Welcome to another edition of Full Press Hockey’s NHL Rumors! The 2022-23 regular season is over and players as well as front offices will be evaluated. Now, with the season completed, the focus shifts toward deals that may go down this summer. What about free agency?
Clubs are always working to improve their rosters for next season. Teams who were eliminated from the postseason need to assess what happened and make adjustments. Some teams are having difficulty creating enough cap space to make moves. Others are experiencing severe injuries to star players. Trade rumors/signings are over for now, while teams are competing in the playoffs. In this Sunday edition of NHL Rumors, we will look at the Arizona Coyotes, Los Angeles Kings, and the Chicago Blackhawks.
Arizona Coyotes – A Franchise Looking For a Home
Rumor: Per @Arizona Coyotes. After the monumental rejection vote for the Tempe Entertainment District, the team is searching for an alternative site to stay in Arizona.
Let’s just say, it’s been a LONG week for the Arizona Coyotes. They lost the vote to build a new arena within a $2.1 billion entertainment district on Tuesday. But, just very similar to their never give up attitude on the ice, the team is struggling to survive in the desert. According to Coyotes insider Craig Morgan, the ownership group is inquiring about 5-6 alternative sites to build an arena. Right now, a popular choice may be in Mesa, which borders Tempe. There is an abandoned Fiesta Mall in Mesa which may be the leading candidate to relocate the Yotes. The Fiesta Mall is 11 miles southeast of where the prospective Tempe site is located. Many Coyotes season ticket holders reside in southeastern cities like Gilbert and Chandler.
The area of land has excellent freeway access and is plenty large to include the plans the team had for Tempe. There are some alternative sites, like Tribal land, but that engulfs more red tape. The Mesa site may need to include another vote to approve it, but again just like the landfill in Tempe, an abandoned mall, as opposed to a sleek entertainment district, seems to be a no-brainer.
Of course, there are still rumblings from naysayers that want the franchise to move out of state. Houston, Kansas City, Salt Lake City seem to be the most obvious locations with Houston leading the choices. Time is running out to come to a solution. Look for some kind of response from the team in the next months. They don’t want to wait too long, but must cover all their bases before making a bad choice again.
Los Angeles Kings – Alex Iafallo
Rumor: Per – Michael DeRosa – nhltraderumors.me. With limited cap space, and a surplus of forwards, the Kings need to make some offseason decisions.
The Kings will have about $7.59 million in cap space next season. They have young forwards Gabriel Vilardi and Rasmus Kupari vying for roster spots. Vilardi had a great year with 23 goals, 18 assists in 63 regular season games. He also added two goals and two assists in five playoff games. He is a restricted free agent and needs a new contract. Kupari wasn’t as successful with three goals and 15 assists in 66 games. He went scoreless in a half dozen postseason games and is also a restricted free agent.
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Iafallo is signed through the 2024-25 season with a $4 million cap hit. He gathered 14 goals and 22 assists in 59 games this season. If the Kings want to gain some cap space, he could be the target of a trade. Teams like the Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins, Toronto Maple Leafs, Colorado Avalanche, and Calgary Flames may have some interest. He’s not an especially physical player with only 27 hits, but he did score seven power play goals.
The Kings may want to look at trading goalie Calvin Petersen whom they have overpaid with a $5 million AAV contract through 2024-25. He has not played well and is currently in the AHL. There will be some changes made to the Kings as it affects their cap situation so stay in touch with Full Press Hockey to learn the latest news.
Chicago Blackhawks – Trading up in 2023 NHL draft
Rumor: Per – Ryan Taylor – nbcsports.com. General manager Kyle Davidson and the Blackhawks’ front office have 11 draft picks in this draft, including two first-round picks (No. 1 and No. 19) and four second-rounders.
With that caliber of draft capital, one must consider the possibility of Davidson making some deals. When Davidson was asked if he is willing to trade some of those second-rounders, he responded: “It’s definitely something we’re exploring,” Davidson told Mully & Haugh on 670 the Score. “I think the level of success we reach will be dictated by the level of player we can acquire. And logic dictates that the higher you are in the draft, the better chance you have of getting a good player. And so we’re going to explore the opportunities available to us to potentially move up again.”
“We’ve got eight picks in the first three rounds of the draft, which is a lot,” Davidson said. “And I will concede that that’s a lot. I think it’s probably unlikely that we make all those picks. “So how that manifests itself, whether it’s in a move up, whether we move some picks for future picks or something like that. You know, that remains to be seen. But that’s a lot of picks.”
With that many second-round picks, Davidson may attempt to gather another first-round pick. This draft is exceptional, and especially if the Hawks could convince a team with a first-rounder to take a Chicago second along with a player.
The main focus for the Hawks will be drafting Connor Bedard with the first overall selection. His impact may be monumental for the franchise.
That concludes this edition of NHL rumors. Be sure to catch our next article and thanks for reading!
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