NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 30, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 30, 2022

The Hurricanes and Rangers prepare for Game 7 in their second-round series, Jason Spezza retires, plus the latest on the Avalanche, Oilers, Lightning and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks believes the Rangers have the heart and fortitude to pick up their first road win in their second-round series against the Carolina Hurricanes and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. He also believes the club’s identity stems from goaltender Igor Shesterkin, who has garnered a growing edge over the Hurricanes’ Antti Raanta as this series progresses.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin sees no point in dwelling on his club’s loss in Game 6 when they have a good opportunity in front of them in Game 7. “Looking back at the Boston series, no one really talks about the fact we lost three on the road. You talks about the fact we won the series,” said Slavin.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes haven’t won on the road in this postseason but they’ve also never lost on home ice. If that trend continues, they’ll defeat the Rangers tonight and advance to meet the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Conference Finals.

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Jason Spezza has announced his retirement (NHL Images).

On the other hand, the Rangers’ have ridden Shesterkin’s solid goaltending and a never-say-die attitude to push the favored Hurricanes to a seventh and deciding game in this series. They could pull off the upset if Shesterkin continues to shine and Raanta struggles as he did in Game 6.

TORONTO SUN: Jason Spezza announced his retirement on Sunday after 19 seasons as an NHL player to become a special assistant to Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Duba. Spezza spent the past three seasons with the Leafs. He began his career with the Ottawa Senators in 2002-03, spending 11 seasons with them before moving on to the Dallas Stars for five seasons.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Spezza in his new role. His best seasons were with the Senators, helping them become one of the dominant clubs in the league between 2002-03 to 2007-08, culminating in reaching the 2007 Stanley Cup Final.

Spezza holds the Senators’ single-season record with 71 assists (2005-06) and tallied 87-plus points in three seasons between 2005-06 and 2007-08. He is second all-time among Senators scorers with 251 goals, 436 assists and 687 points.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Leon Draisaitl was a dominant force in the Edmonton Oilers’ second-round victory over the Calgary Flames. He set an NHL record for most assists in a playoff series with 15 and accomplished this while playing with a suspected ankle injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Draisaitl’s accomplishments have been overshadowed by the scoring of Connor McDavid and Evander Kane. With the focus on those two, he’s been able to thrive with his playmaking skills.

THE DENVER POST: Bo Byram has established himself as the Colorado Avalanche’s No. 3 defenseman in this postseason, filling in for the sidelined Samuel Girard after he suffered a season-ending sternum injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s been a difficult season for Byram as he’s had to battle back from concussion symptoms that limited him to just 30 games during the regular season. Finally healthy, he’s showing the skills that enticed the Avalanche to select him fourth overall in the 2019 draft.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Still awaiting the winner of the Hurricanes-Rangers series, the Lightning are simulating games in practice in anticipation of the start of the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The long layoff gives the Lightning’s banged-up players an opportunity to heal and return to action. However, the downside of that layoff is the risk of getting stale from a lack of serious game action. We’ll find out on Wednesday how much of an effect it’ll have on the Lightning’s performance.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Top NHL prospect Shane Wright will meet with the Canadiens at this week’s NHL Draft Combine in Buffalo. After that, he’ll be flown to New Jersey to meet with the Devils.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens hold the first-overall selection in the 2022 NHL Draft and are expected to select Wright. However, the Devils must be prepared in case the Habs choose someone else.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Former New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz interviewed with the Red Wings regarding their vacant bench boss position. He’s also met with the Winnipeg Jets, Philadelphia Flyers and Vegas Golden Knights. Trotz has reportedly told those interested clubs he won’t make his decision until he’s sure it’s the right one for himself and his family.

SPORTSNET: Vegas Golden Knights goalie Laurent Brossoit recently underwent hip surgery. The club is hopeful he’ll be available for the start of next season.










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – May 22, 2022

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – May 22, 2022

In the Sunday NHL rumor roundup, a collection of the latest Canucks speculation, the latest coaching rumors plus updates on the Stars and Devils.

