NHL Rumors: Panthers, Flyers, Predators, Oilers

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Florida Panthers are busy interviewing potential coaches while a Jack Adam’s finalist awaits his fate. Why did the Philadelphia Flyers ultimately go with John Tortorella as head coach?

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Are the Nashville Predators and Filip Forsberg any closer to a deal, and could Evander Kane drop his grievance against the San Jose Sharks?

Brunette Waits to Hear Coaching Decision

TSN’s Darren Dreger reports on Insider Trading that Andrew Brunette is still unsure about his job position in Florida. The Panthers are interviewing multiple applicants for the head coaching job, all while making Brunette wait to find out if someone the organization likes better wins the job.

Andrew Brunette Florida Panthers
Andrew Brunette, Florida Panthers head coach (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Frank Seravalli reports that among the potential coaches the Panthers have spoken to, they’ve chatted with Pete DeBoer, Travis Green, Rick Tocchet, Barry Trotz, and Paul Maurice. If Brunette doesn’t get the job, it will be the first time in NHL history that a finalist for coach of the year is demoted that following season. Brunette has one more year on his contract as an assistant coach and could be playing second fiddle to whomever the Panthers hire.

Why Flyers Chose Tortorella

There’s still talk about the Philadelphia Flyers giving John Tortorella a four-year deal to coach the Flyers and many wonder if this was a mistake considering his reputation for old-school hockey ways and not necessarily getting along with star players. But, according to Charlie O’Connor of The Athletic, there’s a specific reason Tortorella was hired.

Related: Evander Kane’s Grievance Delay Could Equal Big Oilers and Sharks Trade

O’Connor explains:

In short, it’s because he checked the key boxes for all three of the main groups in the organization: the Fletcher-run hockey operations department, the old guard advisers and ownership.

source – ‘Why the Philadelphia Flyers hired John Tortorella as head coach’ – Charlie O’Connor – The Athletic – 06/17/2022

All three departments in the Flyers organization were part of the hiring process and all had their own ideas on what type of coach the Flyers should move forward with. Tortorella was the only candidate that made everyone comfortable.

Latest on Forsberg and Predators

TSN’s Chris Johnston is reporting that the Nashville Predators are still keen to bring back forward Filip Forsberg on an extension but it’s not yet clear if they’ll be able to manage it. Johnston reports that there hasn’t been much progress in contract extension talks since March and both sides aren’t budging on their current salary positions.

Filip Forsberg Nashville Predators
Filip Forsberg, Nashville Predators (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

According to Adam Vingan of The Athletic, backup options the Predators might look at include Valeri Nichushkin out of Colorado or a trade that would see the Predators acquire one of Jesse Puljujarvi (Edmonton Oilers) or David Pastrnak (Boston Bruins).

Vingan writes:

Unlike Sweeney, Predators GM David Poile, perhaps against his better judgment, is unwilling to entertain the idea of a rebuild. He claims to have “Plan B, C, D (and) E” if Forsberg leaves. Pastrnak, 26, would be one hell of a Plan B.

source – ‘What if Filip Forsberg leaves Predators? 3 replacement options, from bold to bargain’ Adam Vingan – The Athletic- 06/13/2022

Could Evander Kane Drop Grievance?

While the NHL, Evander Kane and the San Jose Sharks wait for the arbitrator to become available and complete the grievance process between the two sides, one scenario was brought up by Elliotte Friedman that could theoretically be possible. While a guest on Oilers Now with Bob Stauffer, he noted that Kane could sign a deal with the Edmonton Oilers and if it’s valuable enough that he doesn’t want to chance losing that deal because the Sharks lose the grievance and take the player back — thus making the deal with the Oilers null and void — Kane could drop the grievance.

It’s interesting because it means the Oilers are prepared to give Kane a deal worth more than $7 million per season for the next three seasons. TSN’s Pierre LeBrun did note on Insider Trading that the Oilers have told Evander Kane‘s agent they’d like to talk and there is a mutual interest. LeBrun writes, “I think Kane likes to fit there, but there are other teams circling. Kane is going to meet with his agent next week to formulate a game plan.”