With the NHL regular season completed, the fate of several coaches whose clubs failed to reach the playoffs is a hot topic of discussion. Much of the focus is upon Claude Julien of the Boston Bruins.
Since joining the Bruins in 2007-08, Julien's guided them to four division titles, a Presidents' Trophy in 2013, two Stanley Cup Finals and a championship in 2011. Over the past two seasons, however, the Bruins fell short of the playoffs. Their recent failure has some in the Boston media calling for a coaching change.
If Julien is let go by the Bruins, he won't be unemployed for long. Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman suggests the Ottawa Senators could come calling if they decide to drop bench boss Dave Cameron.
Following the Montreal Canadiens stunning decline this season, there's talk Michel Therrien could be on the hot seat. However, TSN's Darren Dreger reports GM Marc Bergevin is expected to confirm Therrien's return next season.
Don't look for Patrick Roy to pay the price for the Colorado Avalanche missing the playoffs for a second straight season. GM Joe Sakic announced Roy will be back for 2016-17. Meanwhile, the Winnipeg Sun's Ken Wiebe reports there's no firings in the works for the Jets.
SUBBAN’S NAME BACK IN RUMOR MILL
The fate of the Canadiens coaching staff wasn't the only topic of interest this weekend in Montreal. Superstar defenseman P.K. Subban's name once again surfaced in the trade rumor mill.
The speculation began last Friday with a cryptic tweet aimed at Canadiens fans from CTV Montreal's Brian Wilde. “You think you're mad at MB (Marc Bergevin) and MT (Michel Therrien) now. Just wait until it comes out what trade they're angling for this summer. The machine is churning.”
During a discussion Friday afternoon about the Habs with TSN 1050, Bob McKenzie observed Subban's no-trade clause kicks in on July 1. While stating he wasn't saying the Canadiens are going to trade the blueliner or intend on heading down that road, McKenzie believes the front office could consider all their options this summer.
Sportsnet's Eric Engels is inclined to say Subban won't be dealt, though he acknowledged only Bergevin and team owner Geoff Molson can make that guarantee. Wilde believes there's only a 25-percent chance at best, citing doubts that Molson would agree to moving Subban and the unlikelihood of finding a viable deal.
A report in late-February claiming the Habs were gauging the market on Subban was swiftly dismissed by Bergevin. It will likely take another statement by the Habs GM to ease the growing nervousness of Subban's fans over their hero's future in Montreal.
Assuming the Canadiens' braintrust considers moving Subban, what would the return be? Given their lack of firepower, the assumption is a first-line center or winger to bolster the offense. However, that move would also create a huge void on their blueline that could take years to replace.
The trouble with trading superstars is the return rarely measures up to the value of the player. A prime example is the Patrick Roy deal in 1995. It took the Canadiens nearly two decades to recover from that debacle. Going down that path with Subban would be another generational setback for the Habs.
Rumor Roundup appears regularly only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News and The Guardian (P.E.I.).
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