Latest on Ryan Strome, Chris Kreider, Jason Garrison, Joshua Ho-Sang & more in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.
SPORTSNET: Nick Kypreos reports the Edmonton Oilers are looking for scoring at right wing. They’re disappointed in the play of Ryan Strome, who was acquired in June in a trade that sent Jordan Eberle to the New York Islanders. He believes the Oilers would move Strome if they could but the question is whether he’d fetch anything significant in return. Elliotte Friedman said the Oilers are seeking speed and wonders if New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider might be a fit.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With just three points in 10 games, Strome is falling down the Oilers’ depth chart. Right now, the Oilers would have difficulty getting a decent return for him. Strome’s only 24 but his stock has significantly tumbled.
Kreider’s reached 20 goals and 40 points in each of the last three seasons but he’s a streaky winger off to a slow start (five points in 12 games) this season. He might be a good fit with the Oilers but the Rangers won’t just give him away. They need depth at center. Perhaps they might eyeball Ryan Nugent-Hopkins if the Oilers agreed to pick up a significant chunk of his $6 million annual cap hit.
Perhaps New York Islanders winger Joshua Ho-sang could be an option? The Toronto Sun’s Steve Simmons observes Ho-Sang was recently demoted to the minors and suggests Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli should contact Isles GM Garth Snow to inquire into the asking price to get him. Snow could be reluctant to part with Ho-Sang but it wouldn’t hurt to call.
Chris Johnston reports the Winnipeg Jets are receiving calls about third-string goaltender Michael Hutchinson. A number of goalies are injured around the league and some are under-performing. He notes Hutchinson is earning $1.3 million playing in the AHL.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets could move Hutchinson to clear his salary from their ledger, though it presently only counts as $125K against their cap payroll for this season. They likely won’t get much in return. The New Jersey Devils got back a fifth-round pick yesterday from Arizona for Scott Wedgewood. Perhaps Hutchinson might garner a third rounder.
Friedman speculates if the Detroit Red Wings consider a coaching change perhaps they’ll consider hiring Dave Tippett. Chris Johnston reports of casual speculation wondering if the Wings might consider wooing Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman to replace GM Ken Holland, who’s not under contract after this season. Friedman said he asked Yzerman that question last year and he stated he’s the GM of the Lightning and that’s it.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Friedman’s not saying the Wings are looking to replace Jeff Blashill but merely wondering if Tippett might be an option for them if they decide to go that route. As for Yzerman coming back to Detroit as GM, he seems committed to his job with the Lightning. If he’s under contract with them beyond this season the Wings would need permission to speak with him. Given the fine work he’s done with the Lightning, I doubt he’ll jump ship after this season to return to Detroit, despite his loyalty to the Ilitch family.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Vegas Golden Knights could still attempt to trade defenseman Jason Garrison, who cleared waivers yesterday and can be sent to the AHL. He carries a $4.6 million cap hit ($2.5 million in actual salary), but if the Knights pick up part of that cap hit they might find a taker.
Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman could seek a blueliner who could add some offense but they’re in a difficult salary-cap situation.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bowman recently told the Chicago Tribune he’s not itching to make a trade despite carrying $2.5 million in cap relief from placing sidelined winger Marian Hossa on long-term injury reserve. That doesn’t mean he won’t eventually make a move to perhaps add more offense to his blueline. Now, however, doesn’t seem like the right time to do so.
The Philadelphia Flyers are shopping for a defenseman.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers have been dipping into the depth within their system to address their blueline needs. That could change with Andrew MacDonald sidelined and Shayne Gostisbehere leaving Saturday’s game.
Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff could have some extra forwards to move.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: They’re obviously not anyone from his top two lines. Perhaps little-used Marko Dano is one of them, or maybe a veteran such as Shawn Mathias ($2.125 million cap hit).
Garrioch also speculates Dave Tippett could be a possible candidate to replace Jeff Blashill if the Red Wings decide to hire a new head coach.
There’s talk San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson is shopping forwards Chris Tierney and Mikkel Boedker and defenseman Paul Martin. There’s “mild interest” in Tierney but Boedker and Martin both carry cap hits over $4 million annually beyond this season. Martin’s also on injured reserve while Boedker had just four points in 10 games. If Wilson can’t swing a trade, Garrioch wonders if coach Pete DeBoer gets replaced.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Can’t see much of a market for Boedker unless Wilson absorbs part of his annual cap hit. Ditto Martin, who also carries a modified no-trade clause.
Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin last week said the answers to his club’s woes must come from within but league executives claim he’s still working the phones in search of a deal.