NHL Rumor Wire – May 26th, 2011

Carolina Hurricanes‘ prospect Oskar Osala, is heading to the KHL.

From Chip Alexander (newsobserver.com)

Oskar Osala kept denying that he was about to leave for the KHL. The rumor was persistent but the Charlotte Checkers forward kept denying it was true.

Guess what? He’s leaving.

Osala, 23, confirmed today via Twitter that he would be playing for Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk of the KHL next season. The 6-4, 225-pounder had 13 goals and 42 points in 59 games for the Checkers this season while piling up 139 penalty minutes.

The Detroit Red Wings will be active on July 1st. With the retirement of Brian Rafalski and Nicklas Lidstrom thinking about it, they will be needing replacements on the blueline.

From Ted Kulfan (The Detroit News)

The Red Wings’ defense is a bit unsettled.

So, depending on what kind of news general manager Ken Holland ultimately receives from Lidstrom and the others before July 1, the Wings will either be very active this offseason, or perhaps just looking for one key replacement for Rafalski.

“Obviously, July 1 is a day we’re looking toward a little more than we were prior to today,” Holland said Wednesday after Rafalski’s press conference to announce his retirement. “We’ve got more cap money, but obviously a big hole on defense.

The Florida Panthers coaching search continues, Sun Sentinel‘s Harvey Fialkov talks about potential candidates, Manitoba Moose coach Claude Noel and Portland Pirates coach Kevin Dineen.

From Harvey Fialkov (Sun Sentinel)

While all remains quiet in the Panthers’ search for a coach, the oft-mentioned names of Hawks asst. Mike Haviland and Thrashers assoc. coach John Torchetti may be joined by Manitoba Moose coach Claude Noel and Portland coach Kevin Dineen.

Tags: Carolina Hurricanes Claude Noel Detroit Red Wings Florida Panthers Kevin Dineen Manitoba Moose Oskar Osala Portland Pirates

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