In today’s NHL rumors rundown, what’s next for the Toronto Maple Leafs after a disappointing Game 7 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning? Some insiders think there should be a change. Others aren’t so sure. Meanwhile, what comes next for the Boston Bruins after they lost to the Carolina Hurricanes. Is Patrice Bergeron staying?
Will they make other roster changes? The Los Angeles Kings lost Game 7 as well, but their organization is viewed to be in a good position by many. Finally, the Pittsburgh Penguins have their own Game 7 on Sunday and they’ll be getting a key piece of their lineup back.
Maple Leafs Offseason Changes
There are a lot of insiders looking at the Toronto Maple Leafs today and wondering what comes next. Many have no idea what happens now because this roster was the deepest it’s ever been and it’s difficult to blame management or coaching, or even the star players, all of whom showed up in their series versus the Tampa Bay Lightning. There could be change simply because a team has to make changes after a devastating loss like this and perhaps Mitch Marner said it best when he said, ”We’re getting sick and tired of feeling this way.”
”There will changes to the Maple Leafs roster based on salary cap and free agency, but, I don’t foresee drastic changes or sense that the coach or GM are in trouble. Toronto made strides this season and faced a great opponent in a entertaining 7 game series.
As per John Matisz of The Score, ”Factoring in the full body of work over two-and-a-half seasons, Keefe doesn’t deserve to be fired.” He adds, ”But he’d be an easy fall guy.” If that happens, many will look in the direction of recent released Barry Trotz who is now a free agent. He would make a logical choice as coach.
Matisz adds that Jake Muzzin, Pierre Engvall, Alexander Kerfoot, and Petr Mrazek are four players to monitor this offseason.
Bergeron Says Too Soon to Talk Future
Brad Marchand was very emotional as he discussed Patrice Bergeron’s upcoming free agency decision. “Whatever happens, he’s earned the right to make whatever decision he wants and take the time he needs. I guess time will tell.” Bergeron himself said after the Bruins were eliminated from the playoffs, “too raw” to decide whether he’s coming back. He added, ”Obviously I’m going to have to think about it. But I’m not there right now.”
There are other questions the Bruins will have to answer. Will they finally grant Jake DeBrusk his trade request and move him this offseason? Might they try to add more scoring by targeting free agents like Vincent Trocheck, Nazem Kadri, Andrew Copp and Max Domi? Who will they trade?
Jarry Set to Return for Penguins
Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry will start Game 7 against the New York Rangers barring any setbacks, according to Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli. Sidney Crosby and Rikard Rakell are also game-time decisions ahead of Game 7 between the Penguins and New York Rangers.
Jarry has been sidelined since mid-April with a foot injury and while Casey DeSmith was slated to take over as the starter, he was injured during the Penguins’ triple-overtime Game 1 victory. This is going to be a huge lift for the Penguins if Jarry is good to go. Expect the Rangers to get in his grill early and try to make him as uncomfortable in net as possible.
What Now for the Kings?
After losing Game 7 to the Edmonton Oilers but outperforming expectations this season, the Kings are in a good spot. ESPN.com’s Greg Wyshynski wondered if GM Rob Blake will be aggressive in adding to his roster to put the club over the hump for next season.
Blake did more this past summer than many expected he would when he brought in Phillip Danault and Viktor Arvidsson. It worked. Wyshynski wondered if he’ll keep up that trend and revisit his interest in Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun.
Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”