Welcome to the Tuesday edition of NHL Rumours! The Stanley Cup Playoffs continue as every division is now into round two. With the draft lottery on Wednesday, June 2nd, the news is starting to pick about teams looking to make moves once the NHL Draft comes around. Now that it is known that Seth Jones does not want to re-sign in Columbus, you have to wonder how Columbus will approach this summer. That situation is worth watching and keep it tuned into the Last Word on Hockey for the latest news and rumours. In this edition of NHL Rumours, we look at the Columbus Blue Jackets, Anaheim Ducks and New York Rangers
Columbus Blues Jackets
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— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) May 31, 2021
Analysis: It is a weird time to be Columbus for sure now that another talented player in Seth Jones wants out. But President John Davidson and general manager Jarmo Kekalainen still have to put a competitive hockey team on the ice. They can’t worry about Jones’s decision until it happens. Columbus is a hard-working team and needs centre depth. While they have Jack Rosolvoic, Alexander Texier, and Max Domi on the roster. They are in a need of a number one centre. Is Sam Reinhart that player? Maybe, but with the team having talks with Buffalo about the player, it shows they have some interest in him. This season for Buffalo, Reinhart recorded 40 points (25 goals and 15 assists). Those numbers were better than any Columbus centre in a 56-game season. Now granted, Columbus played a different style than Buffalo, but still, a team’s number one centre should be more productive.
If indeed the Blue Jackets are interested in Reinhart it may cost them a goalie, which Buffalo is interested in. Columbus has two solid goalies in Joonas Korpisalo and Elvis Merzlikins. So in order to get something good, the Blue Jackets will have to give up one of their goalies. Considering Columbus has depth at that position too, and Buffalo has a need at that position, it makes sense those two teams would make a deal. Now it may not be one for one, but the foundation is there for a trade to work.
Analysis: The Ducks have a good young team that is in need of help at the centre position. Pierre-Luc Dubois fits that bill. Dubois is still in the playoffs with Winnipeg, but general manager Bob Murray has a habit of making a big splash. Just look at his history in Anaheim. Now you would expect any deal for Dubois would include a defenceman or a centre going back to Winnipeg. Defence is a need for Winnipeg but do not expect defenceman Jamie Drysdale or forward Trevor Zegras to be a part of any deal for Dubois. Dubois had a decent season between Columbus and Winnipeg. In his 41 games with Winnipeg, Dubois had 20 points (eight goals and 12 assists). While those numbers are not eye-opening, Dubois did need to adjust to new surroundings.
The Ducks have some flexibility on who they want to trade in order to get to Dubois. Dubois carries a salary-cap hit of $5 million, so you have to expect a player like Adam Henrique who makes $5.825 million will be going back the other way. Not to mention a defenceman like Josh Manson, whose name was mentioned in several trade rumours leading up to the trade deadline. However, the asking price was just too much for Manson. Considering the core of Zegras, Troy Terry, Max Comtois, and Drysdale adding a player like Dubois makes the Ducks a team on the rise. Regardless of whether or not they get Dubois, look for Anaheim to make a splash.
New York Rangers
Rumour: In his latest mailbag
— Rick Carpiniello (@RickCarpiniello) May 29, 2021
Analysis: Everyone is watching what the Rangers will do with their head coaching position after releasing David Quinn of his duties. We know that general manager Chris Drury has a big decision to make. The team has already interviewed Gerard Gallant before he went over the IIHF World Championships. Gallant be a great fit for the Rangers, but many expect Drury to go after Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan if he gets relieved of his duties after another first-round playoff loss. The Penguins have a lot to assess after their first-round exit and if Sullivan becomes available he would be an ideal fit for the Rangers.
Drury and Sullivan have a history going back to the days of Drury playing under Sullivan at Boston University. Sullivan has a similar coaching style to Quinn, but has two Stanley Cups under his name. Which is what the Rangers are looking for. A coach with experience and taking a team to the next level. Just look what Sullivan did for the Penguins in 2016 and 2017. His resume speaks for himself. Plus the Rangers drafted Sullivan back in 1987 so there is that too. But again this all comes down to him becoming available. Which as of right he is not. But if he does, Drury needs to go after him.
That does it for this edition of NHL Rumours! Stay tuned for another edition this week.
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