NHL Rumor Mill – May 1, 2023
What next for the Avalanche and Bruins following their early postseason exits? What’s the latest on the Jets and Wild? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Roundup.
WHAT NEXT FOR THE AVALANCHE AND BRUINS?
ESPN.COM: Ryan S. Clark looked at what might be ahead for the Colorado Avalanche following their stunning first-round elimination by the Seattle Kraken.
He wondered if center J.T. Compher could be the member of the Avs to depart via free agency due to their limited salary-cap space. Young players like Bowen Byram and Alex Newhook will need raises coming off their entry-level contracts.
Clark also noted the uncertainty over the status of team captain Gabriel Landeskog, who missed this entire season with a nagging knee injury. His return would bolster their top six but it’s possible his recovery drags on into next season.
THE DENVER POST: Mark Kiszla also raised Landeskog’s status in assessing where the Avalanche goes from here. He noted Valeri Nichushkin’s banishment from the lineup during the series with the Kraken following an incident involving an intoxicated woman in his hotel room in Seattle before Game 3.
Kiszla wondered if a major roster renovation rather than retooling might be in order if Landeskog doesn’t fully recover and if Nichushkin cannot be trusted as a key member of this squad going forward.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly shows the Avalanche with $13.2 million in projected cap space for 2023-24 with 13 roster players under contract. That won’t leave much to re-sign Compher, Byram and Newhook and leave enough for the rest of the roster.
They could get $7 million in wiggle room if Landeskog remains sidelined heading into 2023-24, though they’ll have to become cap compliant if he returns to action at some point in the season. As for Nichushkin, we don’t know what the outcome of this will be. He’s not facing any criminal charges but the Avs not bringing him back into the lineup raised questions about his future.
A rebuild would involve shedding salary by moving out one or two key players. I don’t think that’s something management has in mind. However, it’s going to be difficult to add upgrades given their cap limitations.
Kristen Shilton, meanwhile, examined the issues facing the Boston Bruins following their first-round elimination by the Florida Panthers.
Topping the list is whether captain Patrice Bergeron and fellow center David Krejci are willing to return for one more season. Both players were injured heading into that series with the Kraken.
The Bruins must also decide whether they’ll re-sign trade-deadline acquisitions Tyler Bertuzzi, Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway, who are slated to become UFAs on July 1. Meanwhile, backup goalie Jeremy Swayman is a restricted free agent coming off his entry-level contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Limited cap space will also complicate the Bruins’ offseason plans. Cap Friendly shows them with $10.5 million in projected cap space with 14 roster players under contract. However, that doesn’t appear to take into account the $4.5 million in carryover bonus overages for Bergeron and Krejci.
They’ll still have enough for Bergeron and/or Krejci if they wish to return on affordable one-year contracts. However, they’ll have to shed salary to re-sign Swayman and to fill out the rest of the lineup. I don’t see them being able to clear sufficient space to retain Bertuzzi, Orlov and Hathaway. One of them, perhaps, but that’s it.
LATEST ON THE JETS AND WILD
WINNIPEG SUN: Paul Friesen reports Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff was evasive regarding his offseason plans other than confirming Rick Bowness and the coaching staff will return next season.
Some of it was understandable. For example, it’s too early to tell where someone like goaltender Connor Hellebuyck stands regarding a contract extension. However, Cheveldayoff didn’t say if he’s going to rebuild the roster but didn’t rule it out.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Friesen was caustic in his analysis of Cheveldayoff’s press conference yesterday. He thinks the Jets are in decline but the general manager doesn’t seem to believe it.
The always-cautious Cheveldayoff may be unwilling to tip his hand publicly but that doesn’t mean he won’t make a move or two to shake things up. Actions, as always, speak louder than words. We’ll learn his true intentions over the course of this offseason.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Sammi Silber wondered if the Jets and Washington Capitals might be perfect trade partners. Both clubs could be making changes following their disappointing performances this season.
The Capitals have two trade candidates in forwards Evgeny Kuznetsov and Anthony Mantha plus some budding prospects that could become trade chips.
Silber observed Capitals GM Brian MacLellan hopes to revamp his top six and add secondary scoring. She noted that the futures of Jets forwards Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Nikolaj Ehlers are in question.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cheveldayoff could get better returns for his trade candidates than Kuznetsov and Mantha. The former has undeniable skill but his inconsistent play and previous off-ice issues are concerning while the latter is oft-injured and has consistency issues of his own.
