In today’s rumor rundown, there is news the Dallas Stars might be in the market for a rental player who can score and they may be going after a big name. There is also an update on the contract talks between the Ottawa Senators and Mark Stone. Finally, would the Edmonton Oilers consider replacing Ken Hitchcock at this point in the season?
Dallas Stars in the Rental Market
Mike Zeisberger of NHL.com writes that the Dallas Stars appear to be in the market for a rental scorer. “We’re very open to anything,” general manager Jim Nill said. He added, “We’re very open to making a hockey trade if it’s going to make us better. If we stay in the hunt the way we are, we’re open to adding to our team.”
Nill adds that he’s not in a rush to make that addition today and will wait until closer to the Feb. 25 date as teams figure out where they stand in a very tight wild-card race in Western Conference. Waiting will also better establish the price their team will have to pay for whatever rental player they go after.
One of the players the Stars might be rumored to be watching is Artemi Panarin. Elliotte Frieman said and then restated it on Saturday Headlines segment, the Stars could end up being a player for Panarin.
Senators Pick Up Talks with Mark Stone
Sportsnet’s Saturday Headlines segment covered the latest on the negotiations between Mark Stone and the Ottawa Senators. According to Elliotte Friedman, talks have picked up. “The word in the past couple of days has been that both the Senators and Stone’s representatives have re-engaged and they’re trying to see if they can find common ground to extend the player,” Friedman said.
Nick Kypreos added that the main area of concern is the structure of the extension and the signing bonus portion of that contract. The Senators want to keep Stone and seem willing to do what it takes but they’re hoping he will help them out when it comes to the amount of a signing bonus it would take to keep him.
If a deal can’t be worked out, two teams rumored to be interested in Stone are the Winnipeg Jets and the Vegas Golden Knights.
Meanwhile, Friedman says that the Senators are now officially shopping Matt Duchene. “The word around the league is that Ottawa has quietly begun to put his name out there, see what the offers are — they’re testing the market on No. 95.”
Darren Dreger also wrote on Twitter, “Unless there’s last minute change, the Ottawa Senators plan on trading Matt Duchene. Mark Stone’s future in Ottawa should also be determined early this week, well in advance of the trade deadline.”
Hitchcock Might Not Finish the Season as Oilers Coach
During that same segment, Kypreos said that Edmonton Oilers coach Ken Hitchcock’s style of coaching may be wearing thin on their younger players and he’s been asked to be more positive by the organization.
Saying that Hitch has certainly made a lot of noise in terms of how he’s challenged his players, the Oilers have addressed the matter internally and if he doesn’t tone it down, the organization might actually turn the team over to assistant coach Glen Guletzan. Such a move would be another huge black mark on the Oilers franchise if they can’t even keep a new coach for more than 40 games.
Kypreos also added that the Oilers aren’t likely to trade forward Jesse Puljujarvi at this point since his value is at an all-time low. Friedman; however, said that Puljujarvi may be hoping he’s moved. “So Edmonton has a bridge they’ll have to build.”