Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – March 25, 2018
Latest on the Blackhawks and Hurricanes in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.
SPORTSNET: Nick Kypreos reports the future of Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville will be a hot topic of speculation at season’s end. He said it’s no secret Quennville and Blackhawks GM Joel Quenneville don’t have the healthiest of relationships, adding that things seemed to bottom out at the draft last year that Artemi Panarin was traded to Columbus for Brandon Saad well after the fact. It could have an effect upon the coaching market if Quenneville becomes available. Elliotte Friedman noted the Hawks coach has two years and $12 million remaining on his contract.
Rory Boylen recently speculated over possible offseason moves by the Blackhawks following this disappointing season. In addition to the speculation over Quenneville’s future, Boylen also noted Marc Savard’s appearance last Wednesday on Hockey Central at Noon discussing the club’s plight. Savard noted several key players, such as defensemen Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith and center Jonathan Toews, appear to be in decline.
Savard wondered if Toews is a guy worth putting on the trade block. “Does someone give you a couple nice pieces to move forward? I don’t think you move Patrick Kane at all, he’s still got all it takes. But you definitely need to do something going forward and it starts with those two key cogs. Are they going to get you to where you want to be in the future?”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Quenneville’s tenure with the Blackhawks could be drawing to a close. He could end up pay for the sins of management. If so, don’t expect him to stay unemployed for long.
Regarding Toews, Boylen suggests one reason for his struggles this season is the lack of quality wingers. I doubt Bowman will put his captain on the trade block, but I can the Hawks GM trying to find a way to bolster their depth on his captain’s line. Maybe that means putting him and Kane together and shoring up their secondary scoring depth.
Cap Friendly indicates the Blackhawks have over $68 million invested in 17 players for next season but all their core players are under contract. If the salary cap jumps to over $80 million for 2018-19, Bowman could have some wiggle room to go shopping for forward depth.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports Carolina Hurricanes head coach Bill Peters has a year remaining on his contract but carries an out-clause following this season. Friedman said it’s unknown right now if Peters will exercise that option but he’s another name that could be out there in the offseason.
FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK : On Friday, Friedman appeared on Edmonton’s 630 CHED discussing possible moves by the Hurricanes. He noted there’s been times in recent years where defenseman Justin Faulk and forward Jeff Skinner have surfaced at times in the rumor mill. Both are approaching the end of their current contracts. “I think that’s going to the question: Does Carolina see value as keeping them as UFAs, or do they go out and say, ‘You know what? This is not something we want to do.’
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Friedman noted, a lot will depend upon who becomes their new general manager. Peters could decide to bail or could be pressured into taking his early out if the new management wants to shake up the coaching staff.
As per Cap Friendly, Faulk has two years left on his contract worth an annual salary-cap hit of over $4.83 million while Skinner has one year left ($5.275-million cap hit) and a no-movement clause. Of the two, Faulk would be the easiest to move, perhaps as a trade chip to bring in a scoring forward.