NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs, Devils, Oilers, Penguins, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news out of New Jersey as the team waives a big-name goaltender, speculation head coach Mike Babcock has lost his locker room and news surrounding the Edmonton Oilers. Finally, are the Pittsburgh Penguins hanging onto Jack Johnson?

Babcock Lost the Room? Time to Make a Trade?

James Mirtle of The Athletic examines the situation in Toronto and wonders if head coach Mike Babcock has lost his team in the locker room.

Toronto Maple Leafs Mike Babcock
Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)

Mirtle writes:

Sometimes the message gets stale. Sometimes big personalities can’t co-exist, after years together in the same dressing room. Babcock certainly didn’t have many fans in Detroit’s room by the end.

You can’t rule that out as a factor here, given the way the Leafs look right now.

source -‘Mirtle: The pros and cons of the Maple Leafs moving on from Mike Babcock’ – James Mirtle – The Athletic – 11-17/2019

Obviously, even if this is true, there are other issues in Toronto and a future coaching change is unknown. Rosie DiManno of The Toronto Star believes the Maple Leafs might be better-served trading William Nylander.

Arguing the club hasn’t replaced the emotion Nazem Kadri brought to the lineup, she blames GM Kyle Dubas more than she blames Babcock and that his need for skill removed other important dimensions from the team.

DiManno writes:

Something needs to be done to kick-start the Leafs before time does run out. If not parting company with Babcock, then a trade to shake up the team. And not a peripheral trade either but a slam-bang character adjustment to reset the season. Who can the Leafs sacrifice, if painfully, to secure a crucial return? The arrow spins around, I’m afraid, to William Nylander or a prospect package that would include Rasmus Sandin and, seriously, you don’t want to be doing that.

source -‘It shouldn’t be the end of the road for Mike Babcock just yet — trading William Nylander might do more good’ – Rosie DiManno – Toronto Star – 11/17/2019

All arguments or opinions aside, expectations that were that this team would win in the playoffs, now questions including whether or not they’ll make it there.

Related: How to Talk Like a Hockey Player

Devils Waive Schneider

The New Jersey Devils have announced that Cory Schneider will be placed on waivers today with the intention of sending him to the minor leagues. He will likely clear considering the size of his contract and how unproductive he’s been in net for the Devils.

Corey Schneider New Jersey Devils
Corey Schneider, New Jersey Devils (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Schneider will try to rebuild his game in the minor leagues while the Devils will go with a combination of Louis Domingue and MacKenzie Blackwood in net. If Domingue plays more than seven games, it will cost the Devils a 2021 seventh-round pick.

Related: Top 5 Trades in Edmonton Oilers History

Questions in Edmonton: Puljujarvi and Bear Updates?

The Edmonton Sun’s Jim Matheson asks whether or not it’s a good idea for the Edmonton Oilers to make the rumored trade of Jesse Puljujarvi for the New York Rangers’ Lias Andersson. Matheson isn’t sure that trade makes much sense from an Oilers’ perspective.

Lias Andersson New York Rangers
Lias Andersson, New York Rangers, Nov. 23, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Matheson says Andersson has been pegged as a bottom-line forward who lacks pace to his game. Meanwhile, Puljujarvi is still considered a player with a ceiling in the top-six on an NHL team.

Sticking with Matheson and the Oilers, writes that when it comes to finding a contract comparable for Ethan Bear, things get tricky. Bear has been outstanding for the Oilers as a rookie on their blue line but will become a restricted free agent this offseason. Matheson states that the closest comparables the Oilers might use are Neal Pionk’s $3 million deal with Winnipeg Jets or Ryan Pulock’s $2 million deal with the New York Islanders.

Others have suggested the Oilers look at locking up Bear long-term in an attempt to get him on a bargain contract.

Related: Would Adding Hall Turn Oilers Into the Maple Leafs?

Jack Johnson Staying With Penguins?

Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now writes that with the improved play of Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Jack Johnson, there is speculation that any trade the Penguins had to move him is now off the table.

Kingerski writes:

Success breeds confidence. Confidence breeds more success. Johnson has been the right veteran counter-balance for Riikola and John Marino and has been a valuable asset to the team. Any trade talk around the defenseman is probably null and void.

Related: NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs, Islanders, Kings, More