NHL Rumor Mill – December 8, 2021
What’s the latest on the Canucks’ search for a new GM? Are the Islanders shopping for help? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.
THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun wondered if Daniel and Henrik Sedin will be taking on larger roles within the Vancouver Canucks organization. He’s not sure if they’d feel ready to act as co-general managers but doesn’t rule out the possibility.
LeBrun also noted former Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin quickly surfaced as a possible candidate. While Bergevin might benefit from taking some time off before going from one high-pressure hockey city to another, LeBrun believes he’d listen if the Canucks came calling. He also doesn’t rule out former GM Mike Gillis and former assistant GM Laurence Gilman returning with Gillis as team president and Gilman as the general manager.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s going to be interesting to see who the Canucks end up hiring. It’s expected their search could last throughout the season.
The Sedins have only been in the Canucks’ hockey operations department for several months. Their only management experience was in advisory roles to the general manager. Team chairman Francesco Aquilini would have to hire an experienced executive as team president to help guide the Sedins as they grew accustomed to the general manager job.
Bergevin has considerable front-office experience but his tenure in Montreal was a mixed bag. He won more trades for the Canadiens than he lost but his free-agent signing record was so-so while their drafting and player development suffered during his tenure.
As for Gillis and Gilman, no offense to their abilities but the Canucks already went that route. The club enjoyed its greatest period of success under those two. However, they were also responsible for the Canucks’ steep decline following their 2011 Stanley Cup Final appearance. It might be a better option to bring in someone different with a fresh perspective.
NYI HOCKEY NOW: Christian Arnold cited NHL insider Darren Dreger telling TSN 1200 he could see New York Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello attempting to improve his club before all hope of reaching the 2022 playoffs are lost.
Dreger doesn’t see Lamoriello attempting to make a blockbuster deal and isn’t sure what he’d be looking for in a deal. Nevertheless, he noted Lamoriello tends to be an active general manager and believes he’ll do something to try and save the season.
Arnold observes the Islanders have had trouble finding the back of the net and could use a forward with a scoring touch. They could also use a puck-moving defenseman.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Scoring forward trade targets could include the Boston Bruins’ Jake DeBrusk, the Chicago Blackhawks’ Dylan Strome or the Arizona Coyotes’ Phil Kessel. They’ve frequently surfaced in early-season trade speculation. Whether Lamoriello has any interest in them or has his eye on someone else remains to be seen. It’s possible there simply isn’t anyone suitable available right now to help his club reverse their fortunes.