NHL Rumor Mill – November 10, 2016

by | Nov 10, 2016 | Rumors | 48 comments

Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella could be among several NHL bench bosses feeling the heat.

Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella could be among several NHL bench bosses feeling the heat.

Coaches on the hot seat plus latest on the Canucks, Islanders & Sharks in your NHL rumor mill. 

TORONTO SUN: Michael Traikos lists Jack Capuano of the New York Islanders, Willie Desjardins of the Vancouver Canucks, John Tortorella of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Lindy Ruff of the Dallas Stars and Jared Bednar of the Colorado Avalanche as five NHL coaches on the hot seat early in this season.

Traikos cites Capuano “taking a shot” at Isles general manager Garth Snow for the loss of 134 points from their lineup, referring to the departures of Kyle Okposo, Frans Nielsen and Matt Martin via free agency. He also notes the Canucks anemic offense, the Blue Jackets record, the Stars poor goaltending and the Avs spotty goaltending, poor defense and popgun offense as factors putting those coaches in their current plights. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Notice a common theme? All of those coaches are feeling the burn because of the rosters built by their general managers. But of course, it’s the coach that takes the fall for a GM’s mistakes. Capuano’s been with the Isles a long time and perhaps they need a change behind the bench, while the demanding Tortorella’s act can wear thin with his players after a while.

If I had to pick one from this list who’s most likely to be fired first, I’ll go with Desjardins. The Canucks have really struggled in recent weeks and a shakeup behind the bench is possible if they don’t snap out of their tailspin soon. 

TODAY’S SLAPSHOT: Appearing on Vancouver’s TSN 1040, Darren Dreger reports Canucks GM Jim Benning’s been shopping for offense in the last couple of weeks. Benning told Dreger trade calls are increasing, which isn’t surprising given the league general managers will be meeting next week in Toronto. Benning’s getting calls for his promising prospects. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Benning’s not parting with any of his top prospects. As I’ve said, there’s no magic trade coming that’ll boost the Canucks offense. They’re pretty much stuck with what they’ve got for this season. 

NEWSDAY: Asked by a reader if we can expect a trade that brings the New York Islanders a top-end forward to playing alongside John Tavares, Arthur Staple cites salary-cap constraints around the league as why he doesn’t expect such a deal to happen. He said GM Garth Snow is fielding calls and offers daily but didn’t elaborate. Staple also feels they’ll stick with goaltender Jaroslav Halak for now because they need wins and he’s best suited to provide them. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Snow failed to adequately replace the lost offense of Okposo and Nielsen. That’ll likely remain a problem over the remainder of this season. As for Halak, his $4.5 million cap hit through next season and injury history also makes him difficult to move right now. 

CSN BAY AREA: Responding to a reader’s question on when the San Jose Sharks might ship forward Patrick Marleau at the trade deadline, Kevin Kurz replied it’s far too early for that speculation. He doesn’t see much of a market right now for “a 37-year-old winger with two even strength points in 13 games that carries a $6.67 million cap hit.” Kurz speculates Marleau could play out this final season of his contract with the Sharks, but nothing’s happened that makes him thing the long-time Shark will return next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Marleau is willing to accept a trade by the March 1 deadline, maybe he’ll be dealt to a playoff contender. Even then, that’s not a certainty. His production will have to pick up over the course of the season to attract interest from rival clubs. 


  1. Wow! Not a lot of news today. Marleau has had a great career. It might be easy to suggest he is done but look how Pittsburgh has added a step to Cullen’s game. At times in last year’s playoffs he was one of Pittsburgh’s best players. A veteran presence on a playoff team can never hurt so long as the ice time of the team’s strongest players is not adversely affected. I could see a playoff deadline deal for a player like Marleau especially if his offense starts to improve throughout this season.

    • Good point…….. That could be the case for Marleau he has the skill…

  2. In a couple of cases it seems like the panic button is being pushed with respect to coaches. Bednar just got there, and Tortorella has not been in Columbus very long; although I agree his abrasive attitude dies out on players quickly, and Desjardins has not been given much to work with despite having some key veterans much of the core of this team is still quite young. Capuano and Ruff would be the two feeling the most pressure I would think. The Islanders did lose key players but they signed some good players in return and have some solid Dmen in Hamonic, and Boychuk. They should be better in my opinion. But Dallas? Wow they don’t look very good right now for a star studded team. But remember, it’s early!

  3. The only coaches on that list for me are Desjardins & Capuano. None of the other teams issues are coaching problems specifically & you can include Desjardins in that mix. Capunao should have been fired years ago.

