NHL Rumors: Oilers, Flyers, Blues, Canadiens

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, there are reports the Edmonton Oilers have run into COVID-related issues traveling to Colorado. What does that mean? Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Flyers have apparently interviewed John Tortorella about the vacant head coaching position.

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The St. Louis Blues have apparently been informed of Vladimir Tarasenko’s decision when it comes to the final season on his contract and the Montreal Canadiens are believed to be shopping Christian Dvorak.

Oilers COVID Issue Rumors

According to Vancouver Sun and Province reporter Patrick Johnston, “Source tells me Oilers had some Covid-related travel issues getting down to Colorado yesterday.” No other reliable sources have reported this news and it could mean anything if Johnston’s source is accurate.

If true, this does not mean that a player is sick. It could simply mean that the team ran into issues getting over the border and had to take an alternate route. It could be that the medical status of a player or players came into question and the team is sorting it out.

** Update: Oilers 630CHED host Reid Wilkins writes, “Oilers did NOT have any travel issues getting to Denver yesterday. They did Vancouver-Bellingham-Denver similar to their L.A. travel in round one. Just a long day.”

Flyers Interview Tortorella

While the Flyers have been connected to a few different names as they search for a new coach, according to Kevin Weekes of ESPN, John Tortorella is “one of the coaches” that has been interviewed by the team. The 63-year-old is currently an analyst for ESPN but has coached 1,383 career regular season games. He would certainly bring a disciplined approach to a Flyers team that could use a bit more structure.

Related: Early Forward Targets for the 2022-23 Philadelphia Flyers

Outside of Torts, it is believed that Barry Trotz, Rick Tocchet, Jim Montgomery, Kirk Muller, and Mike Vellucci have all been considered and interviewed. Elliotte Friedman reports that Tortorella is a serious candidate. He is somebody that appeals to a chunk of the Flyers organization, specifically a guy like Bob Clarke.

Does Tarasenko Want to Stay In St. Louis?

Ben Frederickson of STLToday.com is reporting that Vladimir Tarasenko may have informed the Blues that he has decided he wants to remain with team. Last summer, the forward requested a trade because he felt the organization poorly handled his injury situation. There was talk throughout the season that he was still looking to be moved despite his personal on-ice success and questions arose as soon as the Blues were eliminated from the playoffs as to what might be next.

Vladimir Tarasenko St. Louis Blues
Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues (Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The 30-year-old winger has one season remaining on his current deal and it’s not clear if he’s looking to extend or has simply rescinded his trade request. If the Blues are in the playoff hunt next season, it’s unlikely Tarasenko is traded, but because of his status as a pending UFA, there are likely to be trade talks throughout the year.

More on Christian Dvorak Being Shopped

Jimmy Murphy of Montreal Hockey Now cites a source saying the Montreal Canadiens have put Christian Dvorak’s name out there in the trade market. It’s not a lock that Dvorak is moved, only that the Canadiens would like to see what return is out there and that they are listening to teams that are interested.

That same source said there was interest in Dvorak prior to the NHL Trade Deadline. Ultimately, he wasn’t moved because teams at the deadline were having trouble fitting in players with multiple years still remaining on their contracts — Dvorak has three seasons remaining at a $4.45 million cap hit. The return, if Dvorak is moved this offseason it might be for a first-round pick. The Canadiens might potentially take a package that consists of a prospect and a 2nd or 3rd instead. “Not high first. Mid to lower,” another NHL source said. 

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