Welcome to another edition of NHL Rumours. Today, we look at rumours involving Patrik Laine, John Hynes and the New York Islanders’ defence. Let’s jump in!
Columbus Blue Jackets
Rumour: In an article on NHL.com, Patrik Laine expressed his desire to stay in Columbus, “(the Blue Jackets) have expressed they want me here, I’ve said the same thing. So you know, the feeling is mutual. Just figure out the term and the money and all that and I think we should be fine.”
Analysis: Patrik Laine has had one of the best seasons of his NHL career this past season. In 56 games, he scored 26 goals and 30 assists for 56 points. It is the first time in his career that Laine has been at a point per game, but he did get close a few times as a member of the Winnipeg Jets. Laine only scored five of his goals in the power play. He can only get better with a more successful power play that ranked 24th in the league this year.
Laine said in the article, “I love everything about being here. It’s that simple.” He mentioned that he is close with his teammates, and he loves playing in the city. The Blue Jackets must want to keep Laine. He’s their only star forward and can shoot the puck like no one else.
New York Islanders
Rumour: New York Islanders General Manager, Lou Lamoriello, said that he would like to improve the offence from the Islanders’ blue line.
Analysis: Noah Dobson led defencemen on the Islanders in goal scoring with 13 goals. That was 40 percent of all the goals the Islanders scored from their defencemen. The rest scored 19 combined. The Islanders can certainly use some help. Their right side is secure with Ryan Pulock, Dobson and Scott Mayfield. They can use some help on the left side with Zdeno Chara and Andy Greene possibly retiring.
The Islanders don’t have a lot of salary cap space, so if they want to add an offensive defenceman, it will have to come through a trade. One player to look out for is Samuel Girard. With Devon Toews and Bowen Byram on Colorado Avalanche’s blueline as left-shot defencemen, it could lead to Girard being expendable. However, the Islanders should be careful because Girard has five years left on a deal with a $5 million salary-cap hit. That is an expensive addition. Shayne Gostisbehere of the Arizona Coyotes is another option. He has only one year left on his contract.
Rumour: The Athletic’s Predators reporter Adam Vingan looks into the future of John Hynes on Nashville’s bench.
Analysis: John Hynes’s contract expires at the end of this season with the Predators having the ability to pick up a one-year option. Hynes has led the Predators to the playoffs in each of his three years behind the bench. This season, he got the most out of his star players. Roman Josi had the best offensive season by a defenseman in decades, Filip Forsberg and Matt Duchene hit 40 goals, and Ryan Johansen had a bounceback season with 63 points. He also developed some young talent in Tanner Jeannot, Philip Tomasino and Alexandre Carrier.
Vingan writes that the issue with Hynes is he’s won three out of 14 playoff games over the past three seasons. Nashville underperformed, losing 3-1 to the Arizona Coyotes in the bubble in 2020 and getting swept by the Colorado Avalanche this season. However, Nashville hasn’t had a team that was supposed to go far into the playoffs under Hynes. His ability to keep the Predators as a playoff team while undergoing their “competitive rebuild” and getting the most out of their expensive but sometimes underperforming star players in Matt Duchene and Ryan Johansen is more valuable at this point. For now, Nashville is a playoff bubble team, and as long as they make the playoffs, they’re living up to expectations. It makes sense to keep him.
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