TWINCITIES.COM: Dane Mizutani wondered what it will cost the Minnesota Wild to re-sign goaltender Filip Gustavsson. He was their starter in this year’s postseason and is poised to be their No. 1 netminder even with Marc-Andre Fleury returning next season. He’s a restricted free agent slated for a big raise next season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap room will be an issue for the Wild next season with $3.4 million in projected space and 22 players under contract. Gustavsson is coming off a two-year deal with a cap hit of less than $788K per season. He has arbitration rights this summer.
Mizutani also wondered if this is Matt Dumba’s final season with the Wild. While the pending UFA defenseman would love to stay in Minnesota, there aren’t sufficient cap dollars to keep him.
THE ATHLETIC: Michael Russo and Joe Smith also wondered about the Wild’s offseason plans. They agree that re-signing Gustavsson should be their priority as well as shoring up their depth at center.
They also wondered if puck-moving defenseman Calen Addison could become a trade candidate after he was scratched from the lineup multiple times during the second half of the season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Addison, 23, is coming off his entry-level contract and had 29 points in 62 games this season. His defensive game needs improvement but a rival club could be intrigued by his offensive abilities. Perhaps he become a trade chip if the Wild are squeezed for cap space. Maybe he could be used as trade bait to land a center.
All this speculation … they need to follow the advice of Yogi Berra who once observed that “it’s tough to make predictions … especially about the future.”
Ah, the immortal Yogi:
“No one goes to that restaurant any more – it’s too crowded.”
The Bruins, notably Bergeron and Krejci, appear to be at a fork in the riad right now. And as Yogi said, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it”.
hey George, how do you feel about the idea of the Sens trying to get Hellebuyck?
Would love that … but it’s what the Jets would … and should … demand in return that gives me pause.
And, no, I seriously doubt they’d want any part of DeBrincat.
MAF back to PGH with 1 million retained. every dollar counts. PGH should let Jarry go
I’d be all for it. In for a penny in for a pound! Bring back Phil and resign bonino.
dont forget Hagelin
Yeah. What’s kinitz and Daley up to these days…
Ds Agree we should let Jarry go and sign Free agent Joonas Korpasalo to be the starter and MAF at $ 1 million to be the back up. or maybe 1A.
Maf is clearly a back up now and be a great way to finish off an amazing career.
Bergeron & Krejci.. Retirement looming for these two old Guys…🤔
If Bergeron and its a big IF….❓ The Bruins Captain Patrice Bergeron comes back for one more year.. he will look for $4M PA,….with 27 Goals and 31 ast
the way the NHL throughs money around that would be a good deal…But he looked Very Tired also @ 38 yrs old i think he maybe done too…..🤔
I think @ 37 yrs old, David Krejci is done he looked Very Tired the last number of games played in regular season
He will go back home to the Czech Republic, he did play well oin the playoffs 4 pts in 4 games
Boston has 9 UFA players on the Roster to Replace,
They Have 4 RFA players on the Roster to Replace and only $10.M in Cap Space.❗️🤔
A number of changes coming in Boston for next season…
Status quo isn’t an option in Winnipeg.
GM supports the coach, the players don’t.
Even if the GM was willing to fire the coach, changes would still have to be made.
Blake Wheeler has a 5 team trade list
Mark Scheifele has a 10 team no trade list
Pierre-Luc Dubois has no protection
Nic Ehlers – 10 team no trade list
Josh Morrissey – NMC
Popular opinion in Winnipeg is that both Scheifele and PLD need to be traded if not willing to sign long term.
You have a returning coach who stripped Wheeler of the captaincy. You have players on their exit interviews say they still view Wheeler as their captain.
I like Wheeler he gives 100%, 100% of the time. But i think it time to move him if you want the coach to have control of the team.
Wheeler isn’t a easy move one year at $8,250,000 and a 5 team trade list.
Wheeler came out against the coach and supported his teammates, some still view him as the captain. I don’t see how you can continue this relationship and expect everyone to be on the same page.
Will the city of Winnipeg stomach a rebuild or re-tool? Especially when you see their gate sales have been trending downward every year since the Covid disaster. That’s the type of thing that can make a team move.
Ron, if Winnipeg loses another NHL franchise that’ll be it for the city.
But it’s not as if they have to look at a re-build on the basis of having become a bottom-feeder. Despite all the internal angst, they still made the playoffs and although losing in 5 to Vegas, including an OT loss, they weren’t exactly run out of the rink.
There are some malcontents in that line-up who will have to be moved, which puts them on the horns of a dilemma – roster-wise – since it will require someone at the helm other than ultra-cautious Cheveldayoff.
Right now they rank 13th out of 32 in terms of their prospect pool, with the best of their batch being Perfetti, Heinola, Lucius, McGroarty and Samberg.
Thanks, that good to know. I hope they turn things around and can’t help but feel like Bettman is licking his chops waiting to move them again. That team is and should be better than it’s shown.
