NHL Rumours: Arizona Coyotes, Washington Capitals, Vegas Golden Knights

NHL Rumours; Pierre McGuire fired
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It’s time for another edition of NHL Rumours at Last Word on Hockey. There’s plenty of work to do with the league having a short off-season. Today’s NHL rumours focus on the Arizona Coyotes, Washington Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights.

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

NHL free agent frenzy

NHL Rumours

Arizona Coyotes

Rumour:NBC analyst Pierre McGuire was interviewed for the vacant general manager job according to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston. He added that Pittsburgh Penguins assistant general manager Jason Karmanos is also a candidate.

Analysis: McGuire was a coach/general manager of the Hartford Whalers in early 90s. However, that was a massive flop. The last assistant coaching job he held was with the Ottawa Senators. There’s a large contingent of hockey fans that want McGuire to get the job so he can be off television broadcasts.

McGuire would bring name value to a franchise looking for recognition in the hockey world. He has ties to Hall of Famer Scotty Bowman and the well-respected Paul Holmgren. McGuire’s hiring would mean less of a learning curve than a first-time general manager.

Karmanos is the son of former Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos and has been with the Penguins since 2014. He has helped the franchise use more analytics and been helpful to Jim Rutherford. He also oversees Pittsburgh’s scouting department and was part of the Hurricanes for many seasons.

Steve Sullivan is serving as interim general manager after John Chayka quit. Sullivan is still in the running for the job and is taking trade calls. Goalie Darcy Kuemper got the attention of many teams.

Washington Capitals

Rumour: Elliotte Friedman reports that the Capitals are looking at Mike Babcock and Gerard Gallant for the vacant head coach position. Peter Laviolette is also in the mix for that coveted job.

Analysis: All three coaches are successful NHL bench bosses that will inherit a good team. Babcock has experience managing star players from his stints with the Detroit Red Wings, Toronto Maple Leafs and Team Canada. He’ll have plenty of firepower in Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetsov.

Gallant led the Golden Knights to the Stanley Cup Final in their first season. He’s also coached the Florida Panthers and Columbus Blue Jackets. Gallant played a big hand in the Knights’ early success in the league. He is a mix of grit and skill that can motivate his players.

Laviolette is good at maximizing a team’s offensive potential. The Nashville Predators reached the Final in his first season in 2016. However, defence and goaltending caused his firing in the 2019-20 season. Washington’s boasts plenty of offence and Laviolette can unlock it.

Capitals’ management has been cheap at times when it comes to paying coaches. However, there three prime candidates are proving that Ted Leonsis might be opening up his wallet. There are questions about goaltending and defence, but there’s a good team to work with.

Vegas Golden Knights

Rumour: The Athletic’s Eric Stephens said that Marc-Andre Fleury may be done in Vegas. Stephens added that’s if his contract can be moved.

Analysis: Robin Lehner looks to be the number one goalie after his great Game 7 against the Vancouver Canucks. Fleury commands $7 million per season until the end of the 2021-22 season. Buying out his contract would save over $4.4 million and $3.9 million in the next seasons. However, the last two seasons would have over $2 million of dead cap space.

Teams might like a veteran goalie in net and it could be like a Ryan O’Reilly situation in going to a contender. Fleury has won all three of his post-season starts this campaign and won 27 games this season. It’s a big summer for goalies and Fleury could be a part of it.