LATEST ON THE CANUCKS

THE ATHLETIC: Thomas Drance and Rick Dhaliwal recently reported the Vancouver Canucks were thought to be ready to restart contract talks this past week with Brock Boeser’s representatives. They have sufficient salary-cap flexibility to tender a $7.5 million qualifying offer to Boeser by the July 11 deadline to retain his rights.

They feel the Canucks are unlikely to take Boeser to arbitration and could qualify him if a compromise isn’t reached beforehand. It’s believed that’s something the winger’s camp prefers as well. It could be a short-term extension, perhaps for three years and below the $7.5 million qualifier.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boeser’s annual cap hit on his current deal is $5.875 million. He’s going to seek a significant raise, especially after seeing what teammates Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes got last season. Granted, their raises came from the previous management but Boeser’s within his rights to seek a big pay bump. It probably won’t reach $7.5 million but it could be close to $7 million.

Team sources also doused reports suggesting Oliver Ekman-Larsson could be shopped in a cost-cutting move this summer. While the club may have done some due diligence on his trade value, they remain impressed with Ekman-Larsson as a player and a person.

Vancouver Canucks winger Brock Boeser (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ekman-Larsson’s big cap hit ($7.26 million) through 2026-27 plus his full no-movement clause would’ve made him difficult to move during an offseason when the salary cap is rising by just $1 million.

THE PROVINCE: Ben Kuzma believes J.T. Miller will draw plenty of trade interest if the Canucks cannot free up sufficient cap space to sign the 29-year-old center to a contract extension. He drew plenty of interest in this season’s trade market from the New York Rangers but Kuzma believes his career-best 99-point performance this season will draw a number of suitors attracted to his versatility.

If the Rangers still want Miller, Kuzma speculates the Canucks would want 2020 first-overall pick Alexis Lafreniere as part of the return. His former agent is Canucks assistant general manager Emilie Castonguay.

Re-signing Miller will be expensive. Kuzma cited the Rangers’ Mika Zibanejad and the San Jose Sharks’ Tomas Hertl as comparables. Both were making similar to Miller’s current cap hit ($5.5 million) before signing lucrative long-term deals. Zibanejad’s is for eight years and $68 million while Hertl’s is also for eight years and is worth $65.1 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Either decision comes with risk for the Canucks. Trade Miller and the return might not pan out as hoped for their long-term plans. Sign him for over $8 million annually on an eight-year deal and it could become a drain on their cap space that grows burdensome as his skill decline in the final years of the deal.

The Rangers could revisit their interest in Miller but that will depend on whether they get pending UFAs Ryan Strome and Andrew Copp signed before July 13. They could also consider more affordable options on long-term deals in the trade market, such as the Winnipeg Jets’ Mark Scheifele if he becomes available.

TIDBITS FROM THE LATEST “32 THOUGHTS” SATURDAY SEGMENT

SPORTSNET: Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman provided an update on Barry Trotz as the former New York Islanders head coach is drawing interest from teams seeking a new bench boss. He will meet with the Philadelphia Flyers this week. Marek believes the Flyers want to be thorough in assessing their coaching candidates. The Winnipeg Jets also met with Trotz while the Vegas Golden Knights and Detroit Red Wings could also be among his suitors.

The Dallas Stars could circle back to Rick Tocchet as a coaching candidate to replace Rick Bowness, who stepped down earlier this week. They had spoken with Tocchet earlier this season but couldn’t reach an agreement. They could also have an interest in the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires’ Marc Savard.

Speaking of the Stars, Marek believes they’d like to sign center Roope Hintz to a contract extension this summer. That could mean moving out a body. There could also be some clarity soon regarding the future of pending UFA defenseman John Klingberg.

