We’ve got another edition of NHL rumours to start your Sunday. The three teams in this edition are going to have to make some choices regarding their future. Some players may not fit into the team’s future, so moves may be made. The salary cap is only going up by one million to $82.5 and space will be tight for some. Today’s NHL rumours focus on the Winnipeg Jets, Chicago Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks.
All NHL rumours come from the original source and are subject to change.
Rumour: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman on the 32 Thoughts segment speculated on Pierre-Luc Dubois‘ future with the Jets.
Marek in CHI for a big minor-hockey tourney (as is Bieksa), so this HNIC episode of 32 Thoughts is only 50 per cent as good — Nurse/Matthews/Lehner/Dubois: https://t.co/TPleEwPxcq
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 24, 2022
Analysis: The Jets are going to have to look what their next move will be. There were plenty of expectations for this team, but a bad start doomed them to missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Winnipeg may decide to go with a new-look front office with a significant tear down. However, they may keep General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff and let him try to make Winnipeg contenders again.
Dubois has quietly tied his career-high in goals with 27 this season. Friedman said the “PLD” has plenty of power in his next phase of his career. He’s a restricted free agent at the end of the season is looking for a raise from his $5 million salary.
He’ll likely want a long-term deal and they’ll be conversations about that. Dubois would get plenty of interest from teams in the Jets cannot nail down the 23-year-old to a big deal. Both sides are at a crossroads and that means a hard decision could be on the horizon.
Rumour: The Athletic’s Mark Lazerus took a peek into if the Blackhawks can bring back Dylan Strome with a new deal.
— Scott Powers (@ByScottPowers) April 21, 2022
Analysis: Strome has fought his way into the lineup after being a healthy scratch earlier in the season. He got a new lease on life when Derek King became the team’s interim head coach. The 25-year-old has a career-high 21 goals and has found a place in King’s system. However, they may be a problem in keeping the RFA forward around.
The Mississauga, Ontario native’s qualifying offer will be $3.6 million, but his second-half play will likely give him more leverage. New General Manager Kyle Davidson proved that Chicago is in for a lengthy rebuild when he traded Brandon Hagel and his team-friendly deal. The Hawks are on the look out for assets and Strome could help with that.
However, he does have an ally in superstar forward Patrick Kane, who is a fan of Strome. Kane seems to lobby the front office to re-sign the young forward at almost every opportunity. If Kane has any influence, Strome could be back in the Windy City. However, the former Erie Otters standout will have a place in the league wherever he goes.
San Jose Sharks
Rumour: Multiple outlets reported that the Sharks have trimmed their GM candidates list and former goalie Kevin Weekes is a very popular option.
SOURCE: Weekes Is Strong Candidate for Sharks GM https://t.co/MCkJkrLXQI
— San Jose Hockey Now (@sjhockeynow) April 23, 2022
Analaysis: TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reported the initial halving of the list, but other reporters have given more details. The Athletic’s Lisa Dillman reported that Weekes was gaining traction and Shang Peng of San Jose Hockey Now backed that assessment.
Weekes has been busy as an NHL insider breaking news with creative posts from different locales via Twitter. He’s become a respected analysts and been in the mix for other jobs. Hiring him would be a landmark hire as Weekes would become the league’s first black general manager.
Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek reported that John Ferguson Jr. would also get serious consideration. However, he also backs up the talk about Weekes being strongly looked at. This follows in the vein of previous news that the Sharks went the new GM to be more public with the fans and media.