Mar 28, 2019
Insider Trading: How secure is Housley's future in Buffalo?
TSN Hockey Insiders Darren Dreger and Pierre LeBrun join host James Duthie to talk about the latest on Phil Housley's coaching future in Buffalo, the interest level in SHL's Joakim Nygard and a couple of teams waiting for their free agent's seasons to end.
There's much angst and anger in Buffalo. Is Phil Housley safe?
LeBrun: If you were to ask me that question about six weeks ago I would have said yes. But, I think a lot has changed and a lot of it has to do with the kind of disaster that the end of season has been for the Buffalo Sabres. So much so that I think GM Jason Botterill has to sit back and evaluate the coaching position. It doesn't necessarily mean that Phil Housley will be fired, but certainly, there will be an examination of his work, of that position. And I think the player-exit meetings will also certainly be a barometer as to what Jason Botterill will hear, so stay tuned on that front.
Who is Joakim Nygard and why are so many teams in him.
Dreger: He is a 26-year-old forward who's had a very good year in the Swedish Hockey League playing with Farjestad. His agent, Matt Keator, has been fielding NHL interest from several clubs for several months now. To be frank, of the teams interested, Ottawa and Calgary, they're both in on this guy hard. NHL general managers have gone to Sweden. They're going to Sweden as they want another look. He's being compared to Carl Hagelin. I had one GM tell me that this guy can flat out fly. And also what's intriguing and attractive about Joakim Nygard is the fact that at 26 he's got to sign a one-year entry-level contract deal. So, it's almost like a one-year test drive. See how he works out in the National Hockey League and then you can extend after that. It sounds like he will be in the NHL next season.
The Calgary Flames figured they wouldn't be able to sign Adam Fox so they packaged him in a deal with the Carolina Hurricanes. Now the question is; will Carolina be able to sign him?
LeBrun: Boy, that is a big question. And it would be a big blow to the Hurricanes if they can't because they really viewed him as a key part of that deal. As of now, our understanding is that Adam Fox has not made a final decision on what he's going to do. Of course, he's got a lot of decisions ahead of him. His team, Harvard, plays UMass on Friday in the NCAA regionals. If his team loses, his season is over. He could decide to go back to Harvard for his senior year. He could decide to sign with the Hurricanes. He could also tell the Hurricanes that he's not signing with them forcing a potential trade. So three scenarios there. I'm told that within 48 hours of his season ending, that Adam Fox and his group will let the Hurricanes know what their intentions are. Here's the thing. For sure, Carolina will trade his rights if he doesn't sign with them. The question is when? Because Adam Fox would want to sign with an NHL club right away, perhaps with Carolina to burn that first year of his entry-level deal before the end of the season this year. But Carolina could wait until the off-season if they decide to trade him which would set Carolina back a year in terms of starting his pro career. So a lot of different dynamics here. A lot of people watching how the Adam Fox situation plays out.
Dreger: Tons of interest in that game because of Adam Fox and the guy he's going to play against in Cale Makar. Colorado is obviously very interested in the outcome of that game and how deep UMass is going to continue in the NCAA postseason. Colorado wants to sign this guy as soon as UMass is eliminated. But, they're not going to know that. UMass is a good team and they could go deep into the Frozen Four. But, not dissimilar to Adam Fox, the expectation is that when UMass is eliminated, Cale Makar will sign with Colorado. And as long as it is in-season or in the NHL playoffs, he too will burn off that first year of his entry-level contract.