It’s that time for another edition of NHL rumours. We look at some of the speculated moves that teams could be making in the off-season. Teams are looking to get deep into the post-season with these moves.
Rumour: Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer/Daily News said the Flyers may be in the market to for a No. 2 centre to give Nolan Patrick a hand. The former second overall pick of the 2017 NHL Draft has come under fire, but Carchidi thinks a second-line pivot would do wonders.
— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) May 18, 2019
They could also try to go after unrestricted free agents like Matt Duchene, Brock Nelson or Kevin Hayes. A trade could indeed be a possibility with the Toronto Maple Leafs, who are in the market for defencemen and draft picks. Nazem Kadri and William Nylander were names that came up as trade possibilities.
Analysis: Calls about Patrick being a bust are premature. He hasn’t lived up to his potential, but he’s only played two full NHL seasons. The Winnipeg native often faces the top lines and the toughest matchups being the top centre.
Forward depth has been an issue for the Flyers and general manager Chuck Fletcher will try to address it this off-season.
Rumour: Buffalo general manager Jason Botterill talked about the looming Jeff Skinner contract on WGR 550’s Howard and Jeremy Show. He said that talks have been “extremely positive” and that the relationship has worked out really well.
Analysis: It’s more than likely that the 40-goal man is staying put in Western New York. Skinner thrived with Jack Eichel and helped the Sabres to that fast first-half start. Buffalo collapsed in the second half and missed out on the playoffs once again.
Botterill has already been busy this off-season by hiring Ralph Kruger as the new head coach. That step helped immensely in trying to have a plan in place in regards to keeping Skinner. The Sabres general manager has even more work to do, but retaining his top goal-scorer will be huge.
Rumour: Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post said the Washington Capitals are still unsure to qualify restricted free agent forward Andre Burakovsky. The Caps are up against the salary cap and need to give Jakub Vrana a raise. Washington also has four unrestricted free agents to decide on.
Analysis: The Austrian forward was the subject of trade rumours at the most recent deadline. General manager Brian MacLellan was unsure about Burakovsky’s future with the team.
Brian MacLellan didn’t exactly give Andre Burakovsky a vote of confidence https://t.co/p8bJBhU8T9
— Post Sports (@PostSports) May 19, 2019
Burakovsky is a speedy forward that can score, but has seen his production decline the last few seasons. Not getting a qualifying offer doesn’t mean the end of his time in Washington as Brett Connolly and Devante Smith-Pelly were both brought back after not getting those offers. Washington seems to want to avoid having to go to arbitration and possibly absorb a big cap hit.