NHL Rumors: Quick, Muzzin, Hitchcock, Fletcher, More

In today’s rumor rundown there is more talk about the LA Kings and potentially the moves of Jonathan Quick and/or Jake Muzzin, the Oilers new coach may be sticking around and the GM in Philly is ready to pounce on moves in more than one area. Finally, will the Blackhawks trade a core player?

Still Plenty of Talk Surrounding LA Kings

Dennis Bernstein tweeted on Monday, after the Kings lost again, that there is more truth to the rumors about trades out of LA that people probably care to admit. First, he said, “When you hear whispers about dealing Jonathan Quick, tonight’s performance by Cal Petersen is Exhibit A.” Then he added, “For those who think Jake Muzzin isn’t worth a significant return from a contending team, tonight’s performance is Exhibit B.”

Jonathan Quick - LA Kings
Jonathan Quick #32, Los Angeles Kings – December 18, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Quick did not get the start for the Kings versus the Sabres on Tuesday and Petersen played well despite the loss. Meanwhile, Muzzin scored on a nice one-timer and played over 30 minutes upping his value tremendously. John Hoven tweeted in response to Bernstein’s tweet, “Exhibit A nets a 1st, a 2nd, + pick/prospect in return.” That was in regard to Quick. He added, “Exhibit B nets a 1st + another asset (preferably 2nd or prospect).” in respect to Muzzin.

Speculation is that either deal could involve player coming back to LA if needed for cap reasons but in both cases, the team would prefer to take back higher-end draft picks.

Related: NHL Rumors: Marner, Coyle, Penguins, Bruins, Oilers, More

Hitchcock to Continue On With Oilers

After last season, new head coach of the Edmonton Oilers, Ken Hitchcock, announced his retirement from coaching only to only to join the Oilers when they called with just under 20 games gone in the 2018-19 campaign. To many who know Hitchcock well, coaching the Oilers — the team that plays in the town he grew up in — was a dream come true. Not only did he jump at the chance but it sounds like he’s worked in extension options that will present themselves at the end of the season.

Ken Hitchcock of the Edmonton Oilers
EDMONTON, AB – NOVEMBER 27: Ken Hitchcock of the Edmonton Oilers stands on the bench prior to the game against the Dallas Stars on November 27, 2018 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

Darren Dreger of TSN believes that a winning season would leave Edmonton with little choice but to extend their new coach’s contract while others already think Hitchcock was ahead of the curve and worked an extension into the deal if the Oilers make the playoffs. Dreger adds that Hitchcock could wind up transitioning from the bench into a front office role if he so chooses, but doesn’t doubt that Hitchcock could continue to coach the team “well beyond this season”.

Under Hitch, the Oilers are now 8-2-1 after defeating the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night.

Related: Oilers Beat Avalanche – Nugent-Hopkins Scores Twice

Chuck Fletcher to Get Busy with Flyers

The overwhelming opinion seems to be that new Flyers GM, Chuck Fletcher, will get busy right away on making moves in Philadelphia. He has a history of being a deal-maker and TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports in the latest “Insider Trading” segment that Fletcher has already spoken with at least half of the teams in the NHL about a trade.

Chuck Fletcher - Flyers new GM
In this May 10, 2016, file photo, Minnesota Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher speaks at a news conference in St. Paul, Minn. The Philadelphia Flyers hired Fletcher as their general manager on Monday in hopes that he can resuscitate one of the worst teams in the NHL. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP /Jim Mone, File)

LeBrun adds that Fletcher has at least three different areas of the depth chart that he would like to adjust and is hoping to make at least one move prior to the holiday roster freeze beginning next week. Among the rumored changes are moves in goal, adding a veteran defenseman to an otherwise very young unit, as well as acquiring a top-nine forward. There is also the looming status of forward Wayne Simmonds that won’t go away.

Related: NHL Rumors: Kessel, Gagner, Expansion News, More

What the Latest in Chicago?

With the Blackhawks struggling as badly as they are, there will be continued talk surrounding the team. Still, TSN’s Pierre LeBrun doesn’t believe any of the Chicago Blackhawks core players are in play, in part because they all have no-move contracts.

If one is, it would be defenseman Duncan Keith who would still attract plenty of interest around the NHL. So far, LeBrun says there’s no evidence this is a trade the Blackhawks are prepared to make at this time.

For these rumors and more, check out The Hockey Writers Podcast