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NHL Rumours: St. Louis Blues and Seattle Kraken

NHL Rumours

It’s time for another edition of NHL rumours. We’re ready for the 2024 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. However, the other teams have some tough decisions to make. The clubs that didn’t make the post-season have plenty of work to do in the coming offseason. What changes are going to made to get these teams back into contention? Today’s NHL Rumours focus on the St. Louis Blues and the Seattle Kraken.

NHL Rumours

St Louis Blues

Rumour: Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic talked about the Blues head coaching search.

Analysis: St. Louis just missed out on the post-season after firing Craig Berube in the middle of the year. Drew Bannister came in and did all he could to keep the team in the mix until the last week. Bannister should get a decent look, but there could be other candidates for General Manager Doug Armstrong to look at. Denver University coach David Carle and former Blues bench boss Joel Quenneville were named in a previous article as candidates. However, Quenneville would need to be reinstated by the league.

Carle helped lead the Pioneers to record-setting 10th NCAA Division I Men’s Hockey Championship. The challenge to coach at the highest level is always there, but does Carle want to test the waters in the NHL? Carle is a young coach at 34 years old, but has been a winner at the collegiate level at Denver.

Quenneville still has a ton of baggage from his part in the Kyle Beach scandal. The veteran coach does want a return to the league, but there will likely be an uproar if he does get hired. Getting reinstated by Commissioner Gary Bettman also seems like an extra hurdle that might scare off some teams.

Armstrong also has the choice of a number of veterans like Todd McLellan, Dean Evason, Gerard Gallant, and Jay Woodcroft should he go the veteran route. These are names that were mentioned in previous NHL rumours pieces on the Buffalo Sabres and Ottawa Senators. St. Louis management could also decide to keep Bannister and give him the full-time gig. Armstrong may also keep him as an assistant, but there is a feeling that he should at least have a chance at losing the interim tag.

Seattle Kraken

Rumour: Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times looked into the possibility of the Kraken bringing in a star player to bolster their roster.

Analysis: Regression was the key word for the Kraken this season after last season’s surprising run. General Manager Ron Francis has been very deliberate in bringing in the right pieces and taking his time. However, one can see the success of the Vegas Golden Knights and want the timeline to get sped up a bit. Baker mentions swinging for the fences and bringing in a star player that can be the franchise focus. Seattle has a good number of players like Jared McCann, Vince Dunn, and Matty Beniers. Conversely, there’s no one that jumps off the page and screams superstar for them.

Francis could deviate from the plan, but that would likely mean giving up a valuable asset in return. Baker mentions players like Dunn, Will Borgen and Adam Larsson and goaltender Joey Daccord as possible trade chips. The Kraken could also sell high on former fourth overall pick Shane Wright if they believe they can get something.

Fellow Seattle Times scribe Kate Shefte said that Brandon Tanev and Jamie Oleksiak as possible bargaining chips. She disagrees with Baker on Wright being on the block. However, she offered up a different prospect in Jagger Firkus.

Seattle fans got a taste of post-season hockey last year, but the fan base wants more. Francis has some decisions to make this coming offseason that will shape the fate of this team.

Main photo by: Jeff Le-USA TODAY Sports


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