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NHL Rumors: Jets, Oilers, Flyers, Mitchell Miller, More – The Hockey Writers



In today’s NHL rumor rundown, the Edmonton Oilers have grabbed another depth forward in free agency and most fans are loving the signing. Why did he choose Edmonton at such a discounted rate? In Winnipeg, there’s an update on Patrik Laine and whether or not he’ll be traded before camp. If not, how will the Jets improve their blue line? In Philadelphia, are the Flyers one of the teams interested in Mike Hoffman? Finally, could former Arizona Coyotes draft selection Mitchell Miller be headed to the KHL?

Laine Likely to Stay With Jets

Ken Wiebe of Sportsnet has updated the situation on Patrik Laine this week and notes that unless the Winnipeg Jets are blown away by a trade offer, he expects Laine to report to training camp.

Patrik Laine, Winnipeg Jets (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The situation between the Jets and Laine could very well end in a trade because Laine is in the final year of his deal at a $6.75 million but the Jets are being patient as he is under team control for three more seasons. Winnipeg may know that Laine would prefer to move on, but they aren’t giving him away.

Wiebe also doesn’t believe there’s anything to the rumors the Columbus Blue Jackets would consider moving  Zach Werenski and his $5 million salary cap hit for two years for Laine. 

Potentially, a more likely move out of Winnipeg would be that the Jets deal either Jack Roslovic and Sami Niku in an attempt to land a defenseman.

Related: Prospects News & Rumors: Kaut, Dahlen, Robertsson & Rosen

Flyers Need Scoring, But Not Interested in Hoffman

While a number of teams have been listed as waiting on Mike Hoffman to make a decision, the Philadelphia Flyers are apparently not one of them. Jordan Hall of NBC Sports Philadelphia cited Pierre LeBrun’s recent report that Hoffman is being patient because offers have been low but that “dozen or so” teams have shown interest. Hall says the Flyers aren’t in that group.

This news comes despite obvious issues with the Flyers ability to score in the playoffs and the fact they’ve not added a forward in NHL free agency. They don’t exactly have a ton of cap room, (just under $5 million in salary cap space) but they could make room if they had interest.

Hall says the team should be looking in his direction but he doesn’t believe they will.

Oilers Add Dominik Kahun

The Edmonton Oilers made it official on Monday that they were adding Dominik Kahun to their left wing depth on a one-year deal worth $975K. There was some speculation the Los Angeles Kings had kicked tires on the player, but he elected to join the Oilers.

Dominik Kahun Pittsburgh Penguins
Dominik Kahun, Pittsburgh Penguins (Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images)

What’s interesting about the deal is that the Oilers were said to have expressed interest early in free agency but Kahun wanted to see if there was better money out there. There wasn’t, or it didn’t come from teams he was interested in joining. As a result, he circled back to Edmonton and signed.

Kahun, 25, is a boyhood friend and former teammate of Oilers star Leon Draisaitl. They were frequent linemates for Germany in several international tournaments, including the World Championships. Fans in Edmonton will be wondering if these two will play together.

Also worth watching is how this signing affects Edmonton’s plans to re-sign RFA defenseman Ethan Bear. The Oilers don’t have much cap flexibility now, but will when Oscar Klefbom hits LTIR. That could mean Bear’s signing is held off until that time.

Related: Top 10 NHL Backup Goaltenders

Mitchell Miller Headed to KHL?

With the Arizona Coyotes renouncing their draft selection of Mitchell Miller and with the University of North Dakota revoking his right to play hockey, the former NHL prospect might be looking at other alternatives to play next season. Apparently, the Continental League of the KHL.

Reports out of Russia are that Miller is being potentially linked to SKA. Obviously, none of this is official and we’ll have more on the story as it develops.

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New York Rangers get OK to interview Gerard Gallant for coaching job



The New York Rangers plan to interview Gerard Gallant for their head coaching job, TSN reported.

The Vegas Golden Knights, who fired Gallant during the 2019-20 season, reportedly have granted permission.

