NHL Rumors: Canucks, Flyers, Oilers, Senators, Maple Leafs

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, a number of coaches and executives were fired in a 24-hour period. What’s next for the Vancouver Canucks and Philadelphia Flyers? Meanwhile, Connor McDavid got a 5-minute and a game misconduct penalty for boarding on Sunday evening. Is he looking at a potential suspension? Is Justin Holl a serious trade candidate over the next few weeks for the Toronto Maple Leafs? Finally, is a rebuild actually over in Ottawa?

Canucks Fire Green and Benning

Canucks’s fans sent a clear message this weekend with the “fire Jim Benning” chants, the boos and the jersey being tossed on the ice that it was time to make a change. On Sunday, the organization fired head coach Travis Green and replaced him with Bruce Boudreau and fired general manager Jim Benning. Top assistant coach Nolan Baumgartner was also let go.

Boudreau was given a two-year deal to be the team’s new coach, while longtime senior adviser Stan Smyl was named the interim general manager and minor-league GM/player-development director Ryan Johnson is the interim assistant GM. Interim management will operate collaboratively until replacements can be found. The executive team now includes Chris Gear, Johnson, Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin, Smyl. The Canucks are saying a search for new leadership has begun but have not offered a timeline yet on when those decisions will be made.

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Owner Francesco Aquilini said in a statement, “I’m making these changes because we want to build a team that competes for championships and it’s time for new leadership to help take us there.” Among the first items on the Aquilinis to-do list is to hire a new president.

Flyers Fire Vigneault and Therrien as Coaches

Less than 24 hours after the Canucks cleaned house, the Flyers let go their two main coaches. Both Alain Vigneault and Michel Therrien were released and Mike Yeo will take over as an interim coach for the time being. Vigneault, 60, was in his third season with the Flyers and the team will be on the hook for the final two years of his five-year contract.

Alain Vigneault, Philadelphia Flyers
Alain Vigneault, Philadelphia Flyers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Like in Vancouver, changes were needed in Philadelphia. The team was struggling and player changes over the offseason hadn’t seemed to improve the results. Philadelphia is seventh in the Metropolitan Division with an 8-10-4 record and are 0-6-2 in their past eight games. Vigneault leaves the team with a 147-74-54 record.

Related: NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs, Canadiens, Bruins, Stars, Kraken, Wild

Frank Seravalli notes that while Yeo will serve as the coach for now, “We’ll see where this goes, but my sense is Rick Tocchet will be high on Philadelphia’s candidate list.” Reports are that David Quinn is also high on the list of potential coaching candidates.

Update: * McDavid Avoids Suspension

Oilers’ star Connor Mcdavid was assessed a five-minute boarding major and a game misconduct for this hit on Adrian Kempe on Sunday night and late in the third period. More than the fact the Oilers allowed three goals on the five-minute major to eliminate any chance of a comeback, McDavid could have been looking at supplemental discipline from the NHL.

Head coach Dave Tippett didn’t seem to like the call and noted after the game, “the guy turns out to him. Connor nicks him. They said he (Kempe) was hurt and he’s out on the next power play. I’ll have to look at it again.”

McDavid has avoided suspension and/or a fine as reports are the league will call the penalty and the game misconduct enough of a punishment.

Justin Holl Could Be Moved by Toronto

Maple Leafs’ defenseman Justin Holl is fourth on Frank Seravalli’s list of potential trade candidates as the Leafs will need to shed some salary when sidelined goalie Petr Mrazek is ready to return to the lineup. Ironically, Holl picked up his first point of the season, an assist, on Ondrej Kase‘s goal.

Justin Holl Toronto Maple Leafs
Justin Holl, Toronto Maple Leafs (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Seravalli notes there are other ways to clear the salary without moving Holl but he’s still the most likely trade piece. He writes:

“There are other ways, including waiving Wayne Simmonds or trading Nick Ritchie. Since Timothy Liljegren has played himself into an everyday role, the Leafs have had interest in both Holl and Travis Dermott, but Holl is older and earns more – in a role that’s not commensurate with his pay.”

Senators Rebuild Not Over

Senators’ GM Pierre Dorion is taking back his comments that a rebuild is over in Ottawa. Daniel Rainbird of Sportsnet reports that Dorion said he needs to rephrase that. Dorion notes:

“Sometimes the excitement of a season gets to you. What I should’ve said is pretty much all the core pieces of the rebuild are in the organization right now.

“Obviously, (I) didn’t foresee us just winning five games after 21 games, but probably how I should have phrased it, and that’s on me, no one else, is that most of the core pieces, I feel we might be one piece away, are in the organization at this point in time.”

Dorion also noted that he won’t “sacrifice important pieces of your future for immediate help”, and according to Shawn Simpson of TSN, the team isn’t looking to acquire more draft picks and won’t be looking to trade their pending UFA’s for picks. That puts the Senators in a tricky place and it must mean they want to add players with term who can grow with this new young core.

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