Darling on multiple teams wishlist

The goaltending market is going to be flooded this summer with a ton of options for teams via free agency and trades with plenty of value type signings out there for clubs to make.

There’s going to be more goaltenders available than teams looking.

The goaltending market is not expected to start with Ben Bishop. It’s expected to start with Scott Darling. More and more teams are looking to find a No. 1 starter in the $3 million a year range, a ball park Darling is expected to command.

Pierre LeBrun reports Darling is expected to be the Cam Talbot of the summer.

Darling is said to be at the top of the Carolina Hurricanes wishlist and is also reportedly high on the Stars target list.

However, the scuttlebutt is the Vegas Golden Knights are likely to get the first crack at speaking with Darling during the expansion draft UFA window as they also have Darling very high on their goaltending wishlist. Vegas has scouted over 12 games of Darlings’ starts this season, per a league source, and are among the teams that view Darling as a legit No. 1 starter. They’ve been tracking him hard all season.

One team that’s not expected to be hot and heavy in the Darling market is the Calgary Flames. If the Flames go in a different direction from Brian Elliott, it’s expected they’ll be chasing an established No. 1 goaltender. That’s potentially good news for the Penguins.

Bonino Back out West?

— If they want, NHL sources indicate the Penguins will have a ‘good’ opportunity to move Nick Bonino’s rights this summer for a 5th or 6th round pick before free agency. Lots of talk Arizona who intends to be proactive again in trading for negotiating rights, has already expressed interest to the Penguins for when the time comes. It sounds like Vegas will also take a good look at Bonino and he will get consideration from them to be selected as an UFA they may speak with.

— The looming expansion draft might have saved the Penguins from giving Trevor Daley an extension this past fall. The Penguins were so enamored with Daley’s play last season and the belief his skating ability would hold up for another couple years, not to mention how important Jim Rutherford felt Daley was in the room, a two year offer worth just over $6 million was nearly put on the table but the pending expansion draft held the Penguins back.

The Bylsma Talk Continues

The chatter continues surrounding Dan Bylsma and whether he’ll be back next season for Buffalo. The relationship is not good between Bylsma and Jack Eichel which is one of the driving forces that could lead to a change. Sources told TIOPS this week, Bylsma’s return is 50-50 at best.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie appearing on NBCSN tonight seems to think Bylsma will be back but is not 100% sure. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman in a radio hit on Wednesday had a less optimistic view on Bylsma.

Here is what McKenzie had to say about Bylsma when appearing on NBCSN tonight:

[“Well, anytime you’ve got a non-playoff team there’s always an undercurrent of tension as the season comes to an end,” said McKenzie. “And there’s been, I would say, intangible talk that maybe some of the players aren’t feeling the love for head coach Dan Bylsma right now, and that gets talked about a lot on talk radio in Buffalo. They’re now envisioning, ‘hey, if Bylsma wasn’t back, who might be a good guy to take over. And I think you have to deal in the reality of the situation. The tangible, if you will. General manager Tim Murray of the Buffalo Sabres was on Buffalo radio yesterday and he said at the end of this season ownership is going to evaluate the job that I’ve done, and I’m going to evaluate the job that the head coach and the players on this team have done. So no vote of confidence, per se, for Dan Bylsma, but I think you’ve got to be careful you don’t read too much into that. Right now Tim Murray got a contract extension over the course of this season. I fully expect he’ll be back as general manager. I would also think, absent some sort of cataclysmic disaster in the final two weeks of the season, that Dan Bylsma will also be back as head coach of this team next year; although that review process, as Murray said, still has to take place at the end of this season. I don’t think the Pegula family is keen on paying both Rex Ryan and Dan Bylsma not to coach the Bills and the Sabres, and they obviously made that decision with Rex Ryan and the Bills. At this point in time, I would suggest that Bylsma will be back. But that’s not going to be carved in stone until after the season and the review process goes through the proper stages. — Bob McKenzie”]

Here’s Elliotte Friedman’s Take on Bylsma, via Chris Nichols of Fanrag Sports.

[“If I’m the owner here, I’m really wondering. He’s in Year Two of a five-year contract. Is it too soon? Is it really that bad?,” Friedman said. “In Bylsma’s previous job he did some butting heads and battling with the two superstar forwards Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. To me, I think the biggest question I have is this repairable. Is this fixable. If I’m the owner, I’m not necessarily saying I’m so willing to get rid of a coach and pay him for three years to do nothing. I want to take him and my star player, who is Jack Eichel, and I want to sit them down and say, ‘Guys, is there a way that this is fixable. But there’s no question that the rumblings are out there. There’s no question there’s rumblings about the relationship between him and the general manager, Tim Murray. I’m surprised, but as you can see the story is growing and growing and growing. But if I’m the owner, I’m saying, ‘Alright, I’d rather sort this out than have to pay somebody for three years to go somewhere and do nothing.”]

The key line from Friedman that goes with the thinking around the league that Bylsma is on the hot seat……

“But this to me, when I read between the lines I don’t see a winning and losing problem as much as I see a philosophy issue. And that’s why I think you have to sit there as the owner and say, ‘Can I force these guys to get it fixed,” said Friedman.

The growing sense around Bylsma from NHL contacts is if he gets ousted in Buffalo this summer, he may have to wait a while, maybe a long-time for another NHL head coaching gig. His stock is crumbling. [/hide]