March 28, 2023

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Boston Bruins may be making some changes to their scouting and management team after the fiasco that was all of the Mitchell Miller signing and then parting ways with the player. Meanwhile, the St. Louis Blues are a team that might need to make a change. Are they ready to blow things up?

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Will the Vegas Golden Knights be forced to trade a goaltender? Finally, are the Toronto Maple Leafs looking around the marketplace for a goalie? Who might they be targeting?

Neely Says He Needs to Assess Where Bruins Failed

Cam Neely addressed the media after it was learned the Bruins were no longer going to move forward with the signing of Mitchell Miller. Saying the organization faulted in their vetting process and Neely’s admission that the franchise failed to talk to the family, he plans to do so and apologized to Isaiah Meyer-Crothers and his family for continuing to put them through what must be an emotional process.

Neely was asked how this process fell apart and he noted that GM Don Sweeney did talk to Bill Daly on Wednesday of this past week and it was said that Miller would have to get in front of Gary Bettman if he were to ever play in the NHL. When asked if he was planning any discipline for anyone in the organization, he responded, “It’s something I have to deal with this week and we’ll see where it takes me.”

Whether Neely or Sweeney is to blame here, it appears there’s a chance someone might lose their job over this, especially if the blowback towards the organization continues. There’s also a real mess the NHL will need to clean up when it pertains to how all of this was handled. Gary Bettman said, “Before the Bruins made the decision to sign (Mitchell Miller), we were not consulted.” Neely said the team did speak with someone two days before the Bruins announced the signing.

Are Blues Ready to Blow Up Team?

Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman discussed the situation in St. Louis on the most recent episode of 32 Thoughts: The Podcast and noted that they believe the Blues might need to make a trade. Marek said:

“I don’t know how much more we can talk about St. Louis, other than to say maybe is there a trade coming here? Like if there is one team you look at and say, ‘I know it’s early, but because they’ve been bit by the injury bug too.’ You mentioned it feels like something is off with St. Louis. Can you kind of feel a trade coming with them or something?”

St. Louis Blues Doug Armstrong
St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff Roberson)

Friedman noted that Doug Armstrong is not afraid to make moves and blow things up but he’s not made changes in the past when he was tempted to do so.  Friedman doesn’t think fans should automatically assume that he’s going to blow up the team. Friedman also told a story about the year the Blues won the Stanley Cup (2019) and how Armstrong sent out a note around Christmas to all the GMs saying he was having a Christmas sale and named names on his roster who he would move at a discount. He ultimately decided not to make moves but the note became legendary.

Could Golden Knights Be a Target For Teams Needing a Goaltender

A few months ago, fans would be shocked to hear that the Vegas Golden Knights might be a team with a goaltender to spare, but that’s the potential situation in Vegas where Owen Krepps of Vegas Hockey Now speculates that teams might start reaching out in an attempt to acquire a netminder.

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The Golden Knights have Logan Thompson and Adin Hill as their goalie tandem while Laurent Brossoit is with their AHL affiliate on a conditioning stint. Because the Golden Knights don’t have the cap space to bring Brossoit back up, they could decide to trade someone to make the necessary room.

Among the teams that could need a goalie are the Toronto Maple Leafs, Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruins, and the Minnesota Wild.

Maple Leafs Goaltending Targets

Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff did a quick writeup of five goaltenders the Maple Leafs might be looking for as they check the marketplace for goaltenders. His five were Joonas Korpisalo (Columbus Blue Jackets), James Reimer (San Jose Sharks), Jonathan Quick (Los Angeles Kings), Dan Vladar (Calgary Flames), and Anton Khudobin (Dallas Stars).

Seravalli notes that the Leafs are still awaiting word on Ilya Samsonov and his MRI and explains: “Even if Samsonov is sidelined for just a short period of time, there is no doubt the Leafs spent part of Sunday analyzing the goaltending market to see what might be out there given Murray’s injury history.” He adds, “It’s difficult to count on Murray being upright now for any extended period.”

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