NHL Rumours: Dallas Stars, Pittsburgh Penguins, Toronto Maple Leafs

NHL Rumours
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It’s time to discuss another edition of NHL Rumours featured on Last Word On Hockey. As the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs ends, eight teams’ seasons are cut short. With the off-season approaching, a new round of rumours come with. Today’s set of rumours focuses on the Dallas Stars, Pittsburgh Penguins, and the Toronto Maple Leafs. All three of these teams lost in Game 7.

NHL Rumours

Dallas Stars

Rumour: Head coach of the Dallas Stars, Rick Bowness, states he wants to coach for another year.

NHL free agent frenzy

Analysis: Dallas Stars head coach, Rick Bowness, was announced as the interim coach during the 2019-2020 season after Jim Montgomery was relieved from his head coaching duties. After a four and a half month pause and a COVID stricken remainder of the season in the bubble, the Stars made it to the Stanley Cup Finals. Although they did not win, Dallas re-signed Bowness to a two-year contract and with the conclusion of the 2021-2022 season, his contract concludes as well.

Bowness’ record with the Dallas Stars is 89-62-25. During the two full seasons, he was head coach he missed the playoffs in the shortened 56-game series. Of the 56 games played, the Stars held the NHL high for 14 overtime losses. Bowness and his team finished this season with 98 points, the highest since the 2015-2016 season. The Stars scraped their way to the playoffs and lost in a heartbreaking Game 7 overtime loss.

At the end-of-season interviews, general manager Jim Nill stated he would have to sit down with Tom Gaglardi and see where the team was at with Bowness. Nill currently has one more season on his contract with the Stars. When speaking with Bowness during his end-of-season interview, he said “I’m an old man with lots of fire left.” When asked about retiring or where he stood, he eluded to wanting one more year behind the bench, stating “if I want them, the options will be there.” The Stars are supposed to be having these conversations at the end of this week.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Rumour: Sidney Crosby wants to stay at least three more seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Analysis: Pittsburgh Penguins captain, Sidney Crosby, was asked about his future with the Penguins in his end-of-season interview. Crosby responded with “three more for sure, we’ll see after that.” Crosby, who signed a 12-year/$104.4 million contract becomes an unrestricted free agent after 2024-2025. The Penguins captain who made his NHL debut in 2005, has played in 1,108 games, scoring 517 goals and recording 1,409 points. This post-season he becomes the sixth player to reach 200 points during the playoffs. Though Crosby is sure that he wants to remain a Penguin, he has made it clear that he wants Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang at his side. The Penguins are currently in contract talks with the two players.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Rumour: Jason Spezza could be done with the Maple Leafs and the NHL

Analysis: Toronto Maple Leafs center, Jason Spezza, who has been in the NHL since 2002, is now facing the possibility of no longer playing in the NHL. In Spezza’s 20-year career, he has played in 1,248 games, scored 363 goals and recorded 995 points. During that time, he only played for three teams, the Ottawa Senators, the Dallas Stars and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Maple Leafs, who have lost in the first round almost every single year since 2017, have to be looking at moving pieces to ensure that doesn’t happen again next season. The question looms, does Spezza fit on their roster moving forward. Spezza’s one-year, $750,000 contract has expired. When asked about his future in his end-of-the-season interview, he stated “this is the only place I’ll play” referring to Toronto. Spezza serves the team as an unofficial second captain and brings more to the table than goals. He and the Maple Leafs will have conversations about his future in the coming weeks.

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