Friedman reports the New Jersey Devils are considering all their options for the offseason. That could include shopping their first-round pick (second overall) in this year’s draft. He believes they should soon have a list of players that they would be interested in acquiring in exchange for that pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier this month, Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald stated he’d like to bring in an established player to complement his core of young forwards. He’s likely seeking a top-six winger to skate alongside Jack Hughes or Nico Hischier. Fitzgerald could also seek a starting goaltender given Mackenzie Blackwood’s ongoing injury and consistency problems.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 21, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 21, 2022

The Oilers tie their series with the Flames while the Hurricanes take a 2-0 series lead over the Rangers. Recaps and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Edmonton Oilers overcame a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Calgary Flames 5-3 in Game 2 to tie their second-round series at a game apiece. Connor McDavid started the rally with a goal and finished the game with two points while Leon Draisaitl and Zach Hyman each had a goal and two assists. Johnny Gaudreau collected two assists for the Flames. The series shifts to Edmonton for Game 3 on Sunday.

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames’ solid defensive play of the regular season and their first-round series against the Dallas Stars has abandoned them thus far in this series, as they’ve given 11 goals in two games to the Flames. They got away with it in Game 1 with a wild 9-6 win but it cost them in this game against an Oilers club determined not to fall behind 2-0 heading back home to Edmonton.

A shorthanded goal by Brendan Smith was the game-winner as the Carolina Hurricanes blanked the New York Rangers 2-0 in Game 2 to take a 2-0 lead in their second-round series. Antti Raanta made 21 saves for the shutout while Sebastian Aho also tallied for the Hurricanes. The series heads to New York for Game 3 on Sunday afternoon.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers are struggling against the Hurricanes’ suffocating defensive play. They’ve been held to just one goal thus far with their leading scorers (Mika Zibanejad, Adam Fox, Chris Kreider and Artemi Panarin) yet to make their mark in this series. If they don’t find a solution soon, they’ll be packing up their gear for the season by the middle of next week.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf, Edmonton Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse and New Jersey Devils blueliner P.K. Subban are this year’s finalists for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy honoring players who show leadership on and off the ice and make a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars head coach Rick Bowness announced Friday he was stepping down from his role. The club also announced assistant coaches Derek Laxdal, John Stevens and Todd Nelson would not be returning.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s talk Bowness isn’t done coaching in the NHL but could seek opportunities elsewhere. In his three seasons with the Stars, he guided them to the 2020 Stanley Cup Final and got them back into the playoffs this season after missing the cut in 2021. While the Stars were among the best defensive teams under his watch, they were also among the lowest-scoring. His replacement will likely put more emphasis on offense.

Speaking of coaches, Chicago Blackhawks beat reporter Jay Zawaski reports the club has reached out to former New York Islanders bench boss Barry Trotz. However, he’s likely not interested in coaching a rebuilding club.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trotz has been interviewed by the Winnipeg Jets and Philadelphia Flyers thus far. The Blackhawks are among what’s believed to be six or seven clubs that have reached out to him.

TSN: Florida Panthers forward Mason Marchment (lower-body injury) is unlikely to be available for Games 3 and 4 of his club’s series with the Tampa Bay Lightning. He hasn’t played since Game 4 of their first-round series against the Washington Capitals on May 9.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Marchment’s absence is among the reasons the Panthers find themselves down 2-0 in this series with the Lightning. He’s a valuable spark-plug player who netted 47 points in 54 games during the regular season.

Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander is joining Sweden for the remainder of the 2022 IIHF World Championship in Finland.

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Joonas Korpisalo won’t be testing this summer’s unrestricted free agent market. On Friday, the 28-year-old goaltender signed a one-year, $1.3 million contract extension with the Blues Jackets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a significant pay cut from the $3.4 million in actual salary ($2.8 million annual average value) he earned this season. Korpisalo lost the starter’s job to Elvis Merzlikins and struggled with injuries this season. Nevertheless, Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen praised his professionalism. He also has a good relationship with Merzlikins.