Quick retool in the off-season. If the boys want to play one more year, great. If they don’t, fine. Fill the holes. Next man up. Given the quality of wingers we have, Coyle and Zacha should fit in well in their new roles if they are presented with them.
Same goalies, minor pieces out. Fat trimming, if you will. Pull from Providence to fill out the bottom six and third pairing.
I wouldn’t mind keeping Bertuzzi or Oralov, but not both. They both had excellent impact on the team overall, but it’s about money now. I’d bet we can’t retain either. Bert to Dallas and Oralov to the highest bidder is my guess.
“Bert to Dallas and Oralov to the highest bidder is my guess.”
Please tell me you think that Boston is going to trade these expiring contracts.
“Quick retool in the off-season.”
Sure, they’re just going to quickly and easily replace Bergeron and Krecji, and they’re going to do it for less than the $3.5M the cost combined this year. Oh, and let’s not forget the $4.5M that the BRuins will have in cap overage penalties from this year.
But sure, quick retool, then they’ll be back at the top.
Thats the spirit!
Now that was funny SOP!
Made my day.
Time for Colorado to blow it up. Don’t make the same mistakes as Pittsburgh and warshington. Trade the stars before they get old and feeble. Don’t take the chance at a cup in the next few years when you could have prospects and picks that could maybe give you a shot at cup in 7-8 years!
Oh. And it’s obvious Boston should have never resigned Bergeron and krecji. And those futures at the deadline? What a waste. Should have tanked so they coulda had a shot at Bedard. Fools!
I sense sarcasm, but did anybody outside the Pittsburgh faithful see the Pens making a run this year?
In the last 6 years they’ve won exactly one round in the playoffs, 6 years ago. Followed by 4 consecutive 1st round exits, followed by missing all together.
I see a trend. The only thing holding on has accomplished was that streak that ended this year.
They don’t give out trophies for consecutive playoff appearances.
It’s fairly obvious (no pun intended) that Pittsburgh should at least have started a retool 3-4 years ago.
Could not possibly agree more. And right there with them are the Capitals.
Good strategy Chrisms.. The Presidents trophy winningteam tanking…good plan good grief mate.
Great organizations don’t tank bro..
Sarcasm bro. Sarcasm.
We’ve got a local boy if Boston wants to maintain the vet centre theme, can’t imagine the cost to get Hayes would be much, he’s clearly on the outs. I also think the B’s should trade Swagman for some youth, maybe Zona for Keller or something along those lines
I’d rather have Gritty…
Could be a package deal, Gritty & Hayes seem to have a legit bromance….Hayes is out, that’s a given….losing 2 centres, local boy, older player…seemed like a fit. If they need salary retention from Philly’s end, draft pick or prospect cost rises…ish
Trade Swagman (Swayman ??) for youth. At 24, Jeremy is the definition of a young goalie, with potential to be a #1. Ulmark has little playoff experience or success.
Too early to have e a good handle on Swayman’s upside, so probably best to keep both goalies for another year.
I’d move Ullmark I believe Swayman can handle the load and they need the cap space to sign a couple of returnees. Bring up a kid line I’ve been preaching this for years should always have young guys with speed and energy playing. Beecher Steen Lysell Mason Merkulov Harrison……..
Ottawa Needs a good young Starting goaltender…??
Swayman and a 2nd pick to Ottawa
To Boston A young Scoring RW Alex De Brincat 110 Goals in the last 3 years….⁉️✔️
makes so much sence for both teams….
*autocorrected Swayman….he’s young and good yes, about to get a raise, maybe a battle over salary (RFA), B’s went all in on Ullmark, they can’t invest a ton on goalies…after the play-off performance they r almost for sure stuck with Ullmark. Plus, Boston is WAY over in bonuses…which will affect their cap space even more, + Pasta’s extension obviously
Sutter out in Calgary.
Not surprising ShoreOrrPark. Question now is, who do they replace him with? His brother Brent? (facetiously stated)
30 head coaches in the AHL plus all the NHL assistants. No shortage of candidates, just have to find the best fit, someone to fire up Huberdeau. If Calgary had won 50% of their overtime games, they would have easily qualified for the playoffs.
$9 million in salary increases kick in next season, with Lucic and Ritchie coming off the books ($7.75 million). New GM will have some shuffling / re-tooling work to accomplish.
No young superstars, Calgary’s window of opportunity is pretty short.
Might I suggest Andrew Brunette for the vacancy in Calgary?
I have stated multiple times prior to the playoffs starting about the President’s trophy winner curse. Now Something like 3 in the last 21.
I thought this year could -should be different. Apparently not.
What’s next the Leafs win the cup