    Apparently Traikos doesn’t look at the # of games teams have played as Columbus has only played 11; their 11th last night, & sit 6-3-2. They had played 30 to 40% less games than almost every team in the NHL. Dallas was due for a pull back this season due to questionable defense but have also been devastated by injuries & boy would Nichushkin have helped cover for some of those.

  4. How is Peter Laviolette not on that list?

    • Poille is methodical. Factor in they traded their captain & leader in Weber & that will take time to work it’s self out. More importantly see post to the Dobber Hockey Rambling chat board yesterday.

      “I wouldn’t be concerned. Nashville’s scoring troubles seem odd but things have a way of balancing out over the course of an 82 game schedule. Nashville has had a brutal schedule out of the gate & got stoned by 2 weaker teams 1 by their back up goalie playing lights out. Lost 3-2 in a shoot out to both Carolina & Arizona.

      Nashville played their 1st 8 games of the season against teams that made the playoffs last season & not just weak playoff teams other than Detroit, they drew the leagues best. Chi, Chi, Dal, Det, Pit, Anh, LA & SJ in that order. Brutal schedule. 5 of those 8 games on the road & 2 back to backs.

      No team has had a tougher schedule to start the year.”

      Nashville sits 4-5-3 they & Laviolette will be fine once their schedule starts to balance out. another dozen games or so. The fact they sit 4-5-3 considering their schedule & carving out a new identity having swapped out Weber for Subban is pretty good. PP is clicking just can’t seem to score 5 on 5. It will come to much talent to be held back for long.

      Things have away of balancing out over an 82 game schedule.

    • Tough schedule or not they don’t look like a playoff team

      • They’ll be fine. Will finish 2nd or 3rd in the Central.

      • Makes you wonder why they bother with the 82 games. Why not just let analytics decide the finish to a season and go straight to the playoffs – each a best of 21.

      • Ha-ha!

        I would prefer a 72 game, essentially balanced schedule in a 30 team league, 75 in a 31 team league. Maintain divisions but go back to 1 plays 8 & reseed after each round not this stupid bracket system they use now for the playoffs.

        A teams talent & depth raises to the top over such a grueling schedule. No sport like it. The only other North American major league sport that plays a physical game is football. They play 16 games spread over 18 weeks.

      • Football is played over 17 weeks.

      • Very true – but with crowds often exceeding 80,000 and TV revenue that would choke the proverbial horse.

      • Sorry small buttons. Worse soft screen buttons hate me.

    • Agreed..most overrated, shortest shelf life in the game!

  5. Marleau has played primarily as a 3rd line winger with Tierny & Ward this season & is seeing over 3 mins less per game of TOI/GP. His #1 power play spot is secure but as always quantity & quality of icetime coupled with linemates & individual skill are significant factors in determine a players ability to generate points.

    Marleau will be Merleau. I would be surprised if he agree’s to waive his no trade caluse to move. I assume 25 goals & 40 to 45 points when all is said & done.

    Marleau will sign some where next season as a UFA & see better minutes than he see’s now in SJ with youth being served. I slight uptick in points will follow regardless of age.

    • That’s one of the bolder predictions I’ve seen you make Striker. 🙂
      I like it!
      Would be great though, seems he’s been in the rumor section each season since 09 🙂

  6. Surprised Cappy hasn’t been fired. He’s right about Snow. Thing is if Cappy is fired Snow will have more pressure his way.
    The Isles are a mess. ( yet they beat the Leafs )
    JT has said he’d like to stay but I don’t know why he would.
    Isles are in need of some type of fix. ( Ya think ? ) Best way to retool could be by moving JT and getting an incredible haul back. They are not cup contenders, not even close.

    • I hate the player deployment. Coaching decisions. I’m shocked they didn’t give Parenteau an opportunity to rekindle his former chemistry with Tavares.

      Parenteau is an odd player. Possesion #’s are solid, he makes those he plays with better but the eye test shows a slow player that doesn’t seem to go to the right spots. That has more to do with his not really being a shooter but a set up man.

      He is almost the perfect example of quantity & quality of ice time with solid linemates coupled with individual skill set. He has the skill to play with good players & when he does & see’s top 6 minutes & at least 2nd line PP time he produces. If not he’s invisible offensively yet the #’s show he is a decent defensive player. Few can produce in relegated to 3rd or 4th line minutes & no PP time. NYI’s loss is NJ’s gain.

      • How can Isles mgmt expect JT to be interested to resign? He has given a few ‘ok’ wingers career years and has never had anyone near his level on the team.

