NHL Rumors: Oilers, Panthers, Canucks, Blackhawks, Canadiens

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, after a disastrous 6-0 loss to the Florida Panthers on Thursday, there is a lot of chatter that the Edmonton Oilers are on the verge of major change. How realistic is it to think the coach could be gone and players moved? The Vancouver Canucks are close to finding a new general manager, while the Chicago Blackhawks have an agreement in place with goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. Finally, the Montreal Canadiens just lost goaltender Jake Allen for 8 weeks. Now what?

Oilers Changes Have to Be Coming, No?

After playing one period of really solid hockey, the Oilers were blown out by the Panthers on Thursday. Talk on Friday morning is that a coaching change has to be around the corner. Ryan Rishaug of TSN reports, “My sense is, a coaching change is not imminent today. It’s going to be a day-by-day process for now.”

NHL Seattle Dave Tippett
NHL Seattle Senior Advisor Dave Tippett (Photo by Christopher Mast/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

If the Oilers play poorly against the Calgary Flames on Saturday, Rishaug believes the team won’t have any choice but to let Dave Tippett go and candidates to replace him would be Glen Gulutzan on an interim basis or Jay Woodcroft from Bakersfield. Rishaug believes that if the Oilers look for a permanent coach right away, Woodcroft will be the guy as another NHL team might be interested in signing him.

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There is also speculation that the Oilers are looking to sign 32-year-old forward Brad Malone to an NHL contract. He’s currently on an AHL deal with Bakersfield and has 19 points in 22 games. Unfortunately, Malone tested positive for COVID, so he won’t be signed for now.

There is some thought that Malone might be Woodcroft coming in and wanting to bring his captain with him. so this might be less about the Oilers thinking Malone would really be a difference-maker. Fans suggesting that Holland is thinking Malone is the answer might be overlooking the fact that more would be coming.

Related: Leon Draisaitl Put Immense Pressure on Himself to Have Huge Game

TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports the Oilers are looking at all options around the NHL to address their goaltending issues. He reports they’ve inquired about Columbus Blue Jackets netminder Joonas Korpisalo and also about Dallas Stars’ goaltender Anton Khudobin. The concern with Khudobin is that he has an extra season on his current contract at $3.33 million.

Panthers Interested in Jakob Chycrhun

Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman are both reporting that the Panthers could be serious players for defenseman Jakob Chychrun. Both note the team is a good defenseman away from being considered Stanley Cup contenders, Marek believes the Coyotes would want Spencer Knight, Anton Lundell and a first-round pick in return. Friedman acknowledged that was a hefty price to pay but the cost of adding that one piece they need, especially if they’re going all-in this season.

Chychrun commented on rumors of a potential trade and as per a transcript by Jose M. Romero, said:

“The rumors are, you know they’re there. There’s not much I can do. So, that’s not really what I’m thinking about on a daily basis. I’m just, especially when I was hurt, I was just trying to get back and be ready to come back and play with these guys, and it felt good.”

Canucks Listening on Trade Offers

According to Rick Dhaliwal of The Athletic, Canucks president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford mentioned that he is not really working the phones when it comes to trade options but is listening for sure. He noted, “I answer the phone, listen to people. When we hire a GM, we will have another voice which will be good.”

Dhaliwal also mentioned that the team’s GM search is getting closer. Rutherford said he is talking to lots of people and conducting lots of interviews. “I have narrowed it to maybe 5.”

Blackhawks and Fleury Talking Extension?

As per Darren Dreger, there is a deal in place between the Chicago Blackhawks and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury that a trade will not be considered unless he comes to the team and asks for one. Right now, Fleury is focused on the Blackhawks reaching the playoffs.

Marc-Andre Fleury, Chicago Blackhawks
Marc-Andre Fleury, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Dreger also expects there will be contract extension talks between Fleury and Chicago. The veteran netminder is a pending UFA and depending on how the Blackhawks do this season, could be open to the idea of sticking around. The team has already reportedly deemed Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, and Seth Jones untouchable in trades, so it’s clear the organization is not rebuilding.

Canadiens’ Jake Allen Out 8 Weeks

More bad news for the Montreal Canadiens as goaltender Jake Allen will be out for eight weeks due to a lower-body injury. As for what the Habs will do about a goaltender, don’t expect Carey Price to be the solution.

Owner Geoff Molson was asked about Price finishing his career as a member of the Montreal Canadiens and responded that his top priority is just to see Price get back to health. That doesn’t make it sound as though Price is close. Sportsnet is reporting that he will be restarting rehab on his injured knee and remains out of the lineup indefinitely.