  6. Luke Richardson might be a good option for the Avs too. He’s done a great job with the younger guys coming up in the Sens organization over the last few years and he’s available.

  7. The bruins will sign Vesey on Monday or Sweeney will be rode out of town on a rail!

    • Better tell him to buy his Train ticket then

      • And get him a ticket to Toronto!

    • Sweeney isn’t going any where. Been on the job for 1 year & has implemented a rebuild on the fly. 11 layers with 2 or less years of experience played significant roles for the Bruins last seaso, he solved the cap issues & restocked the prospect pool in the blink of an eye.

      • Finally someone who knows what they are talking about when it comes to the B’s – deep down the middle, good wings and one of the best goalies in the league. A top 2 D man & maybe a forward away from being contenders again .

      • Hope so Da Bear,

        It’s always best when original six teams are in the mix!

      • Love for Sweeney. Other than that damn Rinaldo trade, however it was a gamble. Vesey or no Vesey, Boston has one of the best top 9 in the league because of Sweeney and co

      • Signing backes made no sense if a rebuild is happening didn’t like the miller contract either he is a bottom pairing dmen at best

      • The Backes signing makes sense in that if Sweeney did nothing to replace eriksson, everyone would hate him. He also provides leadership and grit that Boston is lacking. He is a good role model for Belesky, Hayes, etc.

        K. Miller also had some of the best numbers on the team. Has also led them in plus minus for two years. He’s still young and got significantly better towards the end of the season. He is a late bloomer. And their D would be worse next season without him.

  8. Re Hanzal and all UFAs at season’s end: There is an expansion draft coming. Teams must expose players that are under contract. Meaning I am sure teams with UFAs they want to re-sign but players under contract they also want to keep will leave the UFAs unsigned until after the expansion draft. I not sure this is the case with Hanzal specifically but it is a possibility. I am sure it is the case in Montreal. Condon and Montoya are UFAs at seasons end but Mtl must expose one Goalie. It won’t be Price. I expect one of the two is signed be fore the expansion draft and the other staysa UFA until after the expansion draft. The goalie signed is NOT the back-up the team wants to keep. I think this idea will apply to all UFAs this year so all speculation needs to be tempered regarding lack of signings.

    • Hanzal does have a modified no trade clause

    • The expansion draft makes things interesting, and makes for some interesting hypotheticals.

      I was thinking about this as a way of circumvention the other day. What if Hanzal and Chayka come to an agreement, but decide to wait until after the draft to announce it to avoid having to protect Hanzal?

      Also, what happens to a team that has to expose a goalie, but also has to protect the only goalie under contract? For instance Chicago only has one goalie under contract right now for the season after next, and Crawford has a NMC.

      What happens if a team has no goalie under contract. Right now, unless Calgary signs one of it’s goalies to a contract, they don’t have a goalie under contract at all past next season. Does this mean they have to sign both? Or would they not sign either since signing just one would mean they can’t protect them anyway?

  9. I think It will be one of the thee . Richardson, Martin, or Green . Col. is lucky to have a number of good candidates. Probably going to be good thing replacing Roy right now….. Marc Crawford another

  10. Avalanche will be calling Claude Lemieux to see if he wants to be the coach. He’d probably bring somebody in with him. Probably call Kris Draper up.