NHL Rumor Mill – April 1, 2024

by | Apr 1, 2024 | Rumors | 5 comments

A look at what could be in store for the Blues during the offseason plus speculation of a possible coaching change for the Red Wings in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.


THE ATHLETIC: With the St. Louis Blues poised to miss the playoffs again, Jeremy Rutherford believes St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong will shake up his roster during the offseason.

The Blues will still be retooling their roster. Rutherford doesn’t see Armstrong making significant, expensive upgrades. Any big moves could involve money going out rather than coming in. He also doesn’t see the Blues GM spending to the salary cap next season.

Rutherford doesn’t expect pending unrestricted free agents Sammy Blais and Kasperi Kapanen will be back. Marco Scandella could also be allowed to walk depending on what plans Armstrong has for his top-four defense and for Scott Perunovich.

He also doesn’t believe the Blues will buy out a high-salaried defenseman’s contract. Armstrong hasn’t gone the buyout route since becoming the general manager in 2010. He could instead attempt to package one of them with a draft pick or prospect in a trade.

St. Louis Blues winger Pavel Buchnevich (NHL Images)

Rutherford doesn’t see the Blues shying away from signing winger Pavel Buchnevich to a long-term extension. He thinks it could come down to where they see Buchnevich’s arc, how much he wants and if they think they’re going to compete in the next few years.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli recently examined the Blues’ options if they attempt to move a high-salaried defenseman like Colton Parayko, Torey Krug, Justin Faulk and Nick Leddy. All are signed for at least two more seasons after 2023-24 and have no-trade clauses.

Parayko would have the most value but he’s also the defenseman the Blues probably don’t want to move. They tried to trade Krug last summer and a lot of teams view the undersized defenseman differently in the playoffs. There are also some diminishing returns on Faulk.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the goal is to shed salary the Blues have to move one of those four defensemen. They had a deal in place last June to send Krug to the Philadelphia Flyers but he used his no-trade clause to reject the trade as is his right.

Armstrong could approach one of those blueliners and ask them for a list of preferred destinations if he hasn’t already done so. Parayko is probably the only one he could move without having to include sweeteners in the deal. The rest could cost some combination of draft picks, prospects and a good young NHL player to make it happen.

Buchnevich surfaced in the rumor mill leading up to last month’s trade deadline. Some teams reportedly contacted Armstrong asking if he was available. The Blues GM wasn’t shopping the 28-year-old winger but was willing to set a high asking price to see if anyone would meet it.

Armstrong could follow the same plan this summer if teams come calling about Buchnevich. However, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Blues signed him to a contract extension.


DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Bob Duff reported a source told him that Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman is mulling the possibility of a coaching change in the offseason.

The source claimed Yzerman could replace Derek Lalonde as head coach if the Wings fail to reach the playoffs this season. Lalonde is currently in the second year of a three-year contract.

Former St. Louis Blues coach Craig Berube is said to be at the top of Yzerman’s wish list.

Another source told Duff that Yzerman read the riot act to his coaching staff and players on Friday regarding their recent lackluster performance. They’re 0-2-2 on their current five-game road trip that ends on Monday in Tampa Bay.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wings were in freefall throughout March, winning just three of 14 games. They tumbled out of a wildcard berth and sit two points out of a playoff spot with eight games to play.

Duff noted that the Wings’ slow start to games, their puck management and defensive structure have been issues this season. Part of that is how the team is constructed, which is Yzerman’s department. However, the coaching staff also deserves its share of the blame.

It wouldn’t be shocking if Yzerman shook up his coaching staff by hiring a more experienced bench boss with Stanley Cup experience.


  1. Duff is not a guy that knows what Yzerman’s next move is. He is spit balling for clicks.
    But Berube may be what this team needs, but Coach Q would be a better choice, but that may not happen as forgiveness is in short supply now a days.

    • Duff sounds like make-it-up Murphy in Boston.

    • What’s with this Coach Q thing Johnny? It’s odd IMO.

      Or maybe I just don’t understand it, so perhaps you could explain why he deserves to be a coach in the NHL again and why players should pay him the respect you need to coach an NHL team. He has proven he won’t have their back when it matters the most and is difficult.

      Its not like he’s doing time in Rikers, he’s simply not coaching in the NHL. There are 32 HC jobs in the NHL, why would any of those GM’s/Owners choose him?

      The only forgiveness that matters is from Kyle Beach, and I’ll leave that up to him.

    • Coach Q and Babcock are history!

  2. Duff cannot write a single article without using mind-numbingly asinine language, which he appears to have developed as his own “style” or something. He has also in recent weeks taken fans to task for despairing comments on social media regarding what’s happened to the Wings since March began… and subsequently written a despairing article about just how hopeless they are.

    I suppose this doesn’t disqualify him from being able to carry out a conversation with insider sources, but it sure makes me suspicious. Ansar Khan and Kevin Allen seem to be the only decent Wings beat writers at this point, and the former is usually paywalled now.