Latest NHL Buzz


— NHL executives continue to contend if the Vegas Golden Knights front office had their way, they would turn the keys over to Robin Lehner full-time, hence opening cap space or address other needs by moving Marc Andre Fleury this summer, which was their desire last off-season before owner Bill Foley stepped in and blocked any potential moves involving Fleury.

Foley has been adamant about the Knights franchise icon retiring in Vegas and Fleury winning the Vezina Trophy and also wanting to finish his career in Vegas, complicates McPhee and McCrimmon getting their boss to change his mind.

A team friendly extension for Fleury this summer has been considered the most likely outcome on the Fleury front.

But, what would it take to get Foley on board with at least contemplating a Fleury trade?

Foley loves to chase big names and multiple NHL sources say, McPhee & Co would have to bring to the table of a big name star center in return, hence, one eastern conference executive believing a Fleury for Malkin swap makes too much sense for both clubs in short term and long-term (2-3 years) not to at least broach the topic, especially with it no secret around the league that Ron Hextall and Brian Burke are not sold on extending Malkin with the million dollar question being whether an extension is forced on them or not.

Another exec chimed in that if Jim Rutherford was still in the GM’s chair, something big and bold like this would have certainly been explored to reacquire.

Vegas got hammered down the middle by the Canadiens. Malkin in Vegas would be fun to watch, especially for a player that feeds off a raucous crowd. That’s a club that could be patient with Malkin returning from injury and having a motivated Malkin as the ‘man’ and clear No. 1 center in the last year of his contract could be a huge win for Vegas.

And what better winger to play with Malkin than the defensive stalwart that Mark Stone is who would be a phenomenal fit in just allowing Malkin to go out and do what he wants and having someone as good as Stone is in covering up


— Trades that didn’t happen……

For all of the Fleury talk, league sources say Robin Lehner had a chance of becoming a Penguin at the 2020 trade deadline.[/hide] Pittsburgh and Chicago are said to have held extensive talks surrounding a Matt [hide] Murray – Robin Lehner swap but couldn’t come to terms on conditional draft pick compensation tied to a Matt Murray extension or not that Pittsburgh sought, sources say. Another factor that derailed talks, Mike Sullivan was adamant about keeping Murray for one more postseason run. Chicago would later pursue a Murray again after the season that included permission to negotiate a contract before Murray’s camp scared off the Blackhawks in seeking over $6 million per season, which Murray got from Ottawa.


— Tough break for Rick Tocchet on the coaching market as the sense around the league a month ago is that he would nab one of the available jobs.

Tocchet interviewed three times with Seattle and at one point thought he had the job, though, the sense is he finished third in the running behind Dave Hakstol and Tony Granato. Tocchet interviewed twice with the Rangers where he was a strong candidate for the job, also interviewed twice in Columbus, but Tocchet seeking a four year contract at $3 million per season was going to be problematic in having a chance at getting the Jackets job.

Then there’s Buffalo, where after Tocchet didn’t get the Seattle job, the Sabres circled back around to Tocchet and weighed strongly in entering negotiations with Tocchet before deciding to go the much cheaper route and sticking with Don Granato.

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