A first conversation between the Rangers and Gallant was expected to take place quickly, before Gallant heads to Latvia to coach Team Canada at the IIHF World Championship, which runs from May 21-June 6.

Gallant, 57, was the first coach of the expansion Golden Knights and led them to the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural season in 2017-18. The Washington Capitals won in five games.

He was fired 49 games into his third season when the team was 24-19-6, and he had an overall record of 118-75-20 with Vegas.

He also coached the Columbus Blue Jackets (2003-07) and Florida Panthers (2014-17) and has a career record of 270-216-4-51 in 541 career games as a head coach.

The Rangers are in the midst of an overhaul. They fired head coach David Quinn and three assistant coaches on Wednesday, following the dismissal last week of team president John Davidson and general manager Jeff Gorton.

The Rangers failed to qualify for the playoffs for the fourth straight season after posting a 27-23-6 record in 2020-21. They finished in fifth place in the East Division.

Quinn, 54, compiled a 96-87-25 record during his three seasons as coach of the Rangers after taking over for Alain Vigneault on May 23, 2018.

–Field Level Media

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NHL wants answer on Canada border crossing soon



The NHL has asked the Canadian government for a decision by June 1 about U.S. teams crossing the border during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, ESPN reported Friday.


The Canadian teams played only each other during the 2020-21 season in a revamped North Division because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and that will continue during the first two rounds of the playoffs. It’s what happens after that — in the semifinals and finals — that is up in the air.


“The conversations are ongoing. We’ve told them we really do need to know by the end of the first round, and that’s around June 1,” Steve Mayer, the league’s chief content officer, told ESPN. “That’s pretty much the date that we’ve talked to them about, saying we have to know one way or another.”


Last season, the playoffs were held in bubbles in Edmonton and Toronto.


Under current rules, American-based teams couldn’t play in Canada without mandatory quarantines, which would make travel for home-and-away games impossible under the playoff calendar.


The NHL and government representatives last talked a week ago, and the Canadian officials submitted a variety of questions for the league’s response.


In the interim, Mayer said, the league has discussed the possibility of the Canadian team that advances from the North Division being based in the U.S. for the duration of the postseason. Talks have occurred with officials at NHL arenas where teams didn’t qualify for the playoffs.


An NHL source told ESPN this week that the league expects “a positive resolution” to the issue, however.


–Field Level Media

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Canada to play 2 more home World Cup qualifiers in U.S.



As Canada continues to wrestle with the coronavirus pandemic, the country’s national soccer team will play two more of its home World Cup qualifying matches south of the border in June.

Canada will face Aruba in Bradenton, Fla., on June 5, and will take on Suriname in suburban Chicago on June 8, Canada Soccer confirmed Monday.

The games are Canada‘s last two of four matches in CONCACAF Group B. A March 26 Canadian home match against Bermuda was held in Orlando, Fla., which Canada won 5-1. Also, the Caymen Islands were the host team on March 29, when Canada rolled, 11-0.

Only one national team advances to the next round, and Canada and Suriname top the group and the game against Suriname in Bridgeview, Ill., figures to be the deciding match in both teams’ efforts to advance.

Thirty nations from Central and North America are competing in this first round with six group winners advancing to a second round of head-to-head knockout matches for the right to compete in the CONCACAF final round of eight teams competing for four places in the 2022 World Cup. A fifth team from CONCACAF advances to an intercontinental play-in round.

As was executed in Orlando, the match in Chicago will be staged in accordance with the FIFA International Match Protocols supported by the relevant public health requirements.

“We had hoped to play these matches at home with Canadian fans providing the support and momentum to play a tough nation like Suriname in FIFA World Cup Qualifiers,” said John Herdman, coach of the Canadian men’s national team. “The reality of the global pandemic and the priority to keep our communities in Canada safe means the match will be played at a neutral site in Chicago with no home advantage, but we will embrace that challenge.

“Whatever comes at us, we will take it on and do whatever we need to do to advance to the next round.”

-Field Level Media

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