NHL Rumors: Trade Delays, Oilers, Devils, Blackhawks, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, despite talk of NHL teams wanting to take action, one GM believes it will be some time before any real action takes place. There is news that one Chicago Blackhawks’ forward will be back sooner than expected and in New Jersey, there is already a short-list of GM candidates forming.

Holland Believes the Big Action Isn’t Coming Yet

Edmonton Oilers GM Ken Holland is one of many NHL GM’s rumored to be ready to improve his team before the February 24th trade deadline. That said, he doesn’t believe there will be any real action, at least not for a few more weeks.

Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland
Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson)

While speaking with Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun Holland said he believes it will be some time before the real activity picks up. He explained:

When it comes to the trade deadline, I think it’s still another eight to 10 games needs to be played before anything happens. I want to see what happens over the next 10 games leading to the trade deadline.

source – ‘JONES: At trade deadline, if Oilers are in the playoff race, Holland will look to add’ Terry Jones – Edmonton Sun – 01/17/2020

Holland himself says he wants to see where his Oilers are at and that it could take the better part of the next month for a number of NHL clubs to know where they stand — as buyers or sellers. That delay could cause other teams to wait and the dominoes will mean everyone has to wait.

Holland did suggest that if, over that time, the Oilers found themselves out of the playoff race, they won’t become sellers.

Related: The Best and Worst Trades in Ken Holland’s Red Wings Tenure

Brandon Saad May Return Sooner than Expected

It wasn’t expected Brandon Saad would be back before the All-Star break but he took part in a full practice according to Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times. That’s a good sign he could be back sooner than expected.

Brandon Saad Blackhawks
Brandon Saad, Chicago Blackhawks, Nov. 9, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Pope writes:

He could rejoin the Blackhawks’ lineup Saturday against the Maple Leafs.

… Coach Jeremy Colliton said a decision hadn’t been made but implied it’s highly likely he’ll play in at least one of the three games before the All-Star break.

source -‘Brandon Saad ‘ready to go,’ could return for Blackhawks against Maple Leafs’ – Ben Pope – Chicago Sun Times – 01/17/2020

As for what Saad wants to do, “I’m in good shape and ready to go,” he said.

Related: Every NHL Team’s Top Prospect – Midseason Update

Dougie Hamilton Out Long Term

In unfortunate news, it appears Dougie Hamilton will be out with a long-term injury as SiriusXM NHL Network Radio’s Nick Kypreos reported, “Dougie Hamilton suffered a broken fibula.”

Kypreos said that further evaluation today will determine if surgery is needed and TSN’s Darren Dreger tweeted that Hamilton “is seeing a specialist within the hour to determine extent of damage.” The outlook might not be good and if so, it’s being compared to a similar injury that shut down Jordan Staal for months in 2014.

GM Candidates in New Jersey

Craig Custance of The Athletic writes that there is a short-list of candidates under consideration for the GM job in New Jersey after the Devils released Ray Shero of his duties.

Josh Harris Tom Fitzgerald New Jersey Devils
New Jersey Devils’ owner Josh Harris and interim general manager Tom Fitzgerald (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

First, the list starts with acting GM Tom Fitzgerald. If he does well at this year’s trade deadline, he’ll earn himself serious consideration.

Don’t expect Martin Brodeur to take the job, he doesn’t want it per reports and Ron Hextall may garner an interview, but not much more. Mike Gillis and Bill Zito are on the list, but the most intriguing option could be Laurence Gilman.

Custance writes:

Gilman checks a lot of boxes that could be in play for this position. He has plenty of experience as an executive. He’s a key part of a forward-thinking front office in Toronto that has gone through a rebuilding process that the Devils are currently emerging from. He’s well-versed in analytics.

source -‘Who will replace Ray Shero as Devils GM? A look at some top candidates’ – Craig Custance – The Athletic – 01/13/2020

Custance believes if Toronto’s current surge continues and becomes a playoff run, Gilman is going to get a GM job.

Related: NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs, Wild, Oilers, Flames, More