Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – November 5, 2023

by | Nov 5, 2023 | Rumors | 39 comments

Changes could be in store for the Oilers, an update on Patrick Kane, Nino Niederreiter hopes to stay with the Jets, and the Hurricanes are looking to move a defenseman. Check out the latest in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.


SPORTSNET: Mark Spector believes “everything is on the table in Edmonton” as the Oilers slumped to 2-7-1 on the season. They face the real possibility of missing the playoffs if they fail to reverse their fortunes.

Spector suggests a coaching change could end up being under consideration. He noted that current bench boss Jay Woodcroft’s “non-competitive, lackadaisical team” looks exactly like the one that cost former head coaches Dave Tippett and Todd McLellan their jobs.

Edmonton Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft (

Spector’s colleague Elliotte Friedman reported everything was quiet in Edmonton following the Oilers’ 5-2 loss on Saturday to the Nashville Predators. He said we’ll see how everything goes over the next couple of days as the club looks to address things internally. Friedman wondered if Stuart Skinner would get a run in goal after another poor performance by Jack Campbell.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers are a better team than the one we’ve seen thus far. Their current woes not only reflect badly on Woodcroft but also on team leaders like Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.

Firing Woodcroft could snap the Oilers out of their doldrums but at some point, the players have to take responsibility. A trade could shake things up but that won’t be easy to pull off at this stage during a season where so many teams are pressed for cap space. For now, they seem to have little choice but to seek answers from within.

The good news for the Oilers is there is still plenty of time to turn things around. The bad news is another month like this could put them into such a deep hole in the standings that they risk being unable to climb out of it.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman believes this week could be an important one for unrestricted free agent Patrick Kane. The 34-year-old winger is still a few weeks away from playing but he could be getting closer to narrowing down his list of potential destinations.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Friedman didn’t indicate which teams could be interested in signing Kane. It’s rumored they could include the Buffalo Sabres, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Vegas Golden Knights.


WINNIPEG SUN: Scott Billeck reports sources claim that Nino Niederreiter hopes to remain with the Jets beyond this season.

The 31-year-old winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July. He’s in the final season of a two-year contract with an average annual value of $4 million.

Billeck’s source said that Niederreiter’s agent, Andre Rufener, will be in Winnipeg this week. The winger is fond of Winnipeg and has praised the fans and the way the club handles its players. Management has been made aware that he’s interested in signing an extension.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Billeck believes the Jets should re-sign Niederreiter, pointing to his five goals and nine points in the club’s 11 games thus far this season. Given the “win-now” mentality of the club’s front office (highlighted by their recent extensions of Connor Hellebuyck and Mark Scheifele), they’ll give serious consideration toward keeping Niederreiter in the fold.

Niederreiter’s previous contract was a five-year deal with an average annual value of $5.25 million. If he seeks something similar on his next contract the Jets could be willing to listen.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Carolina Hurricanes are looking to move a defenseman. Tony DeAngelo is the name that’s out there but Friedman said there are other things that the Hurricanes could potentially consider.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: DeAngelo, 28, is on a one-year deal with an affordable $1.675 million cap hit. His defensive play leaves something to be desired. Nevertheless, he could draw interest from teams in need of a cost-effective offensive boost from the blueline, especially on the power play.


  1. They need to bring in Coach Q!

    • Pump the brakes on Coach Q, Johnny. There’s been another lawsuit filed against the Hawks involving that video coach and another player yet to be named.
      I’m guessing the NHL will punish them adequately if it turns out to be factual. Like maybe stripping Ottawa or Columbus of a draft pick or something. Or gift them Celebrini at the draft.
      If Q doesn’t get banned for life, he’ll ultimately end up as Keefs replacement.

      • Why would Columbus be stripped of a draft pick?

      • Simply for the absurdity of how the league handles things. I chose Ottawa because of recency and Columbus because I couldn’t think of a better team. They’ve done nothing wrong but, quite simply have rotten luck.
        It wasn’t a shot. I like the club.

  2. Hey Johnny,
    Are you talking about the Sen’s…?

    If so, your 100% Right Coach Joel Quenneville would be a Great addition to the Sen’s as Head Coach..👍

    I said that last year when they were taking about a coaching change in Ottawa.
    at the Stage they are at now Coach Q would take them to the next level They are a very good young team…
    DJ is done, the sooner he is gone the better⁉️

    • Sens or Oil at this point! Maybe a bidding war!😁

      • Oil are Not changing there Coach…100%
        he is very good and the players and Fans really like him…
        Coach Q in Ottawa…👍

      • They’ll have a franchise in Hell before Quenneville ever gets another NHL head-coaching job.

      • With ya one this one George.

      • Ray, just the flak alone that would follow the announcement of his hiring anywhere in the NHL would be reason enough to put up roadblocks to that.

      • Ya, that and I would want to speak to my players first as well. My guess is he wouldn’t have much respect in the room.

        Not his hockey acumen, but him as a man. Didn’t really have stand up for one of his guys did he?

