In today’s rumor rundown, there is more on the Oilers GM interviews, there are questions surrounding a certain member of the Winnipeg Jets forward group, and there are some changes coming in Tampa Bay.
Edmonton Oilers GM Search Continues
It was reported yesterday that the Oilers were granting a second interview to Mark Hunter, but that the decision to hire a GM may still be a ways away. There are some candidates the Oilers would like to do a first interview with but are tied up at the U-18 Tournament.
Darren Dreger reported on Saturday that Bob Nicholson and the Oilers are into their second set of interviews, with the belief that the top guys will do their third interview and that the Oilers hope to have their GM named by May 1st.
Nikolaj Ehlers and Jets Future in Question?
Nikolaj Ehlers told reporters today including Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun that he suffered a fractured foot in Game 6 of the playoff series versus St. Louis, and while hockey players are often viewed as athletes who will take some pain to contribute, that may not be enough for Ehlers.
The Jets will have to make some big decisions this summer after failing to get past the first round of the playoffs, and with some big contracts coming due for the team. Ehlers performance in the past two postseasons has not been strong and that could raise concerns that the seven-year, $42 million extension he signed with the Jets in the fall of 2017 was a mistake.
Ehlers failed to record a single point in the series against the Blues and that stat along with 21 games now without a playoff goal isn’t pretty. He’s got some injury concerns and with just 37 points in 62 games, this past season could be a trade candidate.
Ehlers has the skill and is speedy. He might be attractive to some teams looking to improve their forward corps.
Changes Expected by Lightning
Eric Duhatschek of The Athletic writes that Julien BriseBois, who enters his first full offseason as general manager doesn’t intend to blow up the Tampa Bay Lightning roster, but believes some changes are coming over the summer.
The Lightning have a lot of good young pieces. Sometimes, the best lesson you can take out of a playoff loss is to remember how bad it felt to go through that losing handshake line and then channel those feelings into a deeper resolve next spring.source – ‘Duhatschek Notebook: Tampa must avoid appeasing those clamoring for change and take the patient approach’ The Athletic – Eric Duhatschk – 04/19/2019
That doesn’t eliminate the team’s requirements to manage some upcoming contracts and of the changes Duatschek might think are coming, Larry Brooks elaborated in the New York Post. Brooks anticipates BriseBois will attempt to move J.T. Miller’s contract ($5.25-million annual average through 2022-23) while Ryan Callahan, who has one year left on his contract, could be bought out.
The idea is that the Lightning need to make room for Brayden Point’s contract which could see his pay jump up to ten times the value it was this past season.
Clark Bishop to Play for Carolina?
The Carolina Hurricanes just recalled Clark Bishop from the Charlotte Checkers. He might actually get some playoff action.
Bishop played in both games this weekend for the Checkers, but as Andrei Svechnikov, Micheal Ferland and Jordan Martinook all continue to deal with injuries, team reporter Michael Smith projects Bishop to jump in on the left side of Greg McKegg on the Hurricanes’ fourth line.
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Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”