Welcome to the Tuesday edition of NHL Rumours! The Stanley Cup Playoffs are right around the corner. So is the expansion draft and free agency. The rumour mill will be heating up as the exit interviews begin. Today’s NHL Rumours focus on the Buffalo Sabres, Edmonton Oilers, and Montreal Canadiens.
Analysis: Jack Eichel made some headlines on Monday during exit interviews with the Buffalo Sabres, which has fueled trade speculation to pick up on his future with the Sabres. Eichel said there was a disconnect between him and the team ever since he was injured. We all know Eichel has not been happy in Buffalo for some time. He is tired of losing and it is starting to wear on him mentally. Buffalo thought they had a saviour in Eichel when they drafted him second overall in 2015 behind Connor McDavid. While Eichel has looked good, the Sabres have gone through numerous front office and coaching changes which has hurt not only the team’s but Jack’s development as well.
Considering the Sabres have not made the playoffs in Eichel’s six seasons since he joined the team, he is as good as gone. There is so much distrust between the two parties, that bringing him back will only make things worse inside the locker room. The biggest question is where does Eichel go? Obviously, the front runners are the New York Rangers. The Rangers have expressed interest in Eichel going back to last season. Other potential landing spots include Boston and Los Angeles. But everything begins and ends with New York.
Rumour: Elliotte Friedman on Saturday Headlines says that free agent defenceman Adam Larsson and the Edmonton Oilers are inching closer to a new contract.
Headlines: Bergevin/Protocols/TOR “first shot”/Sandin/Larsson/Hedman. Also: don’t be surprised if interested teams contact Gerard Gallant in the next week, before he goes with Team Canada to Worlds.https://t.co/JpGMLVjB1X
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) May 9, 2021
Analysis: Prior to the NHL Trade Deadline, Larsson and the Oilers began talks on a new contract for the defenceman, who has come into his own ever since being traded to Edmonton. Both parties felt they made good progress on a new contract and agreed to table conversations until after the season is over. It is believed the new deal is around four years. As previously mentioned Larsson has become one of the foundation pieces for the Oilers on the back end. The defence has been an area of concern for the Oilers for quite some time now. While Larsson takes some criticism for his play, he has turned into one of the more reliable defensive defencemen in the league.
Larsson was touted for his offence coming over from Sweden. And his situation in New Jersey was handled poorly. However, now the Oilers have relied on Larsson this season to match up against some of the opposition’s better players. Larsson currently makes $4.16 million. He will no doubt be looking for a pay raise. And while his point production is not there, he is playing really well defensively. He averages about 20 minutes a night. It will be interesting to see how much he gets from the Oilers. Larsson might have cashed in if he hit the open market. Teams wanted his services.
Rumour: According to Pierre LeBrun of TSN, he says that if Marc Bergevin remains on as Canadiens general manager, LeBrun thinks will bring back Dominque Ducharme.
LeBrun at the intermission says if Bergevin remains as GM he thinks he will bring back Dom Ducharme as the head coach next season. #GoHabsGo
— NHL Watcher (@NHL_Watcher) May 10, 2021
Analysis: As we mentioned during Monday’s NHL Rumours, the Canadiens have a decision to make when it comes to general manager Marc Bergevin. The Canadiens are in the playoffs again this season, but it is not like they won their way in. The Canadiens backed in with an overtime loss to the Edmonton Oilers. Dominque Ducharme has changed some things in Montreal ever since taking over from Claude Julien. However, the one thing going against Ducharme is the shadow that is other potential coaching candidates out there. Specifically, Patrick Roy, if he decides to come back to coaching.
During Ducharme’s reign as head coach, he has seen Brendan Gallagher and Carey Price go down to injury. Both of whom will be ready for the playoffs. But one thing is for sure, the Canadiens have been a different team under Ducharme despite the Canadiens inconsistencies on the ice. Even though Ducharme got the Canadiens to the playoffs, the only way he comes back is if the Canadiens get past the first round. That will not be an easy task no matter if they play Toronto or Edmonton. And even then, that might not be a lock. It all about winning in Montreal. And while Ducharme has done some good, he has the interim tag for a reason.
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