  3. The start by Edmonton isn’t totally surprising when you examine their cap situation.

    For their 6 top cap hits it’s costing them $46,875,000 and when you fact or in their $1,916,667 in dead cap (Neal) they are spending a full 58% of their cap on 6 players – which leaves 42% to spend on the other 17 roster spots – or an average of $2,041,667 per.

    Extending that to their top 10 cap hits they are forking over $63,691,667 – or 76% of the cap, leaving 24% for the remaining 13 spots – or an average of $1,523,718.

    Which can be fine IF you can ice 13 players at that average cost who aren’t costing you games.

    Vegas is an example. On their top 10 they spend 75% of their cap with just 25% for the other 13 spots. Judging by their start, those 13 are not costing them on the ice.

    Edmonton is certainly not alone with that dilemma by any stretch.

    • Interestingly, for their top 10 the Oilers scoring is much like that of the Leafs – 29g 41a 70 pts.

      But whereas the rest of the Leafs roster have produced 5g 12a 17 pts, all the Oilers have to show for their other 13 roster players is 1g 2a 3 pts.

      In goal it doesn’t look much better –

      Campbell 4.50gaa 0.875 save %
      Skinner – 3.62gaa 0.866 save %

      Woll, the other Leafs goalie, is quite decent at a 2.43gaa and 0.928 save %

  4. If the Oilers have been non-competitive and lackadaisical for 3 coaches now, when do we start to believe that it’s not the coaches’ fault.

    • They should blow it up, Howard. You guys can have McDavid, and we will take zee German. I feel it’s only right given my extreme bias and continued longing for our rivalry to wrench it up a bunch of notches. Salary cap be damned!

      • With you SOP. They can have Kovacevic and a first.

        Obviously McDavid and Dreisaitel are going nowhere. But changes are needed. And a serious culture change.

    • That would be swell SOP!

      With ya Howard, this needs to come from the players. If it doesn’t it will be the coach in a couple weeks because you have no other real option. Need to change it up.

      But first, I would send Campbell down (not sure if his modified NTC prevents it). If you can’t send him down bring up Rodrigue or Picard anyway, they can’t be worse than Campbell has been, for a long while now. Let Skinner play 2 out of 3 and see if that can get it changed.

      Bottom line it isn’t just the tending, but it sure as hell hasn’t been good either.

      This team had 109 pts last year, 104 the year before. The roster isn’t that different. Very odd.

      Show me a coach on the hot seat, and I’ll show you bad goaltending.

    • “If the Oilers have been non-competitive and lackadaisical for 3 coaches now”

      They made it to the conference finals with *THIS* coach.

  5. Hey George,

    Yes the cap has been a challenge for lots of teams and Edmonton for a number of years thanks to Peter Chiarelli🙈 the Former general manager of the Edmonton Oilers

    Chiarelli made a Complet 5 Star Mess of the Oilers with his Rediclus Trades & Signings…..
    We have been up against the cap for 6-7 years now….
    We are still paying James Neal $1,916,667 as
    Peter Chiarelli🙈 Last screw up for 2 more seasons❗️it was 3 players now down to one…

    Holland has been doing a good job trying to improve the team but with no cash to spend its had to fix it, then he gives Nurse $9.M a year starting 2023/24 season … he is more like a $5.M- to $6.M defencive d/man thats his worst signing in 5 years. the top paring of Nurse and Ceci are Oil & Water Not a good mix…👎

    if this cap freeze has tought GM’S anything about finance and how important is is to manage you Salary cap budget..$$ Hopfully we see some smarter GM’S out there and not giving out Silly over payed 7-8 yr contract’s like Calgary Flames did with the 30 yr old Huberdeau ⁉️
    Who just started his 8 year contract this season he has turend into a $10.5 Dollar DUD🔥🔥

    • It isn’t Chias fault. I’d argue that Leon’s deal is the best in the league. Holland has done a fair job, but Jackson still has to round out the roster a bit. They have been there long enough to put their own mark on the club.
      It’s still way to early to panic………unless the goaltending and bad bounces continue into December. Then you’ll have a problem.

    • I’m pretty sure holland made the Neal for Lucic trade

  6. The top oilers are too busy reading their own press releases. It is time to shake it up and there are only so many times you can replace the coach. Nurse is playing like an entry level rookie. $900,000 not 9+ million.

  7. 1. The sky definitely isn’t falling in Boston
    2. Leaf’s – Klingberg was a really bad signing … As far as Bertuzzi and Domi , I don’t have an answer – maybe someone else does
    No production after the core 4

    • Trade Bert to the Bruins for Geekie and Zobril.

    • Ken, like the Oilers the Leafs are top-heavy on the cap when it comes to their top 6 which costs 64% of their cap (not counting those on LTIR). When you factor in the next 4 costlier players, the % rises to 83% – or $69205,616 of the cap. That leaves $14,294,394 with which to pay 13 – or an average of $1,099,568.

      The top 10 (Matthews, Nylander, Marner, Tavares, Rielly, Bertuzi, Brodie, Klingberg and Domi) have scored 30g 46a 76 pts. The rest have contributed 5g 12a 17 pts. The 10th is goalie Samsonov who is sporting a 3.56gaa and save % of 0.871.

