NHL Rumors: Joe Thornton, Mathew Barzal, and the Chicago Blackhawks
The New York Islanders plan on extending Mathew Barzal before he could receive an offer sheet
© Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Thornton isn’t finished with hockey yet

Pierre LeBrun: San Jose Sharks pending UFA forward Joe Thornton when asked him about playing next season.

“I have years to go!”

Islanders plan on extending Barzal before he could receive an offer sheet

New York Islanders: A Q&A involving New York Islanders President and GM Lou Lamoriello and fans.

Lamoriello when asked about the status of goaltending prospect Ilya Sorokin and if there are talks to bring him to North America next season.

“Yes, we have every indication that he will be here for next season.”

When asked if they would match an offer sheet for Mathew Barzal, Lamoriello said:

“It is our intention to not allow it to get to that point, but should that happen, the answer is yes.”

On his confidence level of being able to re-sign their top pending restricted free agents in Barzal, Devon Toews and Ryan Pulock.

“We have every intention to sign all three.”

Blackhawks top management/coach will be back next year

Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times: Chicago Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz said last week that president John McDonough, GM Stan Bowman and head coach Jeremy Colliton will “absolutely” be back with the team next season. There are some fans who have soured on Colliton and Bowman.

Ownership appears to be happy with the way Bowman has been retooling the team. A full rebuild, lead by Bowman or someone else, would likely be more frustrating for fans.

Bowman after the February trade deadline on his philosophy.

“The one encouraging thing is just that Jonathan and Patrick, they’re having really good years even though they’re in their 30s,” he said in the middle of a longer response. “That’s helping us. We have some young players on the way; we’re trying to get some more. And when they start taking that step forward, hopefully our team can take a step forward.”

This offseason the Blackhawks will have to make some salary cap related moves, and their youth movement will continue.