It’s time again for another set of NHL rumours as the Stanley Cup playoffs approach the final two teams. Will it be the Boston Bruins against the San Jose Sharks, or the St. Louis Blues? Many teams are jockeying for the pole position during the summer months as next season approaches. We will be there to report all the changes and surprises which may occur. This time we will take a glance at our NHL rumours related to the Ottawa Senators, Dallas Stars, and the Carolina Hurricanes.
— Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) May 18, 2019
Rumour: Ottawa Sun writer Bruce Garrioch reports that Patrick Roy will be the next person interviewed for the head coaching position for the Senators. General manager Pierre Dorion has been known to have met with Marc Crawford (who finished the season in the interim head coaching role), AHL Belleville’s Troy Mann, Providence College’s Nate Leaman, plus NHL assistants Rick Bowness (Dallas), Jacques Martin (Pittsburgh), and D.J. Smith (Toronto).
A decision is expected next week.
Analysis: Roy left his previous head coaching position with the Colorado Avalanche back in August of 2016 over a disagreement with the team on player movement decisions. This time around he has pledged to be satisfied with just the coaching role. He is skilled with working with younger players and that can be a good fit since Ottawa is going through a rebuild.
The 53-year-old former star goaltender would seem to have the inside track to win the position. He’d be smart to keep Marc Crawford around as an assistant giving him an insight to the team from day one. Of course, Crawford coached Roy in Colorado and the two have a relationship going back to his playing days.
Rumour: Sportsday’s Matthew DeFranks pondered over whether the Dallas Stars should keep Julius Honka on their roster or trade him. He’s just 23-years-old and some teams may have interest in acquiring him. In a poll that DeFranks did, apparently, the fanbase didn’t agree with keeping him since it was 70 percent in favour of trading him. He is a restricted free agent on July 1st.
Stars general manager Jim Nill said, “We’re going to sit down over the summer now and we’re going to decide is he part of this group or is he an asset to go get something else? That’s what we’ve got to figure out.”
Honka’s size at just 5’11”, 180 pounds may be part of what is holding him back, During the past season, he only managed four assists in 29 games averaging 13:43 minutes of ice time.
Analysis: When you dissect what Nill said about Honka one can determine his time has perhaps run out in Dallas.“The tough situation with a young player, especially Julius Honka, is when I hire the coaches, they’re hired to win games,” Nill said. “You get to the NHL and it’s not a developmental league. They go into games and they have to put the guys out there they think they can win with at that moment. Julius had his chances at times, didn’t quite grab it.”
Honka, a former first-round pick, was seen as a talented prospect in junior and the AHL. The Stars are unlikely to get a lot back for him, given his struggles to crack the lineup. However, he was seen to have talent once upon a time. Perhaps a fresh start in a new organization could unlock that talent.
Rumour: Eric Stephens of The Athletic stated that he heard the Anaheim Ducks are looking for a right-handed top-4 defenceman. The name Justin Faulk of the Hurricanes was tossed around. Faulk’s name was involved with NHL rumours quite a bit before the trade deadline. He still has one year left on his six-year, $29 million contract and the Canes have plenty of cap space (over $28M) to keep him.
Faulk is an excellent offensive player that can drive possession and score goals in all situations. He tallied 11 goals, 24 assists in 82 games and had six power play goals. He was a workhorse playing 22:25 minutes per game.
This trade would solve the problem facing the Carolina Hurricanes of having too many RHD. It also would also give both teams something different. The Hurricanes would likely ask Anaheim for one of their young forwards. With players like Sam Steel, Troy Terry, Daniel Sprong, Maxime Comtois, Antoine Morand, Isac Lundestrom, and Max Jones in their system, the Ducks could move a young forward prospect while still having plenty on the way. Alternatively, they could send an NHL forward to Carolina and replace him in the lineup with one of those prospects.
For the Anaheim Ducks, adding a right-handed defenceman like Justin Faulk would allow them to change up their power play. It also gives them an outlet they sorely lack right now.