The Edmonton Oilers and new general manager Ken Holland haven’t announced a new coach and while rumors have suggested that the team has settled on Dave Tippett as the team’s new head coach, nothing has been announced.
Postmedia’s Kurt Leavins reiterates that Tippett to Edmonton is a “done deal,” but the timing of the announcement has been the issue. The deal still has to get onto paper and with both the NHL Draft Combine and the Stanley Cup Finals, there is little time to get the announcement out there that the team has a new head coach. Regardless, the scribe writes that Tippett’s appointment will come in the next few days.
- For a second year in a row, the Nashville Predators top priority will be to sign one of their star defensemen to a extension. The team locked up Ryan Ellis to an eight-year, $50MM deal last summer and must do something similar with Roman Josi, who is eligible to sign an extension on July 1. Josi, however, has made it clear he wants to stay in Nashville. However, the Predators will have to pay up as The Athletic’s Adam Vingan (subscription required) writes that they will likely have to give him the biggest contract in team history, which could overtake Ryan Johansen’s $8MM AAV.
- The Winnipeg Jets have a number of big contracts and potential trades to deal with this offseason, but there are also smaller issues along their roster as well. The team needs to keep their defensive depth, one of the strengths of their roster in recent years, yet they only have five defensemen under contract. The Winnipeg Sun’s Ken Wiebe writes that the Jets have indicated that they would like to bring back restricted free agent Nathan Beaulieu, who the team acquired at the trade deadline for a sixth-round pick, as insurance in case they lose Jacob Trouba to a trade. However, in order to offer Beaulieu a qualifying offer, they would have to add 10 percent to his $2.4MM he made last year, which the team is unlikely to do for a bottom-pairing defenseman. The more logical approach, which Winnipeg did last year with Joseph Morrow, would be to not qualify him and then try to sign him for less as an unrestricted free agent.
- The San Jose Sharks got some good news as The Athletic’s David Lombardi (subscription required) writes that defenseman Radim Simek, who has been out since March 12th after having his leg crushed in a collision with Winnipeg’s Andrew Copp and having surgery to repair a torn ACL, MCL and meniscus, has already returned to the ice and is skating again. “The guys who are taking care of me say that my rehab is going really fast, that it’s really unusual to only be two months removed from surgery but back on the ice, skating however I want,” Simek said. Simek, who signed out of the Czech Republic in 2017, played one year in the AHL and made the NHL roster this season, playing in 41 games and making a significant difference before getting injured and hopes to be back for next season.