Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – May 7, 2023

by | May 7, 2023 | Rumors | 23 comments

A look at rumored candidates for the Rangers’ head-coaching job plus the latest Penguins speculation in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.


NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks wondered who would replace Gerard Gallant after he and the Rangers mutually agreed to part ways on Saturday.

Brooks reports Joel Quenneville will not be among the candidates. He remains under an unofficial and open-ended suspension by the NHL for his failure to act responsibly in the Kyle Beach sexual assault issue while coaching the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010. The Rangers will not approach the league to ask commissioner Gary Bettman to lift his suspension.

New York Rangers general manager Chris Drury (

General manager Chris Drury and his staff have begun compiling a list of candidates but there is so far no clear front-runner. It’s uncertain whether candidates such as Patrick Roy who didn’t get an interview two years ago will be in the mix now.

Prior to Gallant and the Rangers parting company, a source suggested former Calgary Flames bench boss Darryl Sutter to Brooks. However, he doubts that a coach who alienated part of his roster this season while failing to reach the playoffs would be a candidate for the Blueshirts’ coaching gig.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This being one of the notable head coaching jobs in the NHL, we’re likely to hear plenty of rumors in the coming weeks over who will be Gallant’s replacement. I agree with Brooks that Sutter probably won’t be a candidate after the season he had with the Flames.

It’ll be interesting to see who the Rangers bring in. Will they go with an experienced NHL coach or look toward someone from the minors, junior or college ranks? We’ll likely know before the NHL Draft (June 28-29) as I daresay they’ll want that position filled before then.


THE HOCKEY NEWS: Nick Horwat recently suggested the Pittsburgh Penguins look toward the Winnipeg Jets as possible offseason trade partners.

The Jets could be looking at shaking things up this summer following their disappointing performance down the stretch and their first-round elimination by the Vegas Golden Knights.

Connor Hellebuyck could be of interest to the Penguins, who need an upgrade in goal. The former Vezina Trophy winner is 30 and has a year left on his contract with a cap hit of $6.1 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Horwat believes Hellebuyck would be worth every penny for the Penguins. Cap Friendly shows them with over $20 million in cap space for 2023-24 so they can afford to acquire him.

Hellebuyck also lacks no-trade protection. If the Jets decide to shop him, their asking price could include the Penguins’ 2023 first-round pick.

PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dan Kingerski was asked by several readers if Hellebuyck or Anaheim Ducks goalie John Gibson could be in play in the offseason trade market.

Kingerski doubts the Ducks will peddle Gibson if they get a top-two pick in this year’s draft. If they do make him available, he doubts the Penguins can afford to acquire him, suggesting the Ducks could seek two first-round picks and more in return.

Hellebuyck, on the other hand, could be a different story. He believes the Jets might be amenable to a player-for-player trade, though the Penguins convincing one of their players with a no-trade or no-move clause to accept a move to Winnipeg could be a problem.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kingerski also noted the Ottawa Senators are reportedly interested in Gibson but can outbid the Penguins. However, the Senators might not be on his list of acceptable trade destinations.

Recent rumors suggest the Ducks are willing to help Gibson find a suitable trade destination, preferably one that isn’t rebuilding. The Pittsburgh native could accept coming home to play with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

The Penguins will likely have to give up their first-rounder in the deal but the rest of the asking price might not be that expensive. The Ducks already have six picks in the first three rounds of this year’s draft and in next year’s as well. They could be more interested in moving Gibson’s contract, which has four years remaining with an annual cap hit of $6.4 million.

Horwat also suggested center Mark Scheifele and defenseman Neal Pionk as trade targets. He admits the 29-year-old Scheifele might be hard to fit in on a club already deep with centers but felt he’s the kind of talent you find a solution for. Horwat considers Pionk more obtainable, suggesting he’d be a good replacement for Jeff Petry.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Scheifele is talented and could skate on the wing alongside Sidney Crosby or perhaps he could center the second line with Evgeni Malkin shifted to the wing. Like Hellebuyck, he has a year remaining on his contract. Scheifele has also faced criticism in recent years for his inconsistent play.

Pionk would be a good replacement for the aging Petry provided the Penguins can find a taker for him to clear his $6.25 million annual cap hit from their books. That’s assuming the Jets are willing to move Pionk.

Horwat also looked at possible buyout candidates. The first choice would be Jeff Carter but he’s on a 35-plus contract, meaning his annual cap hit would still count in full against the Penguins’ salary cap.