      Their annual cap conundrum has already cost them the likes of Hyman and Bunting. I doubt there is one among the remaining 13 who will even approach 20 goals – including Knies.

      And there are several other teams in much the same boat – including Ottawa – i..e., the stats drop like a rock when you get to the bottom half of the roster.

      • Is this cap related or really the result of watered down product? If several teams have production from their top players and the rest of the roster is dog food, does the cap make this a watered down product?

      • It does when you don’t have the space to “reward” those among your bottom half who come up with decent seasons just as they reach RFA status and you can’t afford to keep them – Hyman and Bunting jump to mind.

  8. 11 games in and Rangers at top of metro. It’s still early, but the one “kid” I expected to make a jump was Kakko. He’s on top line with Kreider and Zib and has 2 points. If Kane is willing to take a minimum deal like Wheeler, I can see him coming back to NY. I just don’t think it’ll be in near future.

  9. No panic until US Thanksgiving .

    Oilers are 3 rd worse in goals against. Start there.
    Bruins lead the league in save percentage and goals against

  10. The Oilers are starting the season again with very poor goaltending…⁉️

    Jack Campbell
    He is off to a Poor Start with Bad Numbers Again.
    GA -4.50
    SV% -0.873

    Stuart Skinner
    has started with number not quite as good as last year, SS is a bit of a Slow Starter…
    I think bye watching him again this season he will go on a winning streak hear by game 9 or 10 for him
    I think.. i hope
    Games -6
    GA- 3.62
    SV% -0.861

    1st paring D of
    Oil & Water… the Duo of Nurse & Ceci has not been good at all. They were on for the first 2 goals again yesterday
    Ceci looked Lost as usual being Last to the puck is his calling card….❗️
    these two are on the ice when 97 & 29 are on so the Plus – numbers look better than it actually is…🙈
    Nurse is not playing Physical at all, he need to step it up bye $8.M…

    2nd paring D
    they should go back to Bouchard & Ekholm
    try big Vinny Desharnais there for 5 games maybe Ekholm mentorship can get him going

    Brent Kulak is a good 3rd paring d… maybe try him with bouchard and keep the paring going for 5 games to seee how it gos…❓

    1st Trade
    should be Cody Ceci going out with a Prospect or a pick to shore up the RD position with LD Nurse….🤔

    2nd Trade
    should be Jack Campbell at the deadline if his play dose not improve this year.. 🤔
    that may cost them a 2nd pick and a player to move him out…
    that would save them $8.M in caps space.
    both need trade need to happen…if not its going to be the same old same old in Edmonton

    They have $13.M in cap space for 2024-25 season spend next year for the re-tool the D with a Very Good top 4 RD man…from UFA market
    Then get a good back up goaltender…
    then they need to re tool the bottom six with 3 new players with size and scoring ability’s and Grit

  11. From what I’ve been reading, Edmonton is better than their record shows and Vancouver isn’t as good as their record shows. Perhaps they are what they are: Edmonton is bad because they are weak defensively with lousy goaltending; whereas Vancouver is good because they play a team game in both ends of the ice.

    • Vancouver is good for three reasons. Goaltending, not just Demko has been very good, their best players are being their best players, like Hughes, Pettersson, Miller, Boeser, Hronek etc and finally, the rest has been defensively sound enough not to sink the ship(credit to Tocchet for that one)

      • Exactly Kent. Edmonton’s Top 10 – costing 76% of the cap – have produced 29g 41a 70 pts while the rest of their roster has come up with 1g 2a 3 pts!

        Demko is head and shoulders above either Edmonton goalie. Meanwhile, with 72% of their cap on the top 10 – which has produced 33g 66a 99 pts – their bottom half has contrubuted 15g 16a 31 pts/.

  12. I feel that the Senators would be remiss to carry on with DJ Smith and not hire Claude Julian to right the ship.

    • Yes! I’d like to see that.

  13. Mark Spector might believe that “everything is on the table in Edmonton” but clearly that doesn’t include moving any of

    McDavid – NMC
    Draisaitl – M-NTC NMC
    Hyman – NMC
    Kane – NMC
    Nugent-Hpkins – NMC
    Nurse – NMC
    Campbell – M-NTC

    Not unless they WANT out of Edmonton bad enough to waive regardless of who is willing to give up enough to get them (well, Campbell and maybe Nurse excepted).

  14. I suggested Edmonton trade Draisaitl to Boston for Carlo, Swayman, Debrusk and Frederic two years ago when Boston needed a replacement for Krejci. Edmonton fans blasted me. I said I wouldn’t do it as a Bruins fan. Looking at it now I think Edmonton would be a better team if they made this trade. Not that it was ever offered

    • That would be a terrible trade for Boston.

  15. This Oil are the same team that Vegas players sais was their stiffest competition last year. Of all the thoughts posted here, surely the best is about their goal tending.

    Defensive errors become more apparent, players start to lose confidence in their goalies, and things go south from there.

    The Habs are on a fast train to nowhere. Trade Allen to the Oil. No, he is not a Vezina candidate but he is an upgrade, and one of the few starters who is, or should be, available.