NHL Rumors: Oilers, Jets, Sabres, Canucks, Canadiens, Blackhawks

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, after talk that Jakob Chychrun could be available in a trade, the Edmonton Oilers were quickly connected to the conversation. Meanwhile, there’s a status update when it comes to Blake Wheeler of the Winnipeg Jets. The Buffalo Sabres don’t seem terribly interested in Anton Khudobin and there is organizational news surrounding the Vancouver Canucks and Montreal Canadiens. Finally, the Chicago Blackhawks and Kyle Beach has reached an out-of-court settlement.

Would the Oilers Be in on Jakob Chychrun?

When news broke that the Arizona Coyotes might be making Chychrun available and testing the market to see what value the team could get in a trade, one of the teams immediately connected to those rumors was the Edmonton Oilers. A number of media personalities and NHL insiders connected the dots and suggested the Oilers should be in on those conversations.

Jakob Chychrun Arizona Coyotes
Jakob Chychrun, Arizona Coyotes (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The package would have to include a strong prospect, the team’s first-round pick and some salary to make the deal work. A left-shot defenseman has been identified as a need for the Oilers but as David Staples noted on Oilers Now Wednesday the team will only have the ability to make one big trade this season. The key will be identifying the greater need — either a defenseman, goaltender, or a third-line center.

If the Oilers can find another solution to their center problem (perhaps playing Ryan Nugent-Hopkins there), they can choose between an expensive goalie or an expensive defenseman.

Sabres Aren’t Interested in Khudobin

As per Elliotte Friedman, it doesn’t sound like the Sabres are terribly interested in goaltender Anton Khudobin. There was some thought they could be a team that kicked tires on the netminder but Friedman believes if they are going to bring in a goalie with term left on their contract, they would prefer to find someone who is not close to the end of their career like Khudobin is.

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Khudobin did clear waivers and was loaned to AHL by the Dallas Stars.

Wheeler Won’t Need to Undergo Surgery

When Jets’ head coach Paul Maurice was asked how bad Wheeler’s injury is and if the winger would need surgery, Maurice responded no and noted this is just a rehab situation. Reporters including Postmedia’s Scott Billeck, quoted Maurice when he said:

This is a rehab situation. He’s going to get, I don’t even know if it’s a second opinion, enough people have looked at it, they all agree, they all have a very good handle on what it is. They’ll let the swelling come down for three or four days.

source – ‘Jets’ penalty kill finding confidence after changes; Wheeler won’t need surgery’ – Scott Billeck – Winnipeg Sun – 12/14/2021
Blake Wheeler Winnipeg Jets Carey Price Montreal Canadiens
Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg Jets and Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens (Photo by Jason Halstead/Getty Images)

The Jets will put Wheeler on LTIR which would offer a bit of salary cap relief and an opportunity to carry a full 23-player roster, but the fact he will return this season prevents the Jets from acquiring more help or adding a bigger piece to take his place.

Canucks Add an Assistant GM, Looking for Two More

The Canucks announced the hiring of Derek Clancey as an assistant GM this week. Clancey had been serving as a pro scout for Calgary and had ties to new team president Jim Rutherford as the two of them worked in Pittsburgh together from 2014 through to his resignation last season.  Clancey will work in both the professional and amateur scouting departments.  

Related: Bruce Boudreau Already Proving to Be Perfect Fit For Canucks

Postmedia’s Patrick Johnston adds that two more assistant GMs could be added as Rutherford has made rebuilding Vancouver’s front office a priority. He’s looking for people to serve in specialized roles and two other names that have been linked publicly to the Canucks are Mark Hunter and Patrik Allvin.

Johnston writes:

Rutherford told Postmedia he’d like to hire three AGMs and he repeated his interest in finding candidates from both the standard pool as well as people who haven’t followed a traditional hockey path.

soiurce -‘Canucks hire Derek Clancey as assistant G’ – Patrick Johnston – The Province – 12/15/2021

Canadiens Candidates for GM Includes Three Women

Arpon Basu and Marc Antoine Godin of The Athletic write that the Canadiens committee of Geoff Molson, Jeff Gorton, Michael Andlauer and Bob Gainey are looking at a number of possible GM candidates and among them are at least three potential female managers.

Geoff Molson Montreal Canadiens
Montreal Canadiens owner Geoff Molson (Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

They write:

We are told that an extensive list has already been drawn up and it will take a long time to interview all the candidates the Canadiens are eyeing. This will not be a quick process. Among that long list, we are also told there are at least three women being looked at for the position.

source – ‘Basu and Godin: Canadiens identify women candidates in GM search, trying to explain the injuries, best and worst lines’ – Arpon Basu and Marc Antoine Godin – The Athletic – 12/13/2021

It was said that Molson is keenly interested in improving the diversity of hockey and while interviews don’t necessarily mean a female will be hired, the hope is that simply having some women under consideration is a step in the right direction for hockey and that speaking to the candidates could make them eligible for other positions in the department.

Blackhawks and Beach Reach Settlement

According to a report by the Chicago Sun-Times, the Blackhawks and Kyle Beach have reached a confidential out-of-court settlement that came via third-party mediation. It took eight months after Beach alleged former Blackhawks video coach Brad Aldrich sexually assaulted him in May 2010, plus an independent investigation by the Blackhawks to support Beach’s claims.

In a statement, the Blackhawks’ organization said:

“The Blackhawks hope that this resolution will bring some measure of peace and closure for Mr. Beach. As for the Blackhawks organization, we remain steadfast in our commitment to ensure that, going forward, this team will be a beacon for professionalism, respect and integrity in our community.”

source – ‘Blackhawks, Kyle Beach reach settlement agreement in sexual-assault lawsuit’ Ben Pope – Chicago Sun-Times – 12/15/2021

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