CBS SPORTS: Speaking of the Blue Jackets, pending free agent defenseman Dean Kukan intends to spend next season playing in Switzerland. The ZSC Lions are considered the front-runners for his services.

THE PROVINCE: Vancouver Canucks assistant coach Scott Walker won’t be returning with the club next season.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 19, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 19, 2022

The Flames and Hurricanes win the opening games of their respective second-round series, the Lady Byng Trophy finalists are revealed, the Kings extend GM Rob Blake, the Predators re-sign coach John Hynes, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: The Calgary Flames drew first blood in the “Battle of Alberta” by downing the Edmonton Oilers 9-6 in Game 1 of their second-round series. Calgary blew a 6-2 lead as the Oilers rallied to tie the game before the Flames scored three unanswered goals in the third period for the win.

Calgary Flames winger Matthew Tkachuk (NHL Images).

Matthew Tkachuk tallied a hat trick, Johnny Gaudreau collected three assists, Andrew Mangiapane and Rasmus Andersson each had a goal and two assists and Blake Coleman scored twice for the Flames. Connor McDavid had four points, Leon Draisaitl three points and Zach Hyman tallied twice for the Oilers, who pulled goalie Mike Smith after he gave up three goals on 10 shots in just over six minutes early in the first period.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was a wild throwback to high-scoring ’80s-style hockey though the two clubs had far more low-scoring games during their previous playoff games back in their rivalry’s heyday. This was a wildly entertaining match to kick off this series but I daresay we’ll see more closer-checking games as this series progresses.

An overtime goal by Ian Cole gave the Carolina Hurricanes a 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers in Game 1 of their second-round series. Filip Chytil opened the scoring in the first period for the Rangers, who clung to that narrow lead until Sebastian Aho tied it late in the third period. Hurricanes goaltender Antti Raanta made 27 saves while Rangers netminder Igor Shesterkin stopped 24 shots.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers controlled the play for most of this game. However, Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour’s line shuffling in the third provide the spark his club needed to find a way to win.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: Winnipeg Jets winger Kyle Connor, Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin and Minnesota Wild blueliner Jared Spurgeon are this year’s finalists for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, awarded to the NHL’s most gentlemanly player.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some will wonder why Spurgeon made the cut given he was fined $5,000.00 for cross-checking St. Louis Blues winger Pavel Buchnevich in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series. This award honors regular-season performance and the votes were likely cast before the start of the postseason.

TSN: The Los Angeles Kings have signed general manager Rob Blake to a new three-year contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise here. Blake’s done a good job rebuilding the Kings since taking over as their GM.

THE ATHLETIC: A source claims the Nashville Predators have signed head coach John Hynes to a new multi-year contract. An official announcement is expected at the Predators’ end-of-season press conference on Thursday.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators weren’t expected to qualify for the playoffs this season. Hynes’ coaching played a key role in the club exceeding expectations.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins GM Don Sweeney said his contract with the club has yet to be extended but he expects a resolution should be reached soon.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: The Philadelphia Flyers will be meeting with former New York Islanders coach Barry Trotz, who interviewed with the Winnipeg Jets earlier this week.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trotz is said to be weighing his options as to his next NHL coaching gig. There’s been speculation linking Trotz to the Vegas Golden Knights. So far, however, there’s no indication they’ve scheduled an interview with him.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Speaking of the Golden Knights, captain Mark Stone underwent back surgery on Wednesday. A timeline for when he’ll return to the ice isn’t expected until a month into his rehab.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators forward Tim Stueztle’s participation in the IIHF World Championships has been derailed by a knee strain. The injury isn’t serious but he faces a two-week recovery period.

NHL.COM: Florida Panthers defenseman Ben Chiarot was fined $5,000.00 for head-butting Tampa Bay Lightning forward Ross Colton during Game 1 of their second-round series.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Incidents of head-butting among NHL players have been on the rise recently. The league should do more to address this but I don’t hold out much hope given their foot-dragging on other disciplinary issues over the years.

