NHL Rumors: Ducks, Oilers, Kings, Maple Leafs, Bruins

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, Bob Murry has resigned his position as GM with the Anaheim Ducks. Meanwhile, Mike Smith suffered an injury setback, what does that mean for the Edmonton Oilers and their goaltending situation? Ar the Los Angeles Kings looking for help as Drew Doughty is out with an injury? Finally, is Taylor Hall already in the doghouse with the Boston Bruins?

Murray Resigns, Will Enter an Alcohol Treatment Program

Following up on our report yesterday, the Anaheim Ducks announced on Thursday that Executive Vice President and General Manager Bob Murray has resigned from his position, effective immediately. Murray and the Ducks both confirmed that he will enroll in an alcohol abuse program.

Bob Murray
Bob Murray, General Manager of the Anaheim Ducks (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Ducks released a statement saying, “First and foremost, we apologize on behalf of the organization to anyone affected by misconduct from Bob. We expect every member of our organization to be treated with respect and will not stand for abuse of any kind.” Murray said:

“I want to apologize to anyone adversely affected by my behavior. I vow to make changes to my life, starting with enrolling in a treatment program. I want to thank Henry and Susan Samueli, and Michael Schulman, as working for them has been one of the highlights of my career. As I step away from the Ducks, I will focus my attention on where it should be: improving my life for the betterment of my family and friends.” 

The Ducks will immediately begin a search for a new general manager and the team said they believe they’ll have someone in place no later than next summer.

Smith Sent Back to Edmonton for More Imaging

According to Oilers’ head coach Dave Tippett, “Mike Smith had a setback in practice. He’s gone back to Edmonton for further evaluation.” A lower-body injury that was supposed to be day-to-day has now turned into something that is week-to-week and Tippett said, “It is a concern for sure.” He added, “It looks like he takes some steps ahead, but then he takes another step back. They will do more imaging of it today (back in Edmonton).”

Mike Smith Edmonton Oilers
Mike Smith, Edmonton Oilers (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Mikko Koskinen will get the start versus the Boston Bruins on Thursday and Stuart Skinner will likely go against the Buffalo Sabres on Friday. As for what the Oilers do long-term, questions were already out there regarding their need for a goaltender this season. There will undoubtedly be more of them now.

Kings Not Expected to Make Trades Just Yet

While the Kings could become buyers before the deadline, there is no immediate plans to make trades. As per Lisa Dillman of The Athletic, she writes, “My overall sense is the Kings are NOT targeting any player for trades now…”

Related: Red Wings Prospect Update: Soderblom, Edvinsson, Wallinder & More

Some wondered if the Kings might try to find someone to replace the minutes of injured defenseman Drew Doughty, but Dillman notes the blueliner is expected to return around Christmas. She adds:

At the moment, they would rather audition players on the cusp on NHL duty than go out and fill a hole via trade. November tends to be a quiet time, trade-wise, around the NHL. Teams are still trying to sort out what they have. Until they know for sure, they generally don’t wade too deep into the trade waters.

source – ‘The Kings and the trade market, Alex Iafallo’s role, Gabe Vilardi’s progress and one last Jack Eichel question: Mailbag’ – Lisa Dillman – The Athletic – 11/10/2021

No Holl for the Kings?

If Dillman is correct, this essentially takes the Kings out of the running for Toronto Maple Leafs’ defenseman Justin Holl, who is believed to be available. Then again, depending on what the Leafs want in return for Holl the Kings could join the conversation and look at him as a third-pairing guy.

Morning Skate newsletter Click To Subscribe

The trade talk hasn’t slowed when it comes to Holl. Maple Leafs’ head coach Sheldon Keefe on what they want out of Holl’s return: “Just to be the Justin Holl that we’ve come to expect. That’s it; My hope is that this is a bit of a reset for him and he comes out and he’s refocused and we don’t have to revisit him sitting out for this period of time again.”

Hall Gets Pulled Off Second Line

Jake DeBrusk replaced Taylor Hall on the No. 2 line next to Charlie Coyle and Craig Smith for the rest of the game against the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday. Hall logged a season-low 11:26 of ice time.

Taylor Hall, Boston Bruins
Taylor Hall, Boston Bruins (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The reason was that coach Bruce Cassidy didn’t think Hall was playing “winning hockey”. Cassidy said:

“We’re all trying to buy into, ‘Play behind their D unless you have a free pass to get through there.’ It’s just winning hockey. You want to play late in games, you’ve got to play winning hockey. It doesn’t matter who you are on the team. He got away from that.”

source – ‘Bruins coaches send a message to Taylor Hall, moving him off the 2nd line: ‘You’ve got to play winning hockey’’ – Fluto Shinzawa – The Athletic – 11/10/2021

The idea here is that the demotion is meant to send a message to Hall to play smarter and more offensively. He needs to be pushing the play and Cassidy believes he may have gotten away from that.