NHL Rumors: Capitals open to trades, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and David Quinn coaching Blue Jackets

The Washington Capitals are open to trades this summer. “I don’t think anybody’s off the table,” GM Brian MacLellan said today. “We’re not going to trade [Ovechkin] or [Backstrom] and those type of people, but I think you have to be open on anything. We would talk to anybody about any player.”

Washington Capitals open to trades

One of the top players on the Capitals that has been subjected to trade talk this season is Evgeny Kuznetsov. “I think we’re always open to trading people if it makes sense for what’s going on,” MacLellan commented on possibly moving him. “If it’s going to make our team better, I think we’re open to it.”

Fallout for this first round ouster will be centered around retooling the Caps for one more run but with an eye on the future. The 29 year-old pivot has three years remaining at $7.8 million AAV with a 15 team no move clause. He’s their best tradable asset and will fetch a decent return.

Will Ryan Nugent-Hopkins be back with the Oilers?

ryan nugent hopkins
Apr 2, 2021; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (93) celebrates a second period goal against the Calgary Flames at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

The Oilers were bounced out of the playoffs in a clean sweep by the Winnipeg Jets. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored only two points in the 4 games, but the defeat was not because of his lack of production. So what will happen with the UFA this summer?

“I think I’ve said it from the start, I love being an Oiler, I always have,” Nugent-Hopkins said Tuesday. “My goal is always to stay an Oiler, and right now at this point, (free agency) is not really in my mind. Right now, I have a lot more in my head than that, so it’s tough to kind of think about that and get my thoughts wrapped around that. I think I’ve said it from Day 1, I love being an Oiler and it’s something that I’ve taken a lot of pride in the last 10 years.”

Edmonton Journal

The 28 year-old has been used on the wing but can play center. Many teams like the New York Rangers believe he could make the transition back to the middle with ease. However, his face-off winning percentage is a putrid 44%. So you aren’t getting him for that facet of his game. The Blue Jackets are another team looking at him as a possible free agent signing.

RNH is also coming off a deal that paid him $6 million AAV. He will be looking for a 7 year deal on the open market and an increase in the $7.5 to $8.5 million range for sure. If the Oilers do re-sign him, they are likely to get a hometown discount, but like many teams that won’t happen until after the expansion draft.

David Quinn the next Blue Jackets coach?

David Quinn
Jan 4, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; New York Rangers head coach David Quinn looks upwards from the bench in the second period against the against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

During his reintroduction to the Blue Jackets, John Davidson was asked if he felt recently released Rangers coach was a candidate for the Blue Jackets job. Davidson praised Quinn’s character and his work with the Blueshirts. He also said that Columbus wouldn’t be doing their due diligence if they didn’t consider all coaches.

The chatter is growing for Quinn and a possible reuniting with Davidson in Columbus.

“I don’t think you can bring in a coach who’s never coached (in the NHL) before, but there’s a number of very qualified names out there,” Davidson told the Rothman and Ice afternoon show. “Now, is it going to (be) some coach to come here (who’s) already been a coach for umpteen years and wants to come in and win a Cup today? That’s not going to fit for us. We want a guy that’s going to want to come in here, understand that we have to grow and get better, and win a Cup. So, we’ll work our way through it.” 

Columbus Dispatch

Based on those comments, beat writer Brian Hedger believes Quinn checks all those boxes. Both Davidson and Quinn are presented by the same agency, the Montag Group.