NHL.COM: Ratings for the opening round of the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs were the highest since the advent of cable television.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s because of the league’s return to ESPN and the additional coverage TNT and TBS in the United States. Something that should’ve happened a long time ago.

 










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 18, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 18, 2022

The Avalanche and Lightning draw first blood in their respective second-round series, the Selke Trophy finalists are announced, the Jets interview Barry Trotz, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: An overtime goal by Josh Manson lifted the Colorado Avalanche to a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Blues in Game 1 of their second-round series. Valeri Nichushkin and Samuel Girard also scored for Colorado while Ryan O’Reilly and Jordan Kyrou tallied for St. Louis. Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington made 51 saves in this game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Binnington was outstanding in this contest and couldn’t be faulted on Manson’s screened shot eluding him in overtime. However, the Blues must do a better job containing the Avalanche’s fast-paced offense or this series won’t last long despite Binnington’s heroics in net.

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov (NHL Images).

Third-period goals by Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Nikita Kucherov and Ross Colton gave the Tampa Bay Lightning a 4-1 victory over the Florida Panthers in Game 1 of their second-round series. Kucherov and Corey Perry each had a goal and an assist while Andrei Vasilevskiy made 33 saves for the win. Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak left this contest in the second period after blocking a shot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I was looking forward to this series as last year’s first-round matchup between these two clubs was among the best of the 2021 postseason. Sadly, this game failed to match last year’s pace and intensity. Here’s hoping that improves as this series progresses. Penalties proved costly for the Panthers as three of the Lightning’s four goals came on the power play.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov, Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron and Calgary Flames center Elias Lindholm are this season’s finalists for the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the NHL’s top defensive forwards.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is the 11th straight season Bergeron has been a finalist for the Selke. He’s tied with Hall-of-Famer Bob Gainey for the most Selke wins (four) and could break that record this season. Barkov won the award last season while this is Lindholm’s first time as a finalist.

SPORTSNET: The Winnipeg Jets will be interviewing Barry Trotz for their vacant head-coaching position. Trotz, 59, is a two-time winner of the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year. He’s third all-time in NHL coaching wins, won the Stanley Cup in 2018 with the Washington Capitals, and guided the New York Islanders to the 2020 Eastern Conference Final and the 2021 semifinal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s how that interview with Jets general manager Ken Cheveldayoff should go: “Hi, Barry, how much money do you want, who do you want as your assistant coaches, and is there anything we can do to ease your family’s move to Winnipeg?”

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas and head coach Sheldon Keefe will be returning in their roles next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So will team president Brendan Shanahan. As I said after the Lightning eliminated the Leafs from the first round, the club’s franchise-best 115-point season and pushing the defending Stanley Cup champions to seven games in that series would buy that trio another season to get it right.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl could be dealing with a high-ankle sprain as his club prepares to face off with the Calgary Flames in their second-round series.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Draisaitl is believed to have suffered the injury in Game 6 of their opening-round series against the Los Angeles Kings. He played in Game 7 but has taken time away from recent Oilers’ practices.

TSN: It looks like Chris Tanev will be ready for tonight’s game against the Oilers. The Calgary Flames defenseman missed Game 7 of their first-round series with the Dallas Stars dealing with an undisclosed injury. He participated in practice with his teammates on Tuesday.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby and head coach Mike Sullivan denied a report claiming he was cleared to play in Game 6 against the New York Rangers after suffering a head injury in the previous game. The report also claimed Crosby was held out of Game 6 by management.

A head injury also sidelined winger Rickard Rakell for most of that series. Defenseman Brian Dumoulin suffered a knee injury in Game 1 and was also nursing a foot injury that nagged him throughout the season. Backup goaltender Casey DeSmith underwent season-ending core muscle surgery due to an injury suffered in Game 1.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars forward Tyler Seguin played through a fractured foot in that series against the Flames. Forward Luke Glendening suffered a groin injury, a twisted knee and concussion symptoms. Center Roope Hintz missed Game 7 following a reaction to treatment for an oblique injury while forward Radek Faksa left Game 7 with a concussion. Backup goaltender Braden Holtby missed the final two months of the season and the series against the Flames with a hip injury.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Former NHL player and current league executive Ray Whitney will reportedly interview for the post of Sharks general manager on Thursday. Whitney currently works in the league’s department of player safety.










