NHL Rumors: Canadiens, Flames, Devils, Oilers, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, Elliotte Friedman dropped a number of interesting rumors in his latest 31 Thoughts article, including news on the Calgary Flames, Montreal Canadiens, New Jersey Devils, the NHL Board of Governors’ meetings and more.

Code of Conduct Coming For Coaches

Friedman started by addressing the elephant in every NHL dressing room when he talked about how the NHL plans to handle all of the allegations surrounding coaches and GM’s in the the league. He said, “According to several sources, the NHL essentially rewrote its agenda for next week’s Board of Governors meeting in California.”

The NHL wants to implement swift protocols which will include a written “Code of Conduct”. To date, the league is satisfied with how GM’s have handled issues with coaches but the slow pace in which Bill Peters was fired means some people will be unhappy with what appears to be indecision.

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Recent Reports Affecting Babcock Job Prospects

Friedman also noted that when Mike Babcock was first released by the Toronto Maple Leafs, Friedman noted that at least two teams reached out with interest in hiring him as a coach right away. That has all changed now with the recent flood of testimonies from former players.

Mike Babcock Team Canada World Cup
Mike Babcock (Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports)

At first, he wanted to take some time. Now, he might not have a choice. It is believed the offers from a KHL team, World Junior role (not as head coach, but in an advisory position) and/or the head job for the World Championships have all been pulled.

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New Coach in New Jersey?

When asked if Alain Nasreddine would last the remainder of the season with the New Jersey Devils, GM Ray Shero said, “We’ll have a list that we’ll compile.” Nasreddine will get a look for the short term and he could make a case to be added to that list of potential future coaches. “The opportunity for (Nasreddine) is there in front of him.” 

Friedman added that there’s no leading candidate for the job right now.

First Round Picks For Hall?

In other Devils’ news, reports are the organization wants first-rounders for Taylor Hall but might be willing to reconsider under the right circumstances. The Avalanche have already been reported as early favorites and Friedman notes they have plenty of defensive prospects and the mentality they can compete this season. Other teams that might make a pitch are the Arizona Coyotes, Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues.

Taylor Hall
NEWARK, NJ – APRIL 18: Taylor Hall #9 of the New Jersey Devils plays the puck against Cedric Paquette #13 the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game Four of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Prudential Center on April 18, 2018 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

Friedman adds that he believes the Edmonton Oilers are interested but unwilling to pay the asking price. If they are to get involved in the talks, they’ll need to find something else the Devils might take instead of their first-rounder.

Also with the Oilers, the belief is that GM Ken Holland spoke with a number of teams about moving Jesse Puljujarvi before the Dec. 1 RFA signing deadline. Among the teams were the St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers. Friedman believes Edmonton was closer on a deal for Lias Andersson than any other move but couldn’t get it done.

The Devils are also believed to have put Miles Wood on the trade block. With two more seasons at $2.75-million AAV, there is a belief someone might be interested if he can find a little more edge to his game. Wood, 24, is averaging less than a hit per game this season after tallying 97 hits in just 63 games last year.

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Quick Canadiens Hits

The Montreal Canadiens have been in the news thanks to rumors of a coaching change. In terms of what GM Marc Bergevin might do with his roster, there are rumors he took a long look at Alec Martinez before he was injured. There were also rumors the Canadiens were interested in Shayne Gostisbehere, but those rumours were denied.

Clubs Trying to Snag Bennett From Flames

Finally, Friedman notes that a number of teams recently tried to snag Sam Bennett from the Calgary Flames while the team was on its losing skid. The Flames apparently laughed off lowball offers, but it goes to show there is some interest in Flames’ personel.

Among the teams rumors to have tried were the Anaheim Ducks, Montreal Canadiens and Nashville Predators.

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