NHL Rumors: Rangers, Flyers, Canadiens, Oilers

In today’s NHL rumors, the New York Rangers have already signed an overtime with one of their forwards just hours after being eliminated from the playoffs. And now that they’re out of the playoffs, what’s next?

The Philadelphia Flyers have narrowed down their candidates for a new head coach, and the one-time Montreal Canadiens defenseman may be interested in a return.

Rangers sign Kravtsov

This was announced by Dan Milstein’s Gold Star Hockey on Sunday this winger Vitali Kravtsov has extended his contract with the New York Rangers by a year. Kravtsov, a player unhappy about not making the roster last season, started for the KHL and had a relatively productive season.

Vitali Kravtsov signs a one-year contract extension with the New York Rangers (one-way). #WeAreGoldStar! https://t.co/ltfXePVInn

He’s obviously interested in returning to the NHL as a player Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports that the one-year deal has a cap hit of $875,000, down from the $925,000 cap hit he had on his entry-level deal. It’s not clear if the idea is to bring a low-cost forward into the squad and replace a potential winger leaving free agency, or if Rangers think he’s an easy move on this low-cap hit will be.

That signing coming so quickly suggests Rangers had the deal in the bag and just wanted to wait until the end of their season to announce it.

Ranger’s next steps

After Kravtsov signed, ESPN.com’s Greg Wyshynski took a look at Rangers’ offseason plans. He notes that the team has some intriguing free agents, including Ryan Strome and Andrew Copp. Whyshynski wonders if Rangers will find a creative way to free up Cap space to keep both on multi-year deals.

Related: NHL Rumors: Oilers, Golden Knights, Canadiens, Canucks, Maple Leafs

Options could include treating Alexandar Georgiev and finding a cheaper backup, or Rangers could consider signing Kaapo Kakko in a low-cost bridge deal. When Rangers coach Gerard Gallant gave Kakko a healthy scratch for Game 6 of the conference finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning, insiders immediately speculated that his future with Rangers wasn’t set in stone.

Flyer Restrict coaching candidates

According to the Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli, the Flyers have reportedly narrowed their list of candidates for their vacant head coaching position to two people: Barrydiot and John Tortorella. These two finalists came from an extensive list of former coaches that the Flyers interviewed. Unsurprisingly, they’re among the most experienced candidates the team spoke to.

Seravalli writes:

According to sources, the Flyers have interviewed a list of candidates including Mike Vellucci, Jim Montgomery, Rick Tocchet, Jeff Blashill and David Quinn. The Flyers were also believed to have had at least one conversation with the recently deceased Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy late last week, although it was unclear whether or not that constituted an “interview”. Cassidy is in the mix for other head coaching opportunities.

Could Kulak return to Canadiens?

While the Edmonton Oilers have publicly stated that they are interested in bringing Brett Kulak back for an extension, the Journal de Montreal’s Jonathan Bernier reports that the blueliner isn’t just viewing the Oilers as a UFA this summer. Kulak didn’t rule out returning to the Montreal Canadiens on July 13 in free agency.

Brett Kulak Edmonton Oilers
Brett Kulak, Edmonton Oilers (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

When asked if he would consider returning, he replied, “Of course there’s a chance I’ll be back in Montreal.” He added, “I loved my time with the Montreal Canadiens. From day one they treated me with class. It felt special to be part of this organization.”

If Jeff Petry is traded, the Canadians will surely be looking for a viable and experienced defender to play more minutes. Meanwhile, Oilers general manager Ken Holland is expected to meet with Brett Kulak’s agent Gerry Johannson this week.

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