NHL Rumors: Rick Tocchet doing second interviews, Joel Quenneville staying put, and Evgeni Malkin with Panthers?

evgeni malkin
May 24, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin (71) reacts after scoring a power play goal against the New York Islanders during the first period in game five of the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG Paints Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The latest NHL Rumors kicks off with some coach updates. Rick Tocchet who was let go by the Arizona Coyotes at the end of the season is now doing his second round of interviews. Plus Florida Panthers rumors including Evgeni Malkin.

Rick Tocchet on round two of interview this week

The 57 year-old former NHL power forward took the reins as head coach of the Coyotes back in the 2017-2018 season. He is widely considered an up and coming coach who knows how to relate to his players. Tocchet interviewed with the Rangers last week and had his second interview yesterday.

Tocchet also spoke with the Seattle Kraken, Columbus Blue Jackets and Buffalo Sabres. According to Craig S. Morgan, he will meet again with Seattle tomorrow and the Blue Jackets on Friday.

rick tocchet interviews
Feb 22, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet reacts during the second period against the Anaheim Ducks at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

For his coaching career, Tocchet has a record of 178-200-60. He was the Penguins assistant for back-to back Cups in 2016 and 2017.

Joel Quenneville staying with Panthers

It was a little over a week ago when Larry Brooks of the NY Post hinted that Panthers Joel Quenneville may look to exit and coach the Seattle Kraken. I said it back then that he had term left on his deal and it just didn’t add up. Seems one of the top Panthers reporters is putting this rumor to bed.

joel quenneville
Aug 7, 2020; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Florida Panthers head coach Joel Quenneville during the first period against the New York Islanders in the Eastern Conference qualifications at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Although there was a report in the New York Post that Quenneville could be going to Seattle as the new coach of the expansion Kraken, no one is taking it too seriously. Quenneville, one of the highest paid coaches in the NHL, appears very happy to be leading this franchise forward.

George Richards, Florida Hockey Now

Will the Panthers try to acquire Evgeni Malkin

Before the season began there was a lot of talk about the Penguins considering trading veterans to rebuild around Sidney Crosby. On an episode of TSN’s Insider Trading they touched on the subject and started licking their chops at what a trade market would look like with Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang on it.

That may very well be the case, but the belief right now is that Brian Burke and Ron Hextall will take one more kick at the can with Malkin and Letang. However, one writer believes that the Panthers may make a pitch for Malkin who has a no-move clause.

Jimmy Murphy believes that if the offer is right, Malkin would waive to join the Panthers because he has a home in Florida. Stay tuned on this one, although I think Sidney Crosby and Mario Lemieux will get together to make sure he stays at least until the trade deadline.