In today’s NHL rumors, the Chicago Blackhawks are looking for a first-round pick. Meanwhile, Ottawa senators are willing to forego one. Could these two teams work something out around the NHL Entry Draft? There is talk that Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mikko Koskinen has agreed to a deal abroad and Rick Bowness has decided not to return to the Dallas Stars to coach next season. Does that mean he’s retiring?
Blackhawks want a first
Earlier this week, Chicago Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson indicated that he would like to try for a first-round pick in this year’s NHL Entry Draft. He remarked, “That’s definitely something we’re going to look at. Whether that’s possible is another question, but I’m definitely interested.”
He has already traded two future first-round picks from the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2023 and 2024 drafts Brandon Hagel, and there’s a chance he could use one of those picks along with something else to get through to the first round. The Blackhawks don’t have many tradable assets other than a few well-known stars with high salaries.
Senators ready to act pick
While the Blackhawks are trying to get through to the first round, the Ottawa Senators are open to trading the No. 7 overall pick in this year’s draft. The exchange would be for someone who would provide instant support and make them more competitive. According to the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch, the team specifically wants to add a top-six forward to play with Tim Stuetzle and possibly a top-four defender.
Garrioch writes that Dorion remarked at his end-of-season press conference that the team would be open to business with the selection if the Senators didn’t win the lottery. The senators didn’t win the lottery, but Garrioch adds:
There is no trade in Pick #7 imminent, so don’t sit on your phone expecting any news about the pick anytime soon. If Dorion does indeed deal the No. 7, it’s more likely to happen the night before round one in Montreal or on the draft floor itself.
Source – ‘GARRIOCH: Ottawa Senators have a big decision to make, with pick #7 in the draft’ – Bruce Garrioch – 05/11/2022
Bowness is not retiring from coaching
According to TSN insiders Pierre Le Brun: “Bowness’s contract with the Stars was up. But a source says Bowness isn’t retiring. He’ll see what the coaching market has to offer.” In other words, just because he’s leaving the Stars Organization doesn’t mean he’s leaving the pool of available coaches.
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John Shannon also writes: “No one should be surprised at Rick Bowness’ departure from Dallas. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him reappear in any role for an NHL team. He adds, “I’m sure he would listen if the right opportunity presented itself, but don’t expect him to actively pursue anything.”
Koskinen leaves Oilers?
Former NHL head coach Bob Hartley started an interesting rumor suggesting that goaltender Mikko Koskinen has already done so accepted an offer play for HC Lugano in the Swiss National League next season. The goaltender is still in the postseason and while Mike Smith has been signed as a starter for the Oilers, Koskinen could see some action in a tight series against the Calgary Flames.
Koskinen’s absence comes as no surprise to Edmonton. It was likely that GM Ken Holland would let Koskinen run as a free agent and leave with Stuart Skinner as a backup if the team couldn’t land a great starter as part of a goalie swap. In fact, it wouldn’t be a shock if the Oilers had already told Koskinen’s agents that they were moving on at the end of the season.
Possible destinations for Canadians
Montreal Hockey Now’s Jimmy Murphy suggested the Montreal Canadiens may not be actively chasing the big UFAs this offseason, citing Canadiens GM Kent Hughes who said the Canadiens are trying other ways to be active. He wondered if — while the Canadians try to add putts and move out pieces — they’ll make a pitch for the Minnesota Wild winger Kevin Fiala or Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun.
Either way, the Canadians would be chasing someone who might drop out of their respective organizations, but the Habs would also have to give up something to gain either player.
Jim Parsons is a senior freelance THW writer, part-time journalist, and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps, and breathes NHL news and rumor while also writing features about the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source at The Hockey Writers for more than five years, but beyond that, his mission is to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL gossip and tech talk. Jim is a daily must-read for readers who want to be “in the loop.”
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