The playoffs are in full swing, with some teams already being eliminated. Still, there are NHL rumours to be discussed. How the eliminated teams can improve for next season, and how can teams make themselves better for the 2022-23 season. Today we will be looking at NHL rumours surrounding the Toronto Maple Leafs, Chicago Blackhawks, and Dallas Stars.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Analysis: The Leafs are in a tough position here. There are little to no options for goalie UFAs and it would be in their best interest to keep Campbell. However, giving $5,000,000 per season to a goalie that was among the most inconsistent in the 2021-22 season, only has two seasons as an NHL starter, and is 30-years-old isn’t a deal you always want to make. A team out there will absolutely give this to Campbell, but it may not be a contract the Leafs can afford.
As previously mentioned, the Leafs are in a difficult scenario. Jack Campbell is likely a top-three goalie UFA this off-season as it is. Meaning the Leafs don’t have many other options to target for goaltending. The Leafs will likely have to look at trading for a goalie should they be unable to re-sign Campbell. They cannot rely on Joseph Woll, who is still developing in the AHL, to be the starter of the future just yet. They could need to get creative with their goaltending situation, or shell out some assets to grab one from another team should Campbell walk.
Analysis: The Chicago Blackhawks are in a difficult position this off-season. Former general manager Stan Bowman committed to trying to contend for the playoffs despite their team being on the decline. They traded for and then extended defenceman Seth Jones, acquired Tyler Johnson, and signed Jake McCabe, all to be sellers at the deadline yet again. These players are still on the books for next season. So they may not have the cap space to re-sign Kirby Dach, Caleb Jones, and Dominik Kubalik, and address needs like goaltending while giving Strome a raise on top of that.
Strome has been an excellent middle-six centre for the Blackhawks ever since being acquired. If Strome does not get a qualifying offer from Chicago, he can become an RFA. This does not mean, however, he won’t re-sign with Chicago. We’ve seen players like Derrick Pouliot not be extended a qualifying offer and still sign with their original team. However, this is not the norm. If a qualifying offer is not extended, there will be many teams pursuing the 25-year-old centre.
Rumour: According to Rick Dhaliwal, the Dallas Stars could be interested in Travis Green as the teams next head coach.
Dallas Stars owner Tom Gaglardi on coaching search and Travis Green : I think he would be a candidate. Travis has proven he deserves to be considered. I expect we will be talking to him.
Donnie and Dhali
— Rick Dhaliwal (@DhaliwalSports) May 30, 2022
Analysis: With Rick Bowness stepping down as head coach, the Stars need to find someone to course correct. Green had a tough time with the Vancouver Canucks. However, some of that could likely be attributed to Jim Benning‘s approach to building the team. Given a fresh start and a different roster, he could find some of the magic he had with Utica in the AHL, where he took the team to the finals. There are, however, a number of coaching options out there.
The biggest name that comes up is Barry Trotz, but there are also coaches such as Rick Tocchet or Mike Yeo who the Flyers announced isn’t coming back. There are also AHL coaches that could look to graduate, and find a coach that hasn’t been recently fired. Breaking the ever-turning carousel of NHL coaches being fired and re-hired could be a good thing.
It’s unclear if Green is their top candidate right now. They have yet to even interview him, but it seems like he is a coach that is on their radar for sure.
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