NHL Rumours: Colorado Avalanche, Winnipeg Jets, Florida Panthers

NHL Rumours
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It’s Thursday and we have another edition of NHL Rumours as we go into the long American holiday weekend. There are some big decisions to be made be general managers this off-season. Plenty of coaches and players will be on the move very soon. We’ll be there to see how things shake out. Today’s NHL Rumours focus on the Colorado Avalanche, Winnipeg Jets and Florida Panthers.

All NHL rumours come from the original source and are subject to change.

NHL free agent frenzy

NHL Rumours

Colorado Avalanche

Rumour: Chris Johnston speculated on the future of Nazem Kadri in a guest mailbag for North Star Bets.

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Analysis: Kadri has fired up the Avalanche and the team is one the edge of breaking through to the Western Conference Final. However, the questions will come once we get to the off-season. Kadri makes $4.5 million per season, but he’s going to be in line for a huge pay raise.

It’s doubtful that the Avalanche will be able to give the London, Ontario native the money he needs to stay. He could want to stay with Colorado to make another run at a Stanley Cup, but it’s unlikely.

Johnston added that Kardi’s family are big Montreal Canadiens fans and he would be the big splash the team would need. Getting Shea Weber‘s contract off the books will help facilitate a Kadri contract. The 30-goal scorer will be a hot commodity this coming off-season.

Winnipeg Jets

Rumour: Jeff K. Hamilton went over the list of possible coaching candidates the Jets are looking at besides Barry Trotz.

Analysis: There are some decent names on the wish list, including Claude Juilien. He is coaching restricted free agent forward Pierre-Luc Dubois at this year’s IIHF World Championships. Dubois is having a solid tournament and seems to be responding to the coaching of the former Boston Bruins and Canadiens bench boss. Adam Lowry is also a current Jets player that is at the Worlds for Team Canada.

Muller does have NHL experience while Lalonde, Pascal Vincent and Spencer Carbery are respected assistants. Carbery does have experience coaching in the AHL with the Abbotsford Heat. Lalonde has been part of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s staff under Jon Cooper and could be worth a look due to the team’s championship pedigree.

However, it seems that many want Trotz to take over behind the bench. Trotz is from Manitoba and it would be a huge homecoming. He’d also clean up some of the Jets’ defensive struggles they had last season. The veteran coach seems to be the clubhouse favourite, but Winnipeg should be thorough in its search.

Florida Panthers

Rumour: Many media members speculated on what the future may hold for veteran forward Joe Thornton.

Analysis: Thornton is still trying to chase down that elusive Stanley Cup in the twilight of his career. He played on solid teams over the last two years like the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Panthers. However, he’s come up empty in those campaigns.

The St. Thomas, Ontario native turns 43 the day after Canada Day and one wonders if that’s it for his career. Thornton didn’t play much during the Panthers’ post-season run and was fairly limited in his action. One wonders if he wants to go through the grind of another 82-game season plus the post-season. However, the lure of finally getting his name engraved on the Stanley Cup is a strong one.

Thornton likely won’t play the full slate if he does come back, but he is a veteran that could be brought in if he’s healthy. He always manages to put in the work in the summer months to stay in shape, but it could be another late call to see if Thornton will add another season to his two-decade long career.

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