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Over The Boards

Future of Islanders' Capuano, Snow among questions

NHL.com's Dan Rosen answers weekly mailbag

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

Here is the April 13 edition of Dan Rosen's weekly mailbag, which will run every Wednesday through the Stanley Cup Playoffs. If you have a question, tweet it to @drosennhl and use #OvertheBoards.

Let's get to it:

If the New York Islanders lose in the first round, is that it for Garth Snow/Jack Capuano? -- @mmmmmaaaarrrcco

I do think Capuano is coaching for his job, but that doesn't necessarily mean he would be out with another first-round exit. I think it all depends on how the Islanders play in their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Florida Panthers, which begins Thursday (8 p.m. ET; CNBC, SN, TVA Sports 2, FS-F, MSG+). Don't forget, they have significant injuries and are going to have to play without No. 1 goalie Jaroslav Halak. If the Islanders give the Panthers a great series, take it six or seven games, play close in every game, and still come up short, I think Capuano gets the benefit of the doubt and gets to start next season behind the Islanders' bench. If they flame out quickly, it might be time for a change. I think they'll put up a fight. I don't think they'll win the series but I think it'll be enough for him to keep his job.

I also think Snow is tied to similar expectations.

Now that most games end in overtime and don't go to the shootout, would the NHL change their tiebreaker rule to only regulation wins? -- @AdamKaplan3

I haven't heard of this suggestion before, so I can't say with any certainty if it would be considered. My opinion on this would be to keep it at regulation/overtime wins. There's something to be said for scoring in overtime to win a game. Teams are trying and strategizing in overtime. They should be rewarded for it the same way they're rewarded for a regulation win.

 

Any prospect of the NHL coming to the UK for a preseason event in the near future? -- @eugeneseosamh

I really hope so. I know the NHL and the NHL Players' Association are working on an extensive international calendar that starts with the 2016 World Cup of Hockey in Toronto in September. Commissioner Gary Bettman has talked publicly about a plan to have preseason events, regular-season games, clinics, etc., in international markets. There will be more information on that coming out in the near future. I hope the United Kingdom is part of it the way it was in 2007, when the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings opened the season in London.

I asked you earlier in the year if the Philadelphia Flyers will make the playoffs and you didn't think so. What is your take now on it? -- @BillyStayScheme

They were very impressive after the All-Star break. They bought into coach Dave Hakstol's system, found a top line with Claude Giroux centering Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn, got great goaltending from Steven Mason, and got in. I didn't pick them to make it. I was not the only one. They exceeded expectations. You got me.

Video: WSH@PHI: Schenn lights the lamp on the power play

Are the St. Louis Blues legitimate contenders? -- @ducson3rd

Yes, but don't confuse that with me saying they're going to win the Stanley Cup. I didn't even pick them to get out of the first round. But I do think they should be legitimate contenders. They have three scoring lines and two defense pairs featuring experienced defensemen who should be able to play extended minutes. They consistently get quality goaltending from Brian Elliott and Jake Allen. They have a veteran coaching staff. They play a heavy, hard game that seems like it should be built for playoff hockey. They have an elite scorer in Vladimir Tarasenko, a player who they can and should be able to rely on to get them the extra goal they need. The Blues have enough to go on a long playoff run. I don't think they will because I genuinely don't like their Western Conference First Round series against the Chicago Blackhawks. The Blackhawks know how to win at this time of the year; the Blues do not, or at least they haven't proven it yet. The Blackhawks know how to counter the Blues' heavy game by trying to beat them with stretch passes and skill to get behind the defense.

How is the Montreal Canadiens' status quo perceived outside of Montreal? -- @Youssef_1989

I don't think the Canadiens will stay status quo with the roster. It seems like they will with the coaching staff. But I think there needs to be a healthy study done of the entire roster, the style of play -- everything really.

Everybody already knew how much goalie Carey Price means to the Canadiens. But to see them fall apart without him speaks to an issue that should be addressed. Good teams should not fall apart the way the Canadiens did when they lose their No. 1 goalie. Nobody would expect them to be as good, but to collapse is alarming. The Rangers lost Henrik Lundqvist for two months last season and they won the Presidents' Trophy. Jonathan Quick has been injured in previous seasons and the Los Angeles Kings carried on quite well without him. Staying status quo essentially would be blaming the collapse on Price's injury. That's an excuse and not one the Canadiens should be using. I don't think they will. I expect GM Marc Bergevin to be active this summer. I hope the coaching staff does a complete study of what happened and why so they can address it in training camp. Frankly, it was unacceptable.

How do you think the Calgary Flames will address their goaltending issues this offseason? -- @TylerWoIfe

There will be options available to them. I'm looking at signing James Reimer and acquiring Jimmy Howard in a trade from the Detroit Red Wings. Cam Ward could be an option on a short-term, salary cap-friendly contract. But the first two options are more enticing to me. There's also the prospect of trading for Jonathan Bernier from the Toronto Maple Leafs. He'd be interesting because he is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent after next season, so if he didn't work out the Flames wouldn't be tied to him beyond one season. If he did work out, he could be the goalie of the future in Calgary.

I'd be careful about spending too much money on goaltending. Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan will be restricted free agents July 1 and need new contracts. Same goes for Joe Colborne, though he won't to cost as much as the Flames' cornerstone forwards. Sam Bennett will need a new contract after next season. Mark Giordano will have a $6.75 million salary-cap charge starting next season, up from $4.02 million this season, according to war-on-ice.com. So there are cap costs to consider. However, they clearly need to address the situation. Karri Ramo and Jonas Hiller should not return. I don't believe Joni Ortio is the answer, but getting him to return on a favorable new contract to make him the backup would be a good idea, if only to keep Jon Gillies in the American Hockey League so he could go through a full season without injury, if possible.

Video: TOR@PHI: Schenn beats Bernier early in the 2nd period

What are the chances that the New York Rangers move Rick Nash or Marc Staal this summer? -- @dmiceli16

I wouldn't say it's impossible, but I'd say it's unlikely. Nash and Staal have full no-movement clauses in their contracts, according to war-on-ice.com. It's not easy to move players with those clauses.

Nash has two years remaining on his contract and has an annual salary-cap charge of $7.8 million. If the Rangers go south next season, I could see Nash being moved around the 2017 NHL Trade Deadline similar to the way Martin St. Louis was traded to the Rangers during the 2013-14 season. He came with one year remaining on his contract. That said, trading him this summer would free up space to get J.T. Miller, Chris Kreider and Kevin Hayes signed. They're all scheduled to be restricted free agents.

Staal is signed through the 2020-21 season and counts for $5.7 million against the cap. He's much harder to trade than Nash. I also think he had a resurgence in the last quarter of the regular season and I'm curious to see how he plays in the playoffs. He's been better of late. I wouldn't be so quick to move him.

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