NHL Rumor Mill – May 10, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – May 10, 2022

Where could Barry Trotz end up after being fired as Islanders head coach? Who could the Isles hire as his replacement? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE ATHLETIC: Kevin Kurz reported on the New York Islanders’ surprising decision to fire head coach Barry Trotz on Monday. He speculates Trotz’s handling of young forward Oliver Wahlstrom and the reduction in Mathew Barzal’s role and ice time may have factored into general manager Lou Lamoriello’s decision to part ways with Trotz.

Former New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz (NHL.com).

A source with knowledge of the Islanders’ dressing room pushed back against Lamoriello’s claim the decision was made without input from the players. The source said making that move after conducting the players’ exit interviews indicated the Isles GM was listening to their comments.

Kurz speculates Trotz’s physically demanding style of play in a season that started with a 13-game road trip followed by a COVID outbreak might have contributed to the club’s disappointing performance. The coach himself also pondered that possibility.

As for Trotz’s potential replacements, Kurz’s list included former NHL coaches such as Mike Babcock, Joel Quenneville, and Claude Julien, as well as current Isles assistant coach Lane Lambert.

NYI HOCKEY NOW: Stefen Rosner also weighed in on the next Islanders head coach, claiming he’s been told Lamoriello has looked into Paul Maurice and John Tortorella. He also speculated Peter DeBoer could be an option if he’s fired by the Vegas Golden Knights.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lamoriello gave no timetable for naming Trotz’s replacement. Nevertheless, it wouldn’t be surprising if he reaches a decision before the 2022 NHL Draft in early July.

It’ll be interesting to see whether Lamoriell opts for someone with plenty of NHL experience and success, promotes Lambert, or considers an option outside the box for many observers. We probably won’t get any indication of which way the always-secretive Isles GM will go before he announces his choice.

Speaking of DeBoer, Vegas Hockey Now’s Owen Krepps wondered if he’ll join Trotz among the ranks of unemployed NHL head coaches. If so, he suggested the Golden Knights might look at Trotz as a replacement.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Mike Stephens suggested the Philadelphia Flyers, Seattle Kraken and Winnipeg Jets as three landing spots for Trotz.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers replaced Alain Vigneault last December with Mike Yeo on an interim basis and are in the hunt for a new full-time head coach after announcing Yeo won’t return in the role next season.

Paul Maurice stepped down as Jets head coach in December. Assistant coach Dave Lowry was named interim bench boss but, like Yeo, won’t be returning in that role next season.

Stephens feels the Kraken lacks structure under current head coach Dave Hakstol. So far, there’s no indication Seattle GM Ron Francis intends to make a coaching change but someone as well-respected as Trotz becoming available could prove tempting.

WINNIPEG SUN: Paul Friesen believes the Jets should be in pursuit of Winnipeg native Trotz. He cited his impressive record of success with the Islanders, as well as with the Washington Capitals and Nashville Predators.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Sam Carchidi believes Trotz would be a perfect fit to revitalize the sorry-looking Flyers if he’s interested in the challenge.

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Kevin Allen suggested the Red Wings could be a landing spot for Trotz. He also indicated the Chicago Blackhawks are among the NHL teams seeking a new head coach.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trotz won’t be out of a job for long. He’s reportedly taking a couple of weeks to rest and ponder his next move. I won’t be surprised if he’s got a new coach gig before the end of June.

It could come down to whether he’d prefer to join a retooling team (or one that needs to retool) like the Jets or looks for the challenge of joining a rebuilding squad like the Wings.