Jeff Petry and forward Mikael Granlund are other possibilities. However, there’s also the concern that those buyouts could become anchors if the rest of the roster is built incorrectly.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins appear stuck with Carter for the final season of his contract. They can’t buy him out and he’s got a full no-movement clause.

I suspect the Penguins would prefer trading Petry and/or Granlund even if they have to retain a portion of their salary rather than buy them out. Whether they go either route remains to be seen. New management could see how both perform next season.


  1. Greetings from Columbus everyone as we anxiously await the draft lottery. This is one of the rare cases where the importance of tomorrow’s result on the CBJ’s future can’t be overstated. If CBJ land 1-2 it is immediately franchise changing. Being optimistic, if they slide to 3-4 they still have an excellent probability of landing the coveted 1C they have lacked since day 1. However, that pick isn’t going to be an immediate franchise impact player and the risk/stakes of making the correct long-term decision (Carlsson or Smith) is monumental. High pressure franchise defining moment…As a long-time resident and fan, I am hoping for the best outcome as this team, fanbase, and city truly deserves some good fortune tomorrow night!

    Insert your favorite movie line here:
    May the Force Be with You 5th Line!
    May the Odds Be Forever in your Favor CBJ!

    Portzline and others are already linking Gallant to the CBJ coaching vacancy. Interestingly, there was also belief reported that other high profile candidates may emerge depending on tomorrow’s lottery outcome. A huge day tomorrow followed by a significant summer of decisions. Hold on tight!

    • As a hockey fan with my team not having a chance @ Bedard I go CBJ(that city needs it) or MTL. Add him to the other young players in Montreal already and will be a fun team to watch.

      • Nope. Montreal has had their kicks at the can. Another # 1 and they’re edging into Edmonton territory.

        If there’s any justice it should be Columbus or Anaheim.

      • Rather see him out west. Ducks or Yotes

      • George, I’m not quite sure your statement about Montreal is accurate in any possible way.

        2022 1st overall (Slafkovsky)
        2021 31st overall (Mailloux)
        2020 16th overall (Guhle)
        2019 15th overall (Caufield)
        2018 3rd overall (Kotkaniemi)
        2017 25th overall (Vaselainen)

        Far from 4 1st overall’s in 5 years. Then again the Oilers only had 1 of those become actually become the best player in their draft and game changing. Unlike Pittsburgh below getting one of the most winning goalies of all time, a top 5 player all time and probably top 5 Russian player of all time. (Oilers getting top German all time is not really an accomplishment because there wasn’t much of a competition for that haha) Unlucky for the Oilers in the other drafts that they just weren’t as strong as a lot of other years.

        2010 1st overall (Hall)
        2011 1st overall (Nuge)
        2012 1st overall (Yakupov)
        2013 8th overall (Nurse)
        2014 3rd overall (Draisaitl)
        2015 1st overall (Mcdavid)
        2016 3rd overall (Puljujarvi)

        I don’t really remember anyone complaining when Pittsburgh drafted

        2002 5th overall (Whitney)
        2003 1st overall (Fleury)
        2004 2nd overal (Malkin)
        2005 1st overall (Crosby)
        2006 2nd overall (Staal)

        Or Chicago

        2004 3rd overall (Barker)
        2005 7th overall (Skille)
        2006 3rd overall (Toews)
        2007 1st overall (Kane)

      • Yeah, Travis, but their most recent # 1 was 2022 and in their history they have had some manipulated # 1s of their own (Lafleur for example – the result of legerdemain by Sammy Pollock in sending enough players to a rival west coast team to ensure the team he just dealt with for their # 1 finished dead last).

        The last # 1 for Columbus was 21 years ago while Anaheim hasn’t had one in their long history (their closest was 2005 when they had the 2nd pick and chose Bobby Ryan).

      • Actually George, if there were justice in this year’s draft lottery, the two teams that have had the worst lottery luck recently would get the number one and two picks, which would be Vancouver and Detroit. Since 2016, neither team has ever improved their standing in the draft. Vancouver has dropped a combined 7 spaces during that span, and Detroit has dropped 8. Unfortunately, Vancouver can do no better than the number 5 pick this year, so let’s agree to award them with it. Detroit can move up to number 1, and it would be only fair to rectify all of their recent lottery bad luck and award the number one pick to the Red Wings.