      • Well if they don’t get out of the Barclays Center you may get your wish. They didn’t draw much better in Long Island but they are also a weird exception to being a gate driven team like many NHL teams. Their local cable vision package being in the largest TV market in the US is very lucrative & makes up for a significant portion of lost gate revenue. Many teams are in similiar situations.

        NYI is kind of in a weird state of constant rebuild. Their 9 years in now since they drafted Tavares but have made weird decisions & Capuano isn’t helping the cause but apparently has Snow’s full support.

        No team in the NHL has operated like NYI. It’s odd to say the least. 1 of best prospect pipelines in the NHL but a coach that doesn’t like deploying prospects nor has a good track record for developing them?

      • From Cap’s comments to the media this season, mostly to Staple, it seems like he is hinting that Snow is pulling the strings and he is just a puppet. Cap is no gem of a coach but Snow seems like a guy who is very hands on, knows what he wants and that’s that, and while some of his moves really pay off, others really sink. The group of Barzal, Beauvillier, Dal Colle, Ho Sang and Pulock seem like they could form a solid, young core for this team into the future but the same could have been said when they had Strome, Nino, Nelson and Reinhart in waiting. Then at the same time, aside from the Leddy trade, his returns for Nino and Reinhart might be his best moves. Snow wins some decidedly and loses some decidedly. This past offseason, however, definitely goes in the loss category and it’s showing on the ice.

      • Agreed.

  7. Why is John Tortorella on this list? Because the media doesn’t like him? 6-3-2 won 4 of their last 5 and the loss was in overtime. I havw a friend who is a diehard Islander fan, he has wanted Jack Capuano gone for three years now. He has a long list of reasons. Most has to do with how he deploys his players.

    • I don’t believe were friends but I certainly enjoy your perspective & insight. You sound like your describing my views exactly. Ha-ha! I have been calling for Capunao’s head for more than 3 years. Never even liked the hiring.

      Snow hasn’t been perfect but NYI is a pretty well built team with a ton of solid young players coming, 1 of the best young D’s in the NHL. Just the odd brain scratchier by Snow & poor personal choices by Capunao are holding this team back.

      I don’t understand why Okposo wasn’t retained. I can only assume he didn’t want to stay. I like Ladd but not at any where near 7 years & 5.5 per. 3 years at 4, 4.5 tops like Brouwers deal in Calgary. He brings a ton of character but in today’s game he is a high end 3rd line LW who can probably fill a role for at least a year or 2 as a #2.

      I get why they let Nielsen go. Nelson needs to play 2nd line C minutes to take the next step. Again he is in my monster forward catagory over 6’3″, so a longer development curve needed to fill out that massive frame. He is still 2 years away from putting it all together & being the NHL player he will be.

      I assumed Parenteau would step into Okposo’s spot with Tavares. Bailey isn’t an acceptable option. He like Ladd aren’t 1st line players really. 1 sure but not both. That’s like saddling Tavares with weights. I don’t want to doisparge either Ladd or Bailey both are good players but my line up chart for NYI is totally different than what Capunao is icing & it included Parenteau.

      • Striker on here we’re all friends, we come here because we like to debate, not shy away from it and at the end generally no one is offended.

      • Ha-ha! Agreed Caper.

  8. Every now and then I like to bring up off topic comments. Today is one of them days. During the Bruins – Habs game the Canadians scored with 1:02 left in the game. Julien challenged the goal; which he and everyone else knew it was a good goal. He still had his 30 second timeout available but a goal challenge give you much more time then 30 seconds. Also watched it in another game, much earlier to try and change the momentum of the game. I guess give the coaches credit for using the goal challenge as a ploy for rest or a quick huddle up without using your 30 second time out. Does the league see this as an issue or do they care?

    • I don’t think the league cares they only get one

    • No. There are numerous ways to achieve the desired result. I have even changed goalies when coaching late in a game with under 2 minutes to play to buy my best defensive players a rest. Then used the next stoppage in play; if we get the 2nd whistle, to get them a 2nd rest using my time out to keep me best defensive players on the ice to protect a 1 goal lead.

      It’s with in the rules.

      Back in youth minor hockey I would even call a time out only to have the referrers come & tell me I wasn’t entitled to 1 at this level. Achieved the desired result as i send 2 lines on the ice around the bench simultaneously. 1 official even awarded the opposing team a penalty shot as a penalty for delay of game in such a situation in the gold medal game of a tournament, Peewee house. No where in the rules we play under with in Hockey Canada does any such penalty exist. He could have given us a 2 min penalty for delay of game but not have awarded a penalty shot. Thankfully the goalie made the save & we won that game.

