Welcome back to another edition of NHL Rumours on Last Word on Hockey. We have entered into the last two weeks of hockey for the 2021-2022 season. This means rumours are flying and moves are being made. Today we will be discussing potential buyouts from the Boston Bruins and the New York Rangers. As well as the Dallas Stars and head coach candidate Marc Savard. All NHL rumours are from the original source and are subject to change.
Rumour: Frank Seravalli breaks down the Top 10 Buyout Candidates, including Nick Foligno and Patrik Nemeth.
10 #NHL Buyout Candidates ahead of the window opening on July 1.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) June 13, 2022
Analysis: 34-year-old, Nick Foligno, just finished the first year of a two-year, 3.8 million dollar contract with the Boston Bruins. After battling with injuries at the beginning of the season, it seemed as though Foligno never got his footing with the Bruins. Unable to find his place in the lineup, the forward settled on the fourth line. He had his worst career offensively since joining the league in 2007. In 64 games played, he only scored two goals and recorded 13 points. If the Bruins were to buy Foligno out, it would save them around two million in cap space next season.
However, with the firing of head coach, Bruce Cassidy, and the possible retirement of captain Patrice Bergeron lingering, a lot of question marks remain. The Bruins are at a crossroads; they could completely blow it up and start a re-build or they could build around the core they have established. If the intention is to re-build and the expectations are low for next season, keeping Foligno through the remainder of his contract may make more sense.
New York Rangers
Analysis: 30-year-old, Patrik Nemeth, just finished his first year of a three-year, 2.5 million dollar contract with the New York Rangers. The Rangers were just eliminated by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Final. During the course of the playoffs, Nemeth played the first four games and then only one shift in Game 5 of the first round. After that, he was healthy scratched for the next 15 consecutive games by head coach, Gerard Gallant. Nemeth, who is not known for scoring, only scored two goals and recorded seven points in 63 games played.
When the Rangers brought the defenceman on, they were hoping to add stability on defence, help with the penalty kill and add some physicality. New York was willing to look past the lack of offence if the player was defensively sound, but Nemeth has not been that either. He has consistently let people in the zone due to lack of speed and not being in the correct places. As well as being a liability offensively by not being able to move the puck and get the puck out of the zone.
Buying Nemeth out would save about $1.5 million in cap space next season. The Rangers went on a decent run during this year’s playoffs. Making room for that cap space and someone else in the roster might make more sense than letting the remaining two years of his contract play out.
Rumour: Elliotte Friedman discussed the Dallas Stars considering Marc Savard for their vacant head coach position on the 32 Thoughts podcast.
— OntarioHockeyLeague (@OHLHockey) August 25, 2021
Analysis: Marc Savard currently coaches the Windsor Spitfires in the Ontario Hockey League. In his first season with the team, he took the to the Western Conference finals, where they lost in Game 7. Previously he had been the assistant coach of the St Louis Blues, before making the choice to step away. On the podcast, they mention that Savard has been on GM, Jim Nill‘s radar for some time. The Stars number one prospect is coached by Savard and while watching him, they noticed how well Savard coached him and the team.
Last season the Stars struggled with scoring and creating offence. Mostly due to being so heavy on defensive play and Rick Bowness‘ “offence will take care of itself” attitude. This mixed with the old-style hockey that they played, the Stars just could not keep up. Hockey has evolved into a game where speed is the main proponent of successful teams. Savard would be able to bring the new-style hockey to the organization that they haven’t had.
It also appeared from the outside looking in, that the previous head coach had issues with younger players. With the Stars main core being from the 2017 draft class, this is something Dallas will want to avoid. Since Savard has been coaching in the OHL, and done it well, he has experience with the young players and all that entails. Friedman does mention Boston and the Detroit Red Wings being on Savard’s list of possibilities.