NHL Rumors: Kraken and Rangers hot after Rod Brind’Amour, and Kings targeting two top six forwards

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Jan 25, 2020; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; Atlantic Division forward Jack Eichel (9) of the Buffalo Sabres battles for the puck with Pacific Division forward Anze Kopitar (11) of the Los Angeles Kings in the 2020 NHL All Star Game at Enterprise Center. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

As many as five teams were waiting to see if Rod Brind’Amour would become available. The Tampa Bay Lightning helped them out by eliminating the Carolina Hurricanes last night. That makes Brind’Amour the defacto top available coach in the market.

Kraken and Rangers hot after Rod Brind’Amour

While the Sabres, Blue Jackets, and Coyotes would love to make Brind’Amour their new head coach, two teams have him high on their list of candidates. The Seattle Kraken and New York Rangers will most assuredly ask for permission to speak with him this week.

A well-placed source said Brind’Amour would immediately become Seattle’s first choice if he gets to the open market. The expansion Kraken might have greater appeal to Brind’Amour, with his one-time Carolina teammate Ron Francis running the show as GM.

Larry Brooks, NY Post
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Dec 31, 2019; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour looks on from behind the players bench against the Montreal Canadiens at PNC Arena. The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Montreal Canadiens 3-1. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Of course, Brind’Amour could simply be using both teams as leverage in order for owner, Tom Dundon to increase his current offer of three years at $1.8 million a season. Dundon is on record saying, “I’ve never really had a problem keeping good people, if I want to keep them, we keep them, we’ll find a way and he’s the best.” He then doubled down by adding, “I have no interest in owning the team without him coaching it, so he’s going to coach it.”

Ultimately, people believe Brind’Amour will stay in Carolina. Gerard Gallant will likely land in either Seattle or New York. However, Brooks is also noting that the Rangers have interest in Boston’s Bruce Cassidy should he become available soon. Other NY candidates mentioned are Paul Maurice in Winnipeg, and Jared Bednar in Colorado.

Los Angeles Kings targeting two top six forwards

The Kings have already been rumored to have a made an offer for Jack Eichel. They are also believed to be a top landing spot for Seth Jones. Yesterday, Darren Dreger said that the Kings could actually be trying to add two top six forwards via trade or free agency.

One potential target is Zach Hyman of the Toronto Maple Leafs who is expected to make at least $6.5 million on his next deal. Of course, if they are believed after Seth Jones making over $5 million as well, does that take them out of the running for $10 million man, Jack Eichel? Interesting offseason on the West Coast is coming up.