Today is the last day of the regular season, but we still have plenty of NHL Rumours. The 2021-22 season is still playing out, but teams are already thinking about next season. Some players have made big impressions with their new teams. However, there may be a coach or two on the hot seat. Today’s NHL rumours focus on the New York Rangers, Edmonton Oilers and New Jersey Devils.
All NHL rumours come from the original source and are subject to change.
New York Rangers
Rumour: We go to TSN’s Insider Trading and Darren Dreger said the Rangers are interested in re-signing Andrew Copp.
INSIDER TRADING: #TSNHockey Insiders discuss…
– Pre-playoff rest for McDavid, Marner & Matthews
– Pending UFAs Kane and Copp
– Update on Juuse Saros
– Postseason reminder on coach’s challenges
– NHL/NHLPA success in full season schedule
— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) April 28, 2022
Analysis: It’s no secret that the Rangers have been a different team since the trade deadline. Acquiring Copp, Frank Vatrano and Tyler Motte have given the Blueshirts the forward depth that they lacked. Motte has only played 10 games, but Copp and Vatrano have been fantastic for the Rangers.
Dreger said the Rangers are going “try as hard as possible” to bring back the Michigan native. Copp currently makes $3.64 million a season but is in line for a big raise. New York does have to find the money for restricted free agent Kaapo Kakko and unrestricted free agents Ryan Strome, Vatrano and Motte.
The 27-year-old has gelled with Artemi Panarin on the second line but can move throughout the lineup. General Manager Chris Drury is going to do what he can to keep the versatile forward and he should. The Rangers have a legitimate shot of making a run and Copp has played a big hand in that.
Rumour: We stay with Insider Trading and the Oilers also want to keep mid-season pickup, Evander Kane.
Analysis: Kane has settled down after a tumultuous start of the season. The veteran has fit in nicely on the left side with Connor McDavid. General Manager Ken Holland rolled the dice on drafting the flamboyant forward. However, he’s played well and kept somewhat out of trouble. (Well… maybe not to Ryan Hartman.)
Holland is going to take the same approach with Kane that Drury will in pursuing Copp. Kane makes just over $2.1 million, but the 30-year-old would love to score himself one more big contract. However, there’s the temptation of playing on one of the better offensive teams in the league with McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and others.
Edmonton is a new team after Jay Woodcroft was put behind the bench and the addition of Kane were huge parts of that. McDavid may have found the perfect running buddy on the left and that may help Kane keep his place in Edmonton.
New Jersey Devils
Rumour: ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski speculated on the future of Lindy Ruff behind the Devils’ bench. That fate is still a coin flip at this point.
As I reported on THE POINT on ESPN2: I'd put it at 50/50 that Lindy Ruff returns as @NJDevils coach. Staff will be evaluated after the season. I've had NHL sources tell me they think he's cooked, but there are two reasons I think he could return in 2022-23. (1/2)
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) April 26, 2022
Analysis: Management is said to be 50/50 on if they’ll keep the Ruff as bench boss. There have been good things like player development and the progress of Jesper Bratt and Jack Hughes. The latter is said to be a big fan of Ruff’s coaching style.
However, there are some things that haven’t been good about Ruff’s time in Newark. The team’s goaltending has struggled between MacKenzie Blackwood and Jonathan Bernier. New Jersey’s save percentage has been dead last the last two seasons and that’s not helping the team’s growth.
One factor is the number of coaches that are on expiring or interim contracts. There’s also a load of NHL assistants that have previous head coaching experience in the league. Neil Glasburg of PBI Sports said there are 21 assistants who have NHL head coaching experience. General Manager Tom Fitzgerald may have a decision to make about the direction of the team. Ruff does have one year left on his contract, but things are still a mystery at this point.