      Unethical? Poor sportsmanship? Maybe. Ha-ha!

      In baseball I would slow games down or speed them up at will depending upon the score & amount of time remaining available to play. Our games all have time limits. Quick pitch, no warm ups between innings, or just the opposite, pitcher lollygags between pitches, batters in & out of the box constantly, numerous pitcher changes what have you. What ever I could do with in the rules to achieve the required result playing my players equally & fairly in house & as best possible in competitive hockey & baseball.

      • HA HA I can relate. My kid is a top level goalie on a bad team. We were short one night players and while they dominated us he stood tall. Coach and him worked out a plan ( I didn’t know til after ) where if the team needed a rest he would go down with an injury. Coach runs his hand thru his hair, next thing you know, next shot my kid hits the ice like a ton of bricks. Delay worked. Won the game.
        Goes to show coaches will do whatever it takes sometimes to win. Even if it seems unsportsmanlike or out of the box. I wasn’t too happy with the plan but got a good laugh out of it. Kid should def stick to hockey as his acting was terrible.
        I thought the NHL took your time out away if you challenged a call and lost ?You are getting more for sure out of the challenge then you will a time out.

  9. Don’t agree with your Coaches assessment. Look at the Canucks goals against, they are in the top 3rd. A sure sign the Coach hasn’t lost the room.

    • By total goals against but not GA/GP. Teams haven’t played an equal # of games this early in the season & they desperity is significant as a % this early, we have 30 to 40% discrepancies in games played. Vancouver sits 21st in GA/GP.

      I don’t think Desjardins deserves to be fired based on what Vancouver is doing now. This team is really bad but I seriously question his personal decisions going back to Vancouver’s last season leading up to the playoffs & in the playoffs against Calgary. His deployment of Vrbata, Horvat & Bieksa made no sense. Eddy Lack or Miller? How knows but serious concerns about his decision making. Weber was a train wreck in that playoff series & received zero consequence playing ahead of Bieksa seeing tons of PP time & I mean tons. I would have gotten Baertschi into that series against his old team some how. Perhaps over Kenins or Higgins. 2 games barely getting on the ice with no offensive minutes?

      I watched most of that series live. Missed 1 of the 6 games, game 6 in Calgary. Sold those tickets for 700 a pop. Some of the worst playoff coaching I ever had the misfortune to watch.

      The following year relegated Vrbata to hell & made numerous odd player personal decisions. He should have been fired following the playoff loss to Calgary because he didn’t even give them a chance to win.

      • That’s bottom 3rd by the way not top 3rd.

  10. Random question…

    What site is the best to check box scores?

    Yahoo is now awful. During the game, they now link you to their game tracker instead of the box score and you have to click over to it. After the game, they link you to a written summary and I can’t even find a link to the real box score from there.

    TSN is better, but not great.

    Does anyone have know a site that does it the way Slam used to where all of the box scores load up on one page?

    If not, is there a site you prefer?


    • My preference is Sportsnet.ca
      Highlight pack is included on the individual game box score page.

    • I use this site – EVERYTHING is there and up to date


    • CBC Sports – Stats section. You get a current boxscore and a thirty second update.

    • I’m with George. I like ESPN boxscores. Very clean presentation. All there & easily read.

    • If im trying to be quick. I type NHL Scores into google each game comes up in small boxes at the top of the screen and you can click any game and run through all the box scores.

      • I want minutes played in all situations for ever player. Review every morning. essential in the fantasy leagues I participate in.

    • Much appreciated, I’ll give these a try.

  11. I think Desjardins goes first but that will be the fault of Benning and management that has built around a flawed platform (the Sedins) for so long. There is little talent in Vancouver and they need a Leaf-like re-build.

    • I agree but not about the Sedin’s. They aren’t the problem.

    • Sedins are literally the only part of the Canucks roster that is not a dumpster fire

      • I’d include Ericksson in that assessment, although it’s hard to figure why a guy whose has had, what?, 6 or 7 20+ goal seasons and is still just 31, is having such a hard time so far this year.

      • There are others just not enough of them. Horvat, Hutton, Tanev, not an Edler fan but a solid NHL Dman just not a legitimate #1 even though the Canucks #1, Markstrom, etc.

    • He did the same thing last year George. I believe it was 12 games in before he scored for boston. I figured he would get off to a quicker start after the world cup.

      • Now that you mention it, I remember that slow start in Boston – complete with opinions left and right that, maybe, he was washed-up. Slow starter I guess. hell, Ottawa can identify with guys like Brassard and Stone stuck at 1 each.