NHL Rumors: Coach Changes, Senators, Capitals, Oilers, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, which coach is next to go? There are a few names being speculated as names that could follow in Mike Babcock’s footsteps. Are the Nashville Predators working on a trade for Kyle Turris? Will the Washington Capitals make a couple of moves? Finally, are the Ottawa Senators looking for a defenseman?

Laviolette on the Hot Seat?

With Mike Babcock as the first pfficial coaching casualty of the season, speculation surrounds which team will be the next to make a move. Among the names being tossed around, Bruce Boudreau in Minnesota, Jeremy Colliton in Chicago, Pete DeBoer in San Jose, and John Hynes with New Jersey top the list.

Nashville Predators head coach Peter Laviolette
Nashville Predators head coach Peter Laviolette (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Out of Nashville, Predators coach Paul Laviolette has been discussed by some media but he addressed those rumors when he told reporters, including Paul Skrbina of The Tennessean, that he hasn’t been given any indication from management that his job could be on the line.

Saying he isn’t feeling pressure from management, Skrbina writes:

Laviolette is a coach who has led the Predators to the playoffs every season he’s been here. He’s led them to a Stanley Cup Final, a Presidents’ Trophy and two straight division titles.

He’s won one Stanley Cup as a coach and been the Final three times.

So don’t be surprised if he has a lot of equity with the Predators.  

source – ‘Peter