Welcome to the Wednesday edition of Full Press Hockey’s NHL Rumors! The Stanley Cup Playoffs are here and the action is hot and heavy. While all eyes will be on the teams playing for the Stanley Cup, the teams who failed in the playoffs or didn’t make the cut, still have work to do now that their season is over. In this edition of NHL Rumors, we will take a look at the Florida Panthers, Vancouver Canucks, and Dallas Stars.
Florida Panthers – Coaching Change Possible
Rumor: – Per – Kristen Shilton/Greg Wyshynski – espn.com. Will interim head coach Andrew Brunette, who is a Jack Adams finalist, remain as the permanent head coach, or will he be replaced?
Burnette took over when former coach Joel Quenneville stepped down and led the Panthers to their first-ever Presidents’ Trophy compiling 122 points. While he has certainly done a fine job during the remainder of the regular season, the Florida club got eliminated in four games by the experienced Tampa Bay Lightning. Will that be his demise? Panthers general manager Bill Zito could be tempted into hiring a better-experienced bench boss like Barry Trotz, John Tortorella, Alain Vigneault, Rick Bowness or Paul Maurice. It’s his job to improve the team and that could mean Burnette will get the axe.
After all, Brunette did collect an impressive 51-18-6 record good for 108 of the Panthers’ 122 points. The downside is his 4-6 record in the postseason and his less-than extensive experience as a head coach. Bill Zito has a vital decision to make.
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Vancouver Canucks – Offseason Decisions
Rumor: Per – Thomas Drance, Rick Dhaliwal – theathletic.com. The Canucks have plenty to decide this offseason. Brock Boeser, J.T. Miller, Oliver Ekman-Larsson to name a few. General Manager Patrik Allvin will be wearing his thinking cap to determine the direction of his team.
- Brock Boeser – Contract talks are at least being restarted to determine what Boeser should be paid, or perhaps traded. He will need a large $7.5 million qualifying offer and will want a raise from his current $5.875 million deal. He will more than likely seek a three-year deal at about $7 million. The team only has $13 million of cap space.
- J.T. Miller – It still remains unknown if the Canucks can come up with what Miller may demand in a new contract. He is still under his deal which runs through next season at $5.25 million. The New York Rangers have expressed interest in acquiring Miller, but the Vancouver club would want Alexis Lafreniere, plus a first-rounder. Follow NHL rumors here to see where this goes.
- Oliver Ekman-Larsson – OEL’s $7.26 million cap hit through 2026-27 will be quite a stumbling block for any suitors. Cost-cutting moves for Allvin must start here, yet he is impressed with OEL’s play. Don’t forget he also has a no-trade clause. If he doesn’t want to be traded, he can nix it.
Dallas Stars – Head Coach Replacement Decision
Rumor: – Per – Jeff Marek/Elliotte Friedman – sportsnet.com. When head coach Rick Bowness stepped down, it left the Dallas Stars with a coaching opening. During the season around the All-Star break, the team considered replacing Bowness with Rick Tocchet, but nothing got worked out. Expect that to be re-visited.
According to Friedman, Rick Tocchet could be considered as a replacement for the coaching position. Per Marek, another name could also be former NHL player Marc Savard who is coaching in the OHL for the Windsor Spitfires. Savard was a former assistant head coach with the St. Louis Blues. It seems either candidate would be very qualified to fill the head coaching role in Dallas. After a disappointing end to their season losing in seven games to the Calgary Flames, the Stars want to build on their successes and Tocchet or Savard could certainly help in that endeavour.
The Stars need to determine what will happen to defenseman John Klingberg going forward. Tocchet and Savard will certainly be interested in that going forward as well if one of them gets hired. Dallas surprised many NHL experts by taking the powerful Flames to seven games in the playoffs. Now, they just need some direction behind the bench to continue their quest for a Cup.
That concludes this edition of NHL rumors. Be sure to catch our next article on Sunday!
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