NHL Rumours: New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils, Ottawa Senators

Mikko Koivu; NHL rumours

We’ve made it to March, but we still have plenty of NHL rumours for you. Teams are wondering about the one that got away or trying to decide who will be the one in charge. Executives are also looking at what moves to make in the off-season. Today we’ve got NHL rumours focusing on the New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils and Ottawa Senators.

All NHL rumours are taken from the original source and are subject to change.

NHL Rumours

New York Islanders

Rumour: Per Elliotte Friedman’s 31 Thoughts column, the Islanders were interested in Minnesota wild centre Mikko Koivu. However, the veteran pivot preferred to stay put with the club. Koivu has played in the Twin Cities for all 15 seasons of his NHL career.

Analysis: The Islanders wouldn’t have minded getting a good defensive pivot like the veteran Finn. He’s been a Selke finalist in his career and is really good at winning draws in his own end.

However, his production has gone down steadily over the last few seasons. He only netted eight goals last season and it was the first time since his rookie campaign in 2005-06 that he didn’t get double-digit goals. Koivu only has four goals in 50 games so far with the Wild. It may have been a risk to take someone that has been struggling to score.

New Jersey Devils

Rumour: Friedman also talked about the Devils general manager search on Saturday night’s Hockey Night in Canada’s Headlines segment. He said that the Devils are talking to former Vancouver Canucks general manager Mike Gillis about the job.

The club is also considering keeping interim GM Tom Fitzgerald as the permanent replacement for Ray Shero. However, ownership is looking at external options. Gillis was noted for putting together the Canucks teams of the early 2010s that won the President’s Trophy twice.

Analysis: Fitzgerald has been praised for the work he’s done, but it looks like other options are being considered. It may just be the Devils being thorough and doing their due diligence.

Gillis being in the mix for a GM job does come as a bit of a surprise as he’s didn’t think his role would be that of a general manager. However, it looks like the lure of an NHL gig may be too great. He was key in putting Vancouver’s solid teams together, but one wonders if he can do it again.

Ottawa Senators

Rumour: Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reported that Senators’ general manager Pierre Dorion wants defenceman Mark Borowiecki to be a “Senator for life.” This was during Dorion’s radio hit on TSN 1200. Garioch added that the team has talked to his agents.

The former Clarkson University player has been with the club all nine years of his NHL career. Borowiecki has a surprising seven goals and has been a staple of the team’s defence.

Analysis: The Ottawa native may not be a sexy name like a Brady Tkachuk or a Thomas Chabot. However, he serves an important role with the team. He’s always one to stick up for a teammate or throw his weight around. Borowiecki does all of the little things and he’s endeared himself to the Senators’ faithful.

However, one’s heard the promise of Senator for life before and players like Daniel Alfredsson, who walked in free agency for the Detroit Red Wings and Erik Karlsson who was traded away after it looked like they’d be lifers in the Canadian capital. Plans do change, but Borowiecki hopes he stays with the team.

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