In today’s NHL rumors rundown, there is talk that a coaching change could happen in Edmonton as early as next week. Meanwhile, a couple of teams have become front-runners for defenseman Ben Chiarot ahead of the March 21 trade deadline. GM Rob Blake and the Los Angeles Kings are talking about a contract extension and are the Arizona Coyotes already talking with Jakob Chychrun about the potential trade offers that are out there for him?
Tippett Could Be Fired Around January 10
As per Emily Kaplan of ESPN, if the Edmonton Oilers are going to make a coaching change, it could come on January 10 after the Ottawa Senators vs Oilers game, if the Oilers lose. Kaplan says that a small break with NHL postponements due to attendance issues would be the perfect time for the team to make a move and for GM Ken Holland to bring in a different voice.
She says the team wouldn’t go out and hire one of the big, available names on the market but would prefer to promote someone internally with Glen Gulutzan (assistant coach) or Jay Woodcroft (Bakersfield of the AHL) being the leading candidates. She adds, “But it’s definitely an inflection point in Edmonton right now.”
As for whether or not Tippett has lost the Oilers locker room, Leon Draisaitl was asked if the team was possibly quitting on the coach. “We’re not quitting on anyone,” Draisaitl snapped back. He added, “We’re not quitting on our coach, we’re not quitting on ourselves as players, our team, our goalies, nobody. We’re not quitting.”
Coyotes GM Talking to Chychrun About Possible Trades
Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong noted during a spot on @AZSports that he has been direct with defenseman Jakob Chychrun about teams looking to make a trade for him. Armstrong confirmed the topic has come up a lot and that he’s trying to be upfront and honest with Chychun and his agent about what options are out there. He noted that he has to do his job as a GM and listen to all the offers. Armstrong added, “If there’s something on the table that we can’t refuse that’s going to put this club in the right direction with some impact players, I certainly have to listen.”
Inside reports from sources like Darren Dreger still contend that the Coyotes want a massive return for Chychrun. The asking price is enormous and it has scared some teams away since Eichel-like return is the comparison.
As for whether or not the team is open to trading defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere, Armstrong said the blueliner has garnered a lot of interest but that he’s a big part of the Coyotes team and they aren’t actively looking to deal him. “…he’s been a big piece of our team, and he’s got another year with us, too, so we’re not that anxious at this point to move him.”
Blues and Panthers Linked to Ben Chiarot
According to Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff, the St. Louis Blues are among the teams making the big overtures towards Ben Chiarot of the Montreal Canadiens. The Florida Panthers are also believed to have shown interest.
Seravalli believes Chiarot is going to get a lot of interest this season as the 30-year-old defenseman can eat a lot of minutes and be a huge help for a contending team. The NHL insider hinted that it won’t be surprising if teams like the Vegas Golden Knights, Colorado Avalanche, Washington Capitals, or New York Rangers get involved.
Elliotte Friedman on The Jeff Marek Show both noted during their show that they too have heard Florida and St. Louis are involved here. As part of his latest 32 Thoughts column, Friedman also wrote, “After watching St. Louis dismantle Minnesota at the Winter Classic, I wonder if the Blues consider someone like Chiarot. It looks like a go-for-it year for them.”
Kings and Blake Talking Extension
As per The Fourth Period, GM of the Los Angeles Kings, Rob Blake confirmed to Dennis Bernstein and John Hoven during the “Kings of the Podcast” that he would like to stay on with the organization and that he a Luc Robitaille will work on an extension. Blake is in the last year of his contract.
Uncertainty about his future with the team isn’t going to stop Blake from making changes as this year’s deadline. He noted, “I fully anticipate moves going forward will have impacts on the roster to make us better.” As for who the Kings might be looking to move or what they’d like to add, that is still unclear.
Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”