Welcome to the Tuesday edition of NHL Rumours! There is so much uncertainty when it comes to the NHL right now with the season on pause. Teams are not only trying to navigate those waters but the trade waters as well. Usually, this is the point where we see separation in the standings between the buyers and sellers. But even those are murky at the moment. In today’s edition of NHL Rumours, we look at the Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, and Vancouver Canucks
Analysis: This comes as no surprise as Joe Pavelski has thrived in Dallas. Any chance of a reunion with the Sharks was gone when the Sharks could not re-sign the forward when he became a free agent in 2019. The Sharks prioritized other players over him and signed a three-year deal with the Stars. Many thought Pavelski was coming to the end of his career, he has found new life with the Stars. Pavelski has 103 points in 157 games with the Stars and was a major reason why the team made its run to the 2020 Stanley Cup Final in the bubble in Edmonton. And despite the Stars recent struggles, Pavelski has continued to flourish in Big D.
It will be interesting to see what kind of contract he gets this summer. Pavelski is 37 years of age but is still playing at a high level. He currently is making $7 million a season on a three-year deal. Teams will be hesitant to give him that this summer, especially with the salary cap. So he could receive something similar with Dallas on less term or go on a year-by-year basis with the Stars. Though he would not rule out a reunion in San Jose, his first choice would be Dallas.
Detroit Red Wings
Analysis: The Detroit Red Wings are one of the more surprising teams this season. And the fact they have sustained this level is even more amazing. You have to give credit to general manager Steve Yzerman for being so patient with this Red Wings team. He knew when it was time to move on from Anthony Mantha and he will know when it is time to trade to improve his club. Tyler Bertuzzi, Lucas Raymond, and Jakub Vrana are top six wingers in the league. From there the Red Wings have a lot of good depth with Adam Erne and Joe Veleno and that is what contending teams need. But the Red Wings are still not a contender and are going through the process of the rebuild.
Now as Bultman writes, nobody is untouchable outside of Raymond. The Red Wings could leverage one of their forwards to improve now. However, losing a valuable piece could set them back as the Red Wings are finally in a position to add players and consistently be a playoff team. Not a contender to win the Stanley Cup, but get back to having competitive seasons. For now, the plan for the Red Wings is to stay status quo. When the time is right Yzerman will strike.
Rumour: According to Iff Gaffar of The Fourth Period, the Vancouver Canucks are looking into several names for the general manager position including Jennifer Botterill and Chris MacFarland.
Analysis: Ever since Jim Rutherford took over as President of Hockey Operations, the Canucks have been looking to fill the general manager’s role. Several names have been rumoured including former Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin. However, the leading candidates are Sportsnet’s Jennifer Botterill and Chris MacFarland of the Colorado Avalanche. And the Canucks are serious about hiring a female onto their hockey staff. Botterill is an interesting name as she is gaining traction for her work on Hockey Night in Canada as an analyst. As Rutherford notes he is looking for different voices that have come up through kids hockey, through the hockey system or a different way.
Botterill, who played for Team Canada on the highest level, and has done some commentary work between the benches, is well versed and well-rounded in the game of hockey. Not to mention she is well-spoken. Rutherford admits the times are changing and it is time for new blood in the front offices. She would make a perfect fit. So would Chris MacFarland of the Avalanche. MacFarland is the current assistant general manager of the Colorado Avalanche. Both are atop Rutherford’s list. This is a situation worth watching.
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