They Stanley Cup Playoffs are upon us, but we have plenty of NHL rumours for you. The three teams in this edition are licking their wounds and trying to figure out their next move. However, it may be a lot more difficult for them to return to the post-season. Today’s NHL rumours focus on the Montreal Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers and Vegas Golden Knights.
All NHL rumours come from the original source and are subject to change.
Rumour: TSN’s Pierre LeBrun among others wondered what does the future hold for goalie Carey Price.
With the season over and Montreal on the outside looking in, Canadiens executive VP of hockey ops Jeff Gorton talks to @GlennSchiiler & @PierreVLeBrun about the work coming this summer, including the status of Carey Price and Martin St. Louis: https://t.co/EqzkEoyq34#TSNHockey pic.twitter.com/l1BuwYv8hm
— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) April 30, 2022
Analysis: There’s no doubt that Price showed a lot of heart to return this season. He fought through personal and injury issues to make it back on the ice. However, he was 1-4 with a 3.63 goals-against-average and .878 save percentage.
Price went back to New York to check on the status of his knee. He wants to play next season, but he needs to be able to work through an off-season program. That uncertainty may be a problem to General Manager Kent Hughes and his rebuilding plans.
Hughes remarked the situation isn’t black and white, but he hopes to get some clarity soon. The Habs have some aging players on longer-term deals and Hughes would love to shed some of those deals. Names like Jeff Petry could be on the move in the off-season to clear some space. Shea Weber‘s contract could dealt as well to make room on long-term injured reserve for Price.
The former Olympic gold medalist will give all he has to get back in the lineup, but this team is likely to struggle next season.
Rumour: The Athletic’s Charlie O’Connor looked into if the Flyers can move James van Riemsdyk in the off-season.
Final mailbag of the Flyers season. Kicks off with everything I've heard on the Ryan Ellis situation, before diving into Ivan Provorov, the aggressive retool, and then quite a few music-related questions.https://t.co/WfTUVyiSDD
— Charlie O'Connor (@charlieo_conn) April 27, 2022
Analysis: van Riemsdyk was dangled by the Flyers in the Seattle Kraken expansion draft, but the Kraken passed. “JVR” makes $7 million in the final year of his contract. General Manager Chuck Fletcher promised an “aggressive retool” this offseason. The Flyers were one of the more disappointing teams this season and have plenty of questions.
Philadelphia would love to try to get that contract off the books to focus on younger players. There are some untradable players like Sean Couterier, Kevin Hayes and Ryan Ellis. However, van Riemsdyk has been very streak in his career.
He could serve a team as a rental player if the Flyers want to trade him before then. There are some players like Travis Sanheim and Travis Konecny that could be moved for the right price.
The Flyers want to kickstart the rebuild now, but it may help them more to keep the winger until the 2023 NHL Trade deadline. He might be a rental that a contender could need and overpay for him.
Vegas Golden Knights
Rumour: Jesse Granger of The Athletic said the Golden Knights will try to find a core identity for the team.
What were the 2021-22 Vegas Golden Knights?
Inharmonic and without identity.
What went wrong, and how do they fix it? (It’s a lot more than just the injuries)
— Jesse Granger (@JesseGranger_) April 28, 2022
Analysis: The Golden Knights are trying to figure out how they missed the playoffs. Injuries and lack of power play success doomed the Golden Knights to miss the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in history.
Vegas is going to have to make some tough decision this off-season after going all in on this season. One of the main issues is the salary cap and that happens with the way the flat cap era is. The Knights are only going to get an $82,5 million salary cap to work with. Vegas had a few players on LITR and it was a juggling act at times.
Reilly Smith becomes a free agent at the end of the season and he makes $5 million. There are also a couple young players like Nicolas Roy and Brett Howden that are restricted free agents,
Management is going to have give their team an identity that will carry them next season. However, it’s easier said than done.