It’s time for another round of NHL rumours to start off the week. There’s still plenty to go around as we get ready for the push to the Stanley Cup Final. Coaches will account for a decent chunk of this batch of NHL rumours. We have items on the Dallas Stars, Calgary Flames and Boston Bruins.
All NHL rumours come from the original source and are subject to change.
Rumour: Dallas general manager Jim Nill told Hockey Night in Canada’s Scott Oake that Rick Bowness has earned the permanent head coaching job if he wants it. Nill will discuss things with Bowness after the season.
Jim Nill tells Scott Oake that Rick Bowness has earned the head coaching job in Dallas permanently…"I hope down the road he wants to be the head coach".
They will talk at season's end.
— John Shannon (@JShannonhl) September 12, 2020
Analysis: Bowness has done a masterful job getting the Stars to one game within their first Cup final since 2000. The veteran coach came in at a time where the season could have gone off the rails. Bowness steadied the ship after former coach Jim Montgomery left the team.
Dallas has used its defence and the strong goaltending of Anton Khudobin to get the team close to its first title since 1999. The Stars rarely make mistakes and play within themselves. Bowness has managed to blend in the mix of veterans like Joe Pavelski and Corey Perry and younger players like Miro Heiskanen and John Klingberg.
The Nordic duo have also chipped in on offence and the team scores just enough to win. Some thought Bowness would be a placeholder until a bigger name came along. However, Nill is giving the well-respected coach a chance to be the permanent boss. The coach is 65 years old, but he has earned the right to coach this talented squad in 2020-21.
Rumour: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman is reporting that the Flames are likely to bring back head coach Geoff Ward. Nothing is official, but it’s trending that he will return.
Although the Calgary Flames have not issued an official statement yet, it appears the team is trending towards having Geoff Ward return as head coach next season.https://t.co/r3BpmWdEtb
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) September 13, 2020
Analysis: This is another situation where a coach saved a season from being wasted. Ward came in after Bill Peters was fired for past use of racial slurs. Calgary steadied themselves and the playoffs. The Waterloo, Ontario native has yet to earn a permanent head coaching job.bvc
Friedman was told twice there was “no comment” on Ward becoming the full-time bench boss. However, it looks like he’s impressed general manager Brad Treliving in his 42 regular season games. Peters may have a new-look roster to work with as Calgary is willing to trade some of their higher-end players due to post-season struggles.
Rumour: Fluto Shinzawa of The Athletic took a look at what the Bruins may get for some of their younger players. He added general manager Don Sweeney may have to listen to offers on Jake DeBrusk, Brandon Carlo and Anders Bjork.
'I’m pretty aware of how teams are valuing players on our roster': GM Don Sweeney knows who's on the trade radar. Is it worth moving them? https://t.co/YS9zte71Sx
— Fluto Shinzawa (@FlutoShinzawa) September 9, 2020
Analysis: Boston still believes DeBrusk has a high ceiling and can contribute plenty of goals. He’s shown flashes of being a 30-plus goal-scorer, but has been inconsistent at times. Sweeney hopes he can solidify his hold on the No. 2 wing spot behind Brad Marchand.
Carlo struggled in the post-season and the 23-year-old could be moved. The right hander doesn’t provide a lot of goals, but he is big and is a good skater for his size. Connor Clifton or Jeremy Lauzon could be given more chances if Carlo is dealt. Both can play on the right side of the defence.
Bjork went goalless in the playoffs, but did well according to advanced metrics. Bjork averaged 0.93 expected goals per 60 minutes of 5-on-5 play in the two rounds of the post-season. He was benched after taking three penalties in Game 3 against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Some GMs place the Swede as a checker while others have him as someone with top-six potential.
Jack Studnicka, Urho Vaakanainen and Trent Frederic were also discussed as second–tier trade options. However, it looks like Studnicka is the least likely to move. Frederic would be the most likely due to his ceiling as a bottom-six forward. However, he’s gotten some comparisons to Tom Wilson due to his willingness to have an edge.