NHL Rumours: World Cup, Winnipeg Jets, Chicago Blackhawks

NHL Rumours
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It’s time to start the weekend with another batch of our NHL rumours. The hockey world may be partying in Vegas or prepping for the Olympics, but we’re still hard at work. We’ll be bringing you the big rumours as we get near the March 21 trade deadline. Today’s NHL rumours focus on the return of the World Cup of Hockey, Winnipeg Jets and Chicago Blackhawks.

All NHL rumours come from the original source and are subject to change.

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NHL Rumours

World Cup of Hockey

Rumour: The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun suggested a World Cup of Hockey may be in the cards for 2024.

Analysis: Sources told LeBrun that the tournament would be in Feb. 2024 instead of the usual September window. Both the league and NHL Players Association met last week to discuss the framework of the event. There’s been a clamouring for an international event after the NHL backed out of participating in the Olympics. Plenty of players like Brad Marchand and Connor McDavid were disappointed that they couldn’t represent their home country in China.

One wonders what teams will take part in the tournament and there could be a Team North America once again. The team of younger stars took the tournament by storm and a lot of fans bought merchandise. It would be a great opportunity for some of the younger players to get into the event if they don’t make the cut for Team USA or Team Canada. Team North America seemed like a way to get Auston Matthews and McDavid onto centre stage. However, it worked like a charm and we could see Shane Wright and Connor Bedard on the same team.

Playing in the middle of the season would give it more of an Olympic feel and it’ll be less like preseason. Hockey players are still in golf mode and may not be the sharpest, but a mid-season tournament would get the juices flowing.

Winnipeg Jets

Rumour: Murat Ates of The Athletic looked at trade value of Andrew Copp and Paul Stastny at the deadline.

Analysis: The caveat is if the Jets fall out of the playoff race. However, the seems more realistic by the day. Winnipeg has been struggling going into the All-Star break and needs a jolt to spring back to life. Both are pending free agents at the end of the season and could be rentals for a contending team.

Copp has added offence to his game after being known as shutdown defender. He could fetch some picks, which Winnipeg desperately needs to restock its pipeline. Ates took looks at the Gustav Nyquist and Mats Zuccarello deals for comparison. Both got second-rounders with a chance the conditional pick could be upgraded if certain criteria were met. They also got a second pick in third round as well.

Stastny’s cap hit is decent $3.25 million and it would be OK for someone to take a flier on him. However, the Jets won’t get as much as they would for Copp.

Chicago Blackhawks

Rumour: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that Kyle Davidson, Peter Chiarelli and Scott Mellanby have been vetted for the vacant general manager job.

Analysis: Davidson is serving as the team’s interim GM at this point after Stan Bowman stepped away. He’s been part of the organization and it would signal continuity from the Wirtz family.

Chiarelli is looking to rebound after disastrous stints with the Boston Bruins and Edmonton Oilers. His name got a lot of reactions online when it was first reported. Mellanby was in the Canadiens front office with Marc Bergevin and has interviewed for various GM jobs.

The new general manager will have some tough decisions on how to address the future. Chicago was hoping to be a contender, but his been disappointing this season. Could more moves to clear out more cap space be on the way?

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