Welcome to the Tuesday edition of NHL Rumours! Even though the trade deadline has passed, that does not mean the rumour mill stops. The expansion draft is only months away and now with the NHL TV deal out of the way, the league can focus on Seattle coming into the league for next season. In this edition of NHL Rumours, we take a look at Patrick Roy, the Seattle Kraken, and the NHL Schedule for next season.
Rumour: Luke Fox of Sportsnet is reporting that Patrick Roy has hired a new agent and is looking to return to the National Hockey League in some form.
Analysis: We all know how Roy’s run ended last time in the NHL as a head coach. But one thing is for sure, he had people talking. When the Colorado Avalanche hired him, nobody knew what to expect. Roy had several outbursts behind the bench, including famously pushing the glass between the benches towards the opposition. His coaching tactics were a little odd especially pulling the goalie with close to three minutes left in the third period. However, that tactic is now a trend in the NHL. Now that does not mean he will come back into coaching.
Roy is currently the general manager and head coach of the QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts and according to his new agent, he is not departing the junior club. They are just preparing for the inevitable at the end of the season with so many potential coaching changes on the horizon. It is possible Roy does not even coach, he could take on a general manager’s role similar to what Joe Sakic and Steve Yzerman are doing. Obviously, the big rumour out there is Roy to the Montreal Canadiens, which both parties have denied is happening. Though imagine St. Patrick returns back to Montreal and gets the Canadiens their first Stanley Cup since 1993.
Rumour: Ryan Clark and Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic wrote a piece on the upcoming expansion draft and listed six teams the Seattle Kraken can make deals with including the Tampa Bay Lightning and Tyler Johnson.
Analysis: The Lightning will no doubt be an interesting team come the expansion draft. Somehow they were able to get through the 2020-21 season even though they were in salary cap purgatory. One of the main reasons the Lightning are so cap-strapped is the contracts they gave to certain players like Ondrej Palat, Alex Killorn, and Johnson. Not to mention the big money deals to Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos and others. That is the price a team pays for being a Stanley Cup contender year in and year out. And obviously, the Lightning have been trying to get Johnson’s contract off their books for a while now. New Kraken general manager Ron Francis knows he will have to take on a bad contract or two. However, he holds the cards in this deal.
As the article says there is some intrigue in bringing the Spokane native back home to play for the home state team now. Like with the Golden Knights, the Kraken will get the advantage in some of these deals. You have to think Tampa Bay will give up at least a first-round pick and possibly another player, say Killorn, to make this deal happen. But the Kraken should no doubt target the Lightning, like most teams should as the expansion draft approaches.
2021-22 NHL Schedule
Rumour: On the latest edition of Saturday Headlines, Elliotte Friedman reported that the general managers were presented two options for the NHL Schedule for next season.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 25, 2021
Analysis: This season was a roller coaster ride for sure with the schedule. Playing a baseball-style 56-game schedule was certainly different. And while some enjoyed it, others did not. And yes, we are getting some interesting and meaningful games down the stretch with each of these regional divisions this season. But that will change soon. Both options that the general managers were presented are quite intriguing, to say the least. The first option has a home and home series with the other conference (32 games), three games versus the other division in the conference (24 games), and the remaining 26 games inside the division depending on the size of the division. For example four games versus five teams and three games versus two teams. And the playoffs being conference-based.
The second option sees a home and home series with the three other divisions (48 games). Four games versus each divisional opponent (28 games) with six special games leftover and divisional-based playoffs. Both scenarios are very good and it depends on what you are a fan of, conference or division-based playoffs. There has been some talk of going back to the old conference-based playoffs (seeds one through eight). However, rivalries are born in the playoffs and these divisional playoff matchups have been fun to watch. One thing is for sure, there will be no North Division next season.
This has been the Tuesday edition of NHL Rumours, stay tuned for another edition this week.
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