In today’s NHL rumors rundown, is Joel Quenneville ready to return to the NHL? If so, is there a team that might be interested? There has been a lot of talk about the coaching situation in Vancouver. Is that even likely for this season?
Meanwhile, the Winnipeg Jets could be looking to the trade market if injury news about Nikolaj Ehlers is not good. The Los Angeles Kings have some defensemen in their system that teams are asking about, but are the Kings ready to make a deal? Finally, could the New York Islanders be a team that looks more closely at Bo Horvat?
Is Quenneville Ready to Return to the NHL This Season?
During Thursday’s installment of TSN’s Insider Trading, Darren Dreger reported that Joel Quenneville is hoping to return “sooner rather than later,” to the NHL as a head coach. While he’s willing, he might not be permitted. First, any team that is looking to hire him has to first go through the Florida Panthers. That doesn’t likely pose a hurdle, but what could is that Quenneville also has to be approved for a return to the league by the NHL Commissioner’s Office, specifically Gary Bettman. There’s some doubt that the league would give the go-ahead this season.
Considering it’s not clear that a team is eager to go there or that Quenneville is even ready to come back this season, perhaps waiting until 2023-24 is not a huge issue. Of the teams that could be looking for someone in the next season or two, the Anaheim Ducks and Vancouver Canucks are leading the way. By next season, a team like the Toronto Maple Leafs could be looking if they fail to get into or out of the first round of the postseason.
Are Jets Looking at Trade Market?
The Winnipeg Jets have played well to start the season (10-4-1) but there are some issues brewing with the club that could need addressing. Nikolaj Ehlers was only supposed to miss a few games with a minor injury, but there is now talk of surgery and a prolonged absence. Dreger notes that Ehlers had had a few consultations with different doctors and a decision could be coming soon.
If Ehlers is out for some time, the losses of forwards Mason Appleton and Morgan Barron means that the team has to find ways to replace that production and if they can’t do so internally, could need to explore other options. Dreger suggested they could be considering some trade options.
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Also for the Jets, Dylan DeMelo was not in the lineup Thursday night and it’s not clear what his ailment is. He was not a healthy scratch, according to Scott Billeck.
Kings Not Ready to Make a Trade Yet
As per Pierre LeBrun, the Los Angeles Kings are getting a number of calls about some defensemen they may potentially have available, but as of right now GM Rob Blake isn’t willing to make a move. Blake wants to keep his depth as long as possible and “he’s not ready to wheel-and-deal just yet with those right-handed defencemen.”
When Brandt Clarke and Jordan Spence are closer to make a jump to the NHL, the Kings might change their opinion on things.
Could Islanders Have an Interest in Horvat?
NYI Hockey Now scribe Stefen Rosner writes that the New York Islanders might be a team that is looking to pursue a trade for Vancouver Canucks center Bo Horvat. He believes someone like Horvat could bring balance to their forward lines and with the rumors that Vancouver and Horvat aren’t on the same page in terms of a contract extension, the timing might be right to acquire the 27-year-old Canucks captain.
Rosner believes the Islanders would be willing to give up a decent amount in a trade if Horvat was open and willing to sign a contract extension with the Islanders. If so, Rosner proposed offering up Josh Bailey, prospect William Dufour, plus their first and fourth-round picks in the 2023 NHL Draft.
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.”