NHL Rumor Mill – November 30, 2017
Latest on the Oilers, Penguins and Flyers in your NHL rumor mill.
WILL THE OILERS MAKE A MOVE SOON?
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson covered the Tuesday press conference by Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli where he discussed the state of his struggling club. Asked about how to fix the roster’s problems midseason, Chiarelli didn’t sound optimistic. “You look at a lot of different things,” from coaching, to management, to players,” said the Oilers GM. “There’s no easy answer. No one is going to help us.”
Regarding external solutions, Bruce McCurdy noted Chiarelli admitted he’s “beating the bushes a little bit”. He said he has salary cap space and intends to use it, but cautioned about contracts that extend beyond this season.
You can bet Oilers are 1 of “several deep” teams interested in Penguins D Ian Cole, who’s UFA, healthy scratch last 3 games. They like him but can’t afford him next year
— Jim Matheson (@NHLbyMatty) November 28, 2017
FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites NHL insider Bob McKenzie’s Tuesday appearance on TSN 1050 where he also said the Oilers have interest in Cole. However, any Penguins fans believing the blueliner can fetch Edmonton center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins via trade is “dreaming in Technicolor,” adding that deal is not going to happen.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I also think Chiarelli’s calling around but he’s probably not going to find a season-saving deal. If the Oilers have interest in Cole they aren’t the only ones. Toronto, Colorado and Vegas are reportedly linked to the Penguins defenseman. The problem, however, is meeting the Penguins’ asking price. It’s felt they could use Cole to add a scoring forward, preferably a center, but as McKenzie points out, anyone who thinks a swap of Cole for Nugent-Hopkins is dreaming.
Speaking of Cole, I don’t think he’s the type of trade chip to bring a scorer to the Penguins. I know, stranger things have happened and if Penguins GM Jim Rutherford can pull it off it’ll be a significant accomplishment, but I just can’t envision a suitable scenario where this takes place.
UPDATE ON THE FLYERS
FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites McKenzie’s appearance Wednesday on NBCSN discussing the state of the struggling Philadelphia Flyers. He doesn’t believe GM Ron Hextall will fire head coach Dave Hakstol, preferring to remain patient and giving his bench boss a full vote of confidence.
As for possible trades, McKenzie thinks Hextall is making calls but if a trade is made it won’t be a seismic one. He doesn’t see anything involving their top-line players, goaltending or defense. McKenzie suggests Hextall might consider looking at adding a player to bring some chemistry to their second or third lines. He doesn’t see a trade involving Nolan Patrick, Travis Konecny or Wayne Simmonds.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hextall noted his club didn’t play that poorly through November, pointing out there were a lot of close games during that stretch. Like McKenzie, I don’t see a major shakeup happening with their roster. Hextall may be sticking with Hakstol, but I have to wonder how long he’ll stay patient with his coach if they don’t soon string together some victories.