We’re getting closer to hockey returning, but we still have plenty of NHL rumours for you. The play-in round and round robin tournaments are less than a week away. However, teams that didn’t make it and even the newly-named Seattle Kraken are involved in rumours.
All NHL rumorus are taken from the original source and subject to change.
San Jose Sharks
— American Psycho (@Colton__Mc) July 22, 2020
Analysis: Georgiev was a name that got plenty of talk around the trade deadline. However, the Rangers decided to roll with him, Igor Shesterkin and Henrik Lundqvist for the rest of the season. Georgiev is a young enough and shown plenty of promise that he should fetch a nice return. Shesterkin seems to be the goalie of the future while Lundqvist pretty much has an unmovable contract.
San Jose signed their own Russian goalie to challenge Martin Jones for the starting job. Alexei Melnichuk signed a two-year deal with the Sharks recently. The former SKA St. Petersburg goalie went 8-5-1 with a 1.68 goals-against-average and .930 save percentage. He has the tools to push Jones for the job. Aaron Dell becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and may not be back. Jones has struggled in recent seasons and the 22-year-old Russian could get the job.
There’s been conflicting talk about if Boeser will be available in the off-season. The former University of North Dakota product is due $5.875 million a season until the end of 2021-22. Vancouver faces a cap crunch due to the flat cap like many other clubs. A player like Boeser the Minnesota native could kickstart a rebuild, but San Jose doesn’t have the assets to procure him.
Rumour: There’s plenty of speculation surrounding Coyotes general manager John Chayka. False claims that he was fired broke early Saturday, only feeding into a sense that his job was nearing its end. The team would not comment on these matters.
Further on this, my understanding, per league source, is that this happened about 6 weeks ago. Still unclear why it hasn't been resolved with a week to go before the play-in round begins. https://t.co/lTb7jnwoR7
— Craig Morgan (@CraigSMorgan) July 25, 2020
Analysis: It seems like this is going to be a messy divorce between the two parties. Morgan stated this all started around six weeks ago. It also seems that it’s not an opportunity with another club.
The team does have a new owner in Alex Meruelo and he’s installed a new president and CEO in Xavier Gutierrez. Most owners would want to have their own people in positions of power, but Merulo may have given Chayka a shot.
All of this comes at an inopportune time with the start of the play-in round against the Nashville Predators. Arizona comes in as the No. 11 seed and trying to reach the first round proper. The uncertainty also comes before an important off-season, where Taylor Hall is a free agent. Arizona wants Hall back, but Hall wants to play on a winning team. The Coyotes would be smart to figure things out before a pivotal negotiation.
Rumour: Darren Dreger of TSN confirmed that the Seattle Kraken are in no rush to hire a coaching staff, although names like Gerard Gallant could be in the mix for the head coaching role.
– Timeline for Kraken to hire coaching staff
– How Seattle could benefit from the flat $81.5M salary cap
— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) July 24, 2020
Analysis: Seattle is smart to wait it out because a team could fire a coach worth interviewing. Gallant seems to be a smart choice because of what he did with Vegas. He helped get that team up to speed very quickly in their inaugural season. However, don’t discount someone like Peter Laviolette that is still out there. Laviollete won a Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes and made the final with the Philadelphia Flyers and Nashville.
Seattle will have a lot of pressure to repeat the success Vegas had in their first season. General manager Ron Francis will have his pick of plenty of talented players that will be made available. The Knights did a great job of identifying young talent and having a strategy for style of play. Some big names could be out there and Francis has to pick smart if he wants to make the Kraken an instant contender.