        Does everyone agree ?

      • But in their history both have had the # 1 pick – Anaheim has never.

    • George, the last time the Red Wings picked at number 1 was 1986…..6 years before Anaheim joined the NHL.

      • Oh, I know that Iago. I was talking franchise history. And in their entire 30 years of existence they have not had one # 1 pick.

  2. If the Leafs lose four straight Keefe will be looking for a new job!

    • mark, if that happens there will be calls for, not only Keefe’s head but for those of Dubas and Shanahan as well.

      Such calls – and they will be inevitable and loud – will be made on the basis that, yes, while admittedly the team is exciting to watch during the season with a clutch of players annually up among the league leaders in goals/points … the style just doesn’t translate to extended success when it comes to playoff hockey.

      Unfair? Many will see it that way … and they may be right … but others will point to the abrupt departure of Gallant following two 100 points plus seasons as an example of one ownership group having little patience with playoff failures, and expect their own to follow suit.

      Part of the problem there, however, is that Leafs ownership is a faceless committee. Maybe it’s time to sell to a gung-ho, dedicated owner. Hell, if the Senators can go for a billion dollars, imagine what the Leafs would sell at!

      • Hello George,

        While I agree with you the buyer isn’t just purchasing the leafs. They get the Jay’s and raptors not to mention Roger’s centre and Scotiabank arena. They come as a package so the price tag was already well over a billion years ago. It would probably be in the 3 billion range now and that’s only for the majority share not even full ownership.

    • Mark…Dubas gone too ? Wouldnt mind seeing Dubas the new GM for the Penguins..

      I know his contract is up will they renew it? He has provided the Leafs with some amazing players over the last couple years…from Giordano Brodie, Ryan OReilly, McCabe Schenn.

      Can’t say he hasn’t provided the cupboard???

  3. Who will Replace Gallant as NYR Coach ….❓

    Brooks reports Joel Quenneville will not be among the candidates…. 🤔 He remains under an unofficial and open-ended suspension by the NHL

    Quenneville would be the Best Coach to fix the Rangers Team with his Experience, he is a Very Very Good Coach.
    Im sure this Unofficial Open Ended Suspension will get lifted soon if he want to go back to work…❓

    I see Sutter name get mentioned… He is done the after the Flames Fiasco and his Very Very Poor relationship with all the players…
    Sound like Half the team said if he is back im putting in a Trade Request….‼️😳

    • Not sure why Q’s name got thrown out there. Maybe his ties to Panarin and Kane but, Chicago traded Panarin the last time he didn’t score a goal in playoffs. I don’t think Drury wants him back and I’m not sure he’d sign Kane unless it’s a real cheap deal.
      As far as Sutter, his brothers were with Isles during height of that rivalry. Not sure Ranger fans want to see that mug begins the bench. For my money, I’d like Sullivan if he became available. AHL coach Knoblach would be a fresh face. Going back to when Gallabt was hired I thought maybe Hartley had a shot. Maybe Tony Granato.

      • Bryan Trottier was the coach of the NY rangers not too long ago.

        I don’t think people will care about a brother relationship.

      • Grittier wasn’t nearly the hated player that the Sutters were.

      • **Trottier**

        “ However, his brief stint with the Rangers lasted only 54 games, slightly longer than the halfway mark of the season. In addition to receiving criticism from Isles fans who labeled him a traitor, he drew the rage of Ranger fans as well”

  4. If Hellebuyck isn’t willing to sign a long term contract. Then the smart decision would be to trade him. However I still don’t see Chevy moving him.

    The issue with Hellebuyck is two fold.

    Chevy hasn’t gotten a decent enough backup who can play 30 games.

    The defense isn’t good enough for an ordinary backup.

    Hellebuyck plays too many games.

    Send him to Boston for Ullmark.

  5. Go yotes or Columbus! Make them 1-2! As a Pittsburgh fan I’m using the red phone in the basement of the igloo that goes directly to bettman to tell him to rig the balls.

  6. Nothing at all behind the Sutter suggestion. He left his ranch to coach one team only, the Flames. He will go back on his ranch and stay there.

  7. A lot of spots for head coach jobs. If you like him or her you had better jump. I Say her because it will be one day . Just not today .

    Leafs bench and suite acted like they just won the cup eliminating Tampa.
    Every team is happy but not that happy. Maybe lost sight of the real goal. No. One remembers second place.