NHL Rumors: Sabres, Panthers, 31 Thoughts, More

Buffalo Sabres, Editor's Choice, Florida Panthers, NHL Rumors, Ralph Krueger, Top Story

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In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there are changes in Buffalo when it comes to the coaching candidates, plus other news in the NHL coaching world. There is news out of Florida when it comes to how they’ll spend their money and a rundown of items from Elliotte Friedman’s 31 Thoughts article.

A Leader Emerges in Sabres Coaching Search?

Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet suggests that Ralph Krueger is climbing thhe ladder of coaching candidates for the job with the Buffalo Sabres and he may be the most likely to be the next head coach. It is believed that Jacques Martin is officially out and that Dave Tippet may be more destined to be the next coach for the Edmonton Oilers. John Shannon reported that Todd Richards is also out.

Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

More Coaching Hits

The Ottawa Senators are looking at Rick Bowness, Marc Crawford, Nate Leaman, Troy Mann, Jacques Martin, DJ Smith and possibly Todd Nelson. (Nelson might also be a strong candidate in Edmonton).

The Toronto Maple Leafs are going to lose assistant coach Jim Hiller who isn’t expected back. The Nashville Predators are one team that is interested.

Related: NHL Rumors: Rinne, Subban, Kings, Capitals, More

Florida Panthers Active But Cautious

Dale Tallon tells The Athletic’s George Richards that high on the wishlist for the Florida Panthers is a top-four right-handed defenseman. That said, cap space is going to be tight taking players like Erik Karlsson and Tyler Myers out of their price range.

Anton Stralman #6, Tampa Bay Lightning
Anton Stralman #6, Tampa Bay Lightning – taken on January 25, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Richards lists Anton Stralman and Adam McQuaid as options. He writes:

This addition may come through a trade instead of via free agency and Tallon has some pieces to work with including two players (Mark Pysyk and Mike Hoffman) who can become free agents after this coming season and could be available.

source – ‘The Florida Panthers have money to spend. Who is going to get it?’ – George Richards – The Athletic – 05/09/2019

Richards also says, when it comes to defensemen, the Panthers could make their big move through via trade and add depth through free agency.

Related: NHL Rumors: Zuccarello, Hitchcock, Maple Leafs, More

Hits from Friedman’s 31 Thoughts

  • Despite the fact that Evgeni Malkin trade discussions are a real thing, some executives think the Malkin trade rumors will die down.
  • There was interest by other teams in Colin Miller out of the Vegas Golden Knights organization but the offers were too weak. There are likely teams to be interested again, as they will be with RFA William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault.
Jared Spurgeon, Minnesota Wild
Jared Spurgeon, Minnesota Wild, January 14, 2019 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)
  • Minnesota Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon is a likely trade candidate out of Minnesota. He has a year left at $5.2 million and while they’d like to keep him, realize they can get more in trade. Teams have already reached out regarding his availability.
  • Don’t expect Minnesota Wild winger Jason Zucker to be back.
  • The Colorado Avalanche are willing to trade defenseman Tyson Barrie but have told teams that if they are interested, they need to come forward with an offer that will help the Avs now. They want to make a hockey trade, not trade for prospects or picks.
  • The New York Islanders are actively trying to get Brock Nelson re-signed. They should be able to get that done. Expect Jordan Eberle to move on.
  • The Winnipeg Jets may choose to hang onto Tyler Myers. But, it may all hinge on whether or not the team can trade Jacob Trouba. From Myers end, if he wants to stay, it sounds like he’ll have to take a slight cut over what he could get as a free agent.
Tyler Myers - Winnipeg Jets
Tyler Myers – Winnipeg Jets, Mar. 10, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)
  • Expect the Vancouver Canucks to bring back Luke Schenn. Also, expect them to only bring back one of Alex Edler, Ben Hutton and/or Chris Tanev.
  • The Nashville Predators and Montreal Canadiens are interested in Matt Duchene. Duchene may wind up in Nashville when all is said and done.
  • Before the Edmonton Oilers hired Ken Holland, they were considering buying out the last four years of Milan Lucic‘s contact if they couldn’t find a trade. It is unknown at this point if Holland will go along with that plan or if he’s decided to try something else. Friedman did say he thinks Holland will try and send “jolt” through the Oilers organization in some way.

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