NHL Rumors: Penguins, Red Wings, Senators, Bruins, Oilers

The Hockey Writers

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, Kyle Dubas spoke with the media about the Pittsbrugh Penguins’ plans moving forward and particular players. Meanwhile, Patrick Kane is looking for term on his next contract. Does that rule out a return to Detroit? Did the Edmonton Oilers make a huge mistake heading into the postseason? Finally, as the Ottawa Senators look to address their goaltending in the offseason, will they be reaching out to the Boston Bruins?

Dubas on Ryan Graves, Kris Letang, and Sidney Crosby

In his post-season address, Penguins GM Kyle Dubas offered updates on a few key players. First, he says defenseman Kris Letang is seeking a second opinion on something “significant” he played with all season. The way the injury was discussed, it seems like Letang could be looking at a major surgery. “We’ll have an update once he makes a decision one way or the other on it,” noted Dubas.

Kris Letang Pittsburgh Penguins
Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

There was also talk about defenseman Ryan Graves who didn’t have the kind of year the Penguins were hoping he’d have when they signed him. Dubas on Graves:

“With Ryan, there’s no dancing around it. He was a very good player in Colorado and New Jersey… He came in and from the beginning, I thought, ‘it happens’. Did I expect it to go the whole year? No. Part of that is on us as an organization, but it’s as much on Ryan to push and find his way through the summer. It’s a massive summer for him. His strength, which will allow him to be more physical and make stops in the defensive zone, his mobility – he’s going to have to push and really work on that. We have to arm him with the path to get there and he has to execute it relentlessly and if he can do that, he will get back to being the player he was when we signed him.”

When it comes to the future of Sidney Crosby in Pittsburgh, Dubas noted, “The intention has always been clear. I think he should finish his career with the Pittsburgh Penguins. How long that is? I’m not going to put any limits on Sidney Crosby.” Dubas added, “He’s capable of great things and is still performing at an extraordinarily high level.”

Patrick Kane Wants Term on an Extension

Elliotte Friedman said that Patrick Kane is prioritizing term on a new extension. Saying Kane wants to go somewhere and stay somewhere, Friedman isn’t sure an extension with the Red Wings will be a done deal. GM Steve Yzerman is reluctant to give out term, especially for older players. If Kane is looking for three or four years somewhere, that could narrow the field of teams who are interested, especially given his injury history and his age being 36 when the season starts.

Related: NHL Rumors: Penguins, Avalanche, Lightning, Wild

There is a belief the Red Wings want Kane to come back and he would like to stay in Detroit, but how far Yzerman is willing to go remains to be seen.

Oilers Dropped Ball with Stuart Skinner

The Edmonton Oilers sat six of their stars during the final game of the regular season, but put Stuart Skinner in goal. Right away, a fully loaded roster for the Colorado Avalanche took advantage of the inexperienced opponent and scored four goals in the first period. Oilers fans and insiders questioned the decision, something head coach Kris Knoblauch later admitted was a mistake.

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“It wasn’t fair for him. Very difficult,” Knoblauch said. “Before [the game] we had planned on how much he was going to play, and the chances he saw wasn’t a very structured game. The chances were point-blank changes that are very difficult for the goalie. Not easy for him.” The hope is that this hasn’t affected the confidence of the Oilers’ starter as they head into a series against the Los Angeles Kings on Monday.

Senators to Circle Back and Talk to Bruins About Ullmark

Insiders are suggesting one of the priorities for the Ottawa Senators this offseason (besides finding a coach) is goaltending. They need to address it and determine a plan for the pairing of Joonas Korpisalo and Anton Forsberg. Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun suggests that this pairing will change and he noted the Senators previously reached out to the Bruins about Linus Ullmark.

Garrioch writes:

The elephant in the room is goaltending… The Senators kicked tires on Boston’s Linus Ullmark at the deadline and the expectation is the club will circle back.

source – ‘GARRIOCH: Senators GM Steve Staios has his work cut out for him in the off-season’ – Bruce Garrioch – Ottawa Sun – 04/17/2024

Pavel Francouz Retiring

Goaltender Pavel Francouz has announced his retirement from professional hockey at the age of 33. This comes after missing the entire season in recovery from a groin injury. Francouz played 73 games in the NHL and had a combined .919 sv%. He won a Stanley Cup in 2022 with the Colorado Avalanche.

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