Mailbag: Capitals coaches, Palmieri future, Gusev with the devils

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Coach Peter Laviolette and his assistant Kevin McCarthy are getting ready to take the reins of the Washington Capitals. These two have been on the same bench for what seems like ages. Can this tandem be considered one of the best in the NHL? Could we see them raise another Cup? – @theashcity

There have been a few successful coaching tandems in the NHL. Among the current good duos are coach Barry Trotz and partner Lane Lambert, who worked with the Nashville Predators, won the Cup with the Capitals in 2018 and helped transform the New York Islanders over the past two years. last seasons.

But you are right; there might not be a better coaching tandem right now than Laviolette and McCarthy. Laviolette, 56, inherited McCarthy, 63, as an assistant when he replaced Paul Maurice as coach of the Carolina Hurricanes in 2003, and they have been together ever since. They won the Cup with Carolina in 2006 and reached the Stanley Cup final with the Philadelphia Flyers in 2010 and Nashville in 2017. McCarthy, who will work with the Washington defensemen, considered retiring after him. and Laviolette were sacked by the Predators last season, but couldn’t. He didn’t pass up another opportunity to work with Laviolette as he believes the Capitals have a chance of winning the Cup again after doing so in 2018.

“They have a roster that I believe can compete for a Cup right away,” McCarthy said after being hired on October 21.

So it’s possible we could see Laviolette and McCarthy relaunch the Cup together. This is obviously their plan.

Assuming the New Jersey Devils are two seasons away from becoming a strong Stanley Cup Playoff team, which player will be re-signed, Kyle Palmieri or Nikita Gusev? What gives the team a better chance in the long run and why? – @C_Diercks

Palmieri and Gusev can each become an unrestricted free agent after this season, so New Jersey will have to decide the future of the forwards in the coming months, but there’s no reason to rush. Although the Devils are rebuilding themselves, I think they will be much improved this season under new coach Lindy Ruff with the continued maturation of crosses. Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier, and the addition of a goalkeeper Corey Crawford.

But if the Devils aren’t up for a playoff spot by the 2021 NHL trade deadline and Palmieri and Gusev don’t agree to contract extensions before then, they will likely have to trade them. I think the two can be key to their future, however, if they re-sign.

Palmieri has scored at least 24 goals in each of his five seasons with the Devils and led them with 25 goals and 45 points last season. The 29-year-old grew up in Montvale, New Jersey, so there’s a comfortable fit too.

In his first season in the NHL after 11 seasons in the Continental Hockey League, Gusev was second to the Devils with 44 points and led them with 31 assists last season. It will be interesting to see how much the 28-year-old elevates his game in his second season.

It is difficult to choose one to sign again. They are the same age, so it’s not a big factor. The Devils need scorers. Palmieri is their only returning player who scored at least 20 goals last season, and Gusev has been more of a playmaker in the KHL and NHL.

But if I had to pick one to sign again, I would lean towards Palmieri, although I would wait until closer to the trade deadline (or later if the Devils are in the playoffs) to make a decision. to see how everyone plays. this season.

Video: NJD @ NYR: Palmieri beats Shesterkin from a tough angle

Where do you see the rivalry between the New York Islanders and the New York Rangers over the next 3 to 5 seasons? – @CheepnisNHL

It’s an exciting question to ask after the Islanders reached the Eastern Conference finals last season and the young Rangers got a taste of postseason hockey in the playoffs of the Stanley Cup. Although the Islanders have older players, most of their core is 30 or under and their top player, restricted free agent center Mathew Barzal, is 23.

The long-awaited arrival of the Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin this season should also add to the rivalry; the 25-year-old has played for CSKA Moscow in the KHL for the past five seasons and is friends with the Rangers keeper Igor Shesterkin, who played for SKA St. Petersburg in the KHL before coming to North America last season.

The Rangers’ rebuilding got a boost when they won the 2020 NHL Draft lottery and selected the 19-year-old forward Alexis Lafreniere with the first pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. His addition follows a 2019 offseason that included striker selection Kaapo Kakko (Also 19) with the second pick in the 2019 draft, trading for a 22-year-old defenseman Adam Fox, the arrival of Shesterkin, 24, and the signing on Artemi Panarin, 29, quickly transformed the Rangers into a Stanley Cup playoff contender; they have not been qualified since 2017.

Games between the Islanders and the Rangers are always fun. Each being a Cup contender at the same time, which seems possible in the seasons to come, would take the rivalry to a level we haven’t seen since the New York teams last met in the playoffs in 1994.

Video: Top 10 Artemi Panarin plays from 2019-20

Who do you think will eventually take over from the Boston Bruins after this season? is Dan Vladar or Jeremy Swayman the next man? – @ GlaSnoST9

Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak anyone can become an unrestricted free agent after this season, so the Bruins will have to address their goaltending future at some point. Although there has been speculation Rask will retire, the 33-year-old has said he is ready to sign an extension with the Bruins and told the Boston Herald in October that he does not want not play for another team.

“I think my head is focused on next year, and then hopefully a few more years after that, then I pass the torch on to the next one,” Rask told the newspaper.

If Rask re-signs for two more seasons after this one, that should be enough time for Boston to prepare for their next No.1. If Rask doesn’t re-sign, the Bruins will likely have to re-sign Halak, who will. be 36 at the end of the season, on a short-term contract, or bring in another veteran to mentor Swayman or Vladar next season.

Swayman, a fourth-round pick (No.111) in the 2017 NHL Draft, has the potential to be a No.1 goaltender, but the 22-year-old will be a freshman pro this season after three seasons. at the University of Maine. He and Vladar, a third-round pick (75th) in the 2015 draft, are expected to share tasks with Providence of the American Hockey League this season.

Vladar, who is on loan at Pardubice in the Czech Extraliga pending the start of the NHL and AHL seasons, made his NHL debut in a relief appearance against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the playoffs last season . But the 23-year-old probably needs more NHL experience before he asks him to be Boston’s number one.

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