NHL Rumors: Patrik Laine trade bait, Gerard Gallant top NYR candidate, and Bruins want to sign Taylor Hall

patrik laine contract
Patrik Laine benched (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Patrik Laine could already be on his way out of Columbus after just one season. Apparently, John Tortorella leaving hasn’t changed the outlook for Laine who is growing an unfavorable reputation.

Patrik Laine trade bait for a center

Jarmo Kekalainen held his exit meeting with the Blue Jackets players and told them changes were coming. The team has a lot of uncertainty and challenges to deal with. Primarily, they need to make sure Seth Jones goes nowhere. Of course, there is hiring a new coach, maybe trading a goalie, and getting a top center.

Everyone who doesn’t live on another planet devoid of ice and smartphones knows Jack Eichel wants out of Buffalo. The Jackets are a potential player in a trade scenario and have a big enough piece to get a conversation started. Patrik Laine could be the key piece in a trade between the two teams.

patrik laine trade bait
Feb 4, 2021; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Patrik Laine (29) skates with the puck against the Dallas Stars in the first period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Patrik Laine had a rough first season in Columbus, and there are those in the organization who would support him being a one-and-done. Laine’s body language was dreadful most nights. The Blue Jackets don’t have a center who can play the game at his pace, absolutely, but the bigger issue was his energy level and passion to play the game.

The Athletic

Here’s the problem, if the Sabres trade one headache they are certainly not looking for another. Eichel’s disconnect over his injury and lack of team success was built over time. Laine may simply be too hard to coach. Regardless, there will be other centers available and Laine may be the asset Jarmo uses to acquire him.

Gerard Gallant emerging as top Rangers coaching candidate

GERARD GALLANT RANGERS
Nov 2, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Vegas Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant argues a call during the third period against the Winnipeg Jets at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Who will be the next Rangers coach? That is now the biggest question in New York and for Chris Drury. By far the most critical decision he will make regardless of who they acquire via trade or free agency this summer.

The 57 year-old Gallant is on many NHL team’s short list of candidates. He had three stop in the NHL with Columbus, Florida, and Vegas. He was a smashing success for the expansion Golden Knights taking them to the Stanley Cup Finals in their first season.

According to Larry Brooks, Gallant has emerged as the top NYR candidate. “Sources have indicated that Gerard Gallant, who engineered the revival of the Panthers before taking the Golden Knights to the Cup final in the expansion team’s inaugural season, is at the top of the list and should expect an interview with Drury forthwith.”

I noted late last night that Gallant is indeed a top candidate, but John Tortorella is a name I am hearing more of for the job.

Cam Neely wants to re-sign Taylor Hall

taylor hall bruins
Apr 13, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Taylor Hall (71) skates with the puck during an overtime period against the Buffalo Sabres at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Taylor Hall wanted to be a Boston Bruin before the season started. He eventually got his way but engineering a trade to Boston at the deadline using his no-move clause. Now the Bruins want him to stay beyond this season as well.

“As far as Taylor goes, we’re going to continue to see how things go with the playoffs here,” Bruins president Cam Neely said Wednesday. “I think we’d like to try and get something done, but that remains to be seen. But that’s our hope.”

NHL.com

The Bruins late acquisition has 14 points in 16 games and hopes to help the B’s to a Stanley Cup. Their playoff series against the Capitals begins this Saturday.