Coaching and free agent NHL Rumors from around the League

Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal: There’s a good chance the Red Wings won’t bring Kirk Maltby back for his 14th season, despite only making $500,000 last year. Dany Heatley was battling a groin injury in the playoffs. Heatley also only managed to get 16 shots on net in his last 146 shifts. The Oilers may look to add some goalie depth to their system, Swedish Fredrik Pettersson-Wentzel had a 1.85 GAA and 6 shutouts in the Swedish First Division. Joe Pavelski didn’t  have a good 2nd round, and may affect his contract offer from the Sharks, maybe in the 4 year, $16 million range. Kirk Muller is a possible candidate for the New Jersey Devils head coaching position. Kevin Dineen could be the leading candidate for the Tampa Bay Lightning head coaching position, with Scott Arniel and Gerard Gallent as other possibilities. Steven Stamkos’ next contract could be in the $6 million range, using Jonathan Toews and Nicklas backstrom as comparables.

Aaron Portzline of Columbus Dispatch: Reports are that the Atlanta Thrashers are close to naming Chicago associate coach, John Torchetti, as their new head coach. Any ‘official’ word would probably come after the Stanley Cup finals. The Columbus Blue Jackets have given Ken Hitchcock permission to talk to any team, and he should get calls from New Jersey and Tampa Bay.

Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe: Ken Hitchcock may be ‘too defensive-minded’ for the Lightning. Paul MacLean, an assistant coach with the Red Wings may be a better fit. Yzerman and the Lightning may go with the ‘Detroit Philosophy’ and not spend big on their goaltender, which may bode well for Mike Smith and his $2.2 million contract. Yzerman will look to bring in grinders to fill out the bottom two lines.


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