With the glut of free agent UFA coaches available, could the Seattle franchise consider hiring a coach as early as this off-season? As well, what happened with the Zach Parise deal at the deadline, and could it be revisited in the summer? Could Josh Anderson be dealt in the off-season? The Insiders discuss all of this and more.
Green light for Seattle to hire coach early
Duthie: Seattle is still about a year and half away from making their debut in the National Hockey League. But Pierre, are we going to see the announcement of their first coach sooner than we expected?
LeBrun: It’s realistic to assume that can now happen. That wasn’t the case originally. I mean when Ron Francis was thinking about his first head coach, he thought he would hire him between January and June 2021. Well now he has cleared it with ownership that he can now go out and hire a coach as early as this summer, a full year out that obviously costs money. But when you look at the depth at the coaching UFA position, you got Gerard Gallant who was fired this year in Vegas, Peter Laviolette of course is still out there. We know Bruce Boudreau is looking for a job and of course Mike Babcock. So that’s the kind of depth we haven’t seen at the coaching position in a while and so that’s why Seattle is thinking of hiring early.
Wild to begin coach search soon
Dreger: Well Ron Francis is going to have some competition in terms of that coach search because Wild general manager Bill Guerin also plans on beginning his coaching search in the very near future. There’s no big rush with the Minnesota Wild, they’ve got Dean Evason as an interim coach. He’ll work until the end of the year but they at least want to get an assembled list of potential candidates in early and then you wait until the end of the season so see if there are any new names that surface. A lot of work ahead in the management department for Billy Guerin.
Parise trade could be revisited
McKenzie: Let’s revisit the trade deadline for a moment and the fact that Zach Parise, the deal that was going to send him to the New York Islanders for Andrew Ladd basically got kiboshed because they ran out of time to handle what were believed to be very complicated financial maneuverings for both teams. The question now being asked is maybe this is something that could be resurrected in the summer. Certainly I think Parise would look fondly on a chance to go with Lou Lamoriello to the New York Islanders organization that his dad JP once played for. So we are going to wait and see obviously how things transpire for both those teams but I think there’s a sense that there’s a chance this could get reinvigorated in the summer.
GMs to discuss potential Ayres rule
Duthie: We all got a chance to meet Dave Ayres when he was in here on the weekend, helped us with the opening to TradeCentre. We’re all really happy for him but man that story has really divided people in hockey. Some say amazing story, others say completely embarrassing for the National Hockey League. The GMs are about to address it. Will they change the rule?
McKenzie: It’s going to be a hot button issue when the general managers get to Boca next week in Florida. And you’re right, James. I think there’s opposite ends of the spectrum on what could or should be done. At one end of the spectrum, you do have some general managers that believe you know what, this could’ve been catastrophic, especially because Ayres worked as an employee of the Toronto Maple Leafs, he’s 42-years-old, he’s never played at a high level. There are some who suggest yeah you know what we need to have each team adopt a non-roster third goalie that travels and lives with the team and pay him so that this potential embarrassment doesn’t happen again. And there’s other people, one general manager I talked to said, are you kidding me? This has only ever happened twice in the National Hockey League. Both times the emergency backup goaltender won the game. What’s everybody getting upset about? And of course there’s the in between – tweak the qualifications, make the standards a little higher, all those discussions next week at the GMs meeting.
Arizona testing issue continues to simmer
Dreger: Well a number of general managers also hoping for an explanation on how the National Hockey League commissioner’s office intends on handling the allegations that continue to swirl around the Arizona Coyotes about the fitness testing of draft-eligible players. What we know is this: it’s an ongoing process so nothing has really changed there. There will be no resolution announced to the general managers during the meeting or immediately after so there could be scuttlebutt away from the meetings in Boca but there won’t be anything official.
Columbus likely to trade Anderson?
Duthie: Apparently we aren’t done with trade talk. Josh Anderson, Dregs tweeting today out for the year with a shoulder injury, is he going to be gone at some point this summer?
LeBrun: I think there’s a strong possibility he gets dealt. He’s an RFA on July 1, he’s a year away from UFA so any normal circumstance would be do we sign this guy long term, we don’t want to walk him to UFA. Well that’s one layer. The other layer is this. I think there’s been a difference of opinion between the team and the player’s camp about how to handle an injury that was originally announced as four-to-six weeks back in December, well now that’s two months ago. So I think there’s been some tension here and I foresee a trade and it’s going to be a big one. A 25-year-old power winger.
Duthie: Josh Anderson, No. 1 on Frank Seravalli’s Trade Bait list.