In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Edmonton Oilers are on the verge of signing Jay Woodcroft to a three-year coaching extension, the Colorado Avalanche are making Valeri Nichushkin a priority this summer and Connor Brown of the Ottawa Senators is likely to test free agency. What’s the latest on the coaching carousel and have the Dallas Stars gotten anywhere with John Klingberg?
Oilers Getting Deal Done With Woodcroft
According to Bob Stauffer of Oilers Now and Kevin Weekes of ESPN, the Oilers have either finalized a deal with interim head coach Jay Woodcroft or are about to. The deal is expected to be for three years but Weekes says the situation is still developing and fluid.
Once the Oilers announce the Woodcroft deal it is expected an extension for associate coach Dave Manson will be made official shortly thereafter.
Avalanche Making Nichushkin a Priority
According to Hockey Night in Canada insider Elliotte Friedman, the Colorado Avalanche have made forward Valeri Nichushkin a priority this summer. Despite the fact that Nichushkin has played so well that he’s becoming increasingly expensive in free agency, the Avalanche have reached out to let him know they’d like to keep him with the club.
Valeri Nichushkin, Colorado Avalanche (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)
One thing the Avalanche believe is working to their advantage is the fact that Nichushkin came from a team in Dallas where he was not happy and didn’t perform well. He is happy in Colorado and has found a fit. That could lean him towards re-signing with the Avs over another team where the chemistry won’t be as strong.
Connor Brown To Test Free Agency
Friedman also notes that Connor Brown of the Ottawa Senators is considering testing free agency. The last time he had an opportunity to see what he was worth on the open market he signed one year prior to becoming a free agent. This year he’d like to test the waters. This has led to speculation that the Senators might explore the idea of a trade so that Brown does not leave and the Senators get nothing in return.
Connor Brown, Ottawa Senators (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)
Brown currently has one more season on his current contract at $3.6 million. He’s coming off a campaign where he scored 10 goals and 39 points in 64 games. There will be teams interested as he’s a gritty and skilled forward who can play up and down the lineup.
Other Coaching Updates
Former New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz is expected to meet with the Winnipeg Jets in the next couple of days and it is expected there will be clarity in the coming days for the Dallas Stars who are also looking to hire a head coach. In Florida, it appears Andrew Burnette is going to survive the flurry of coaching interviews with other candidates and be given the job as a full-time coach.
Stars and Klingberg Not Talking Much
According to Pierre LeBrun of TSN Insider Trading, the Montreal Canadiens are working on a Jeff Petry trade and the Stars might be the leading candidate to acquire him. Some of the speculation comes from a lack of talks between the Stars and pending UFA John Klingberg.
Related: Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Bunting, Campbell & Prospect Moving
“The Dallas Stars are a team that has some interest in Jeff Petry, especially if they can’t resign pending UFA John Klingberg. I can tell you right now there have not been any talks with Klingberg of late. It looks like he’s headed to the UFA market.”
Husso Not Singing Blues About Leaving the Blues
According to David Pagnotta of NBC Sports, Ville Husso has made peace with the fact he won’t be back next season with the St. Louis Blues. He’s looking for $3-$4 million per season on a minimum three-year deal and the Oilers, New Jersey Devils, Buffalo Sabres, Chicago Blackhawks, and Toronto Maple Leafs (if they miss on Jack Campbell), are the most likely landing spots.
Pagnotta believes the Oilers and Maple Leafs would be near the top of his list and the Oilers certainly are looking at him since they need a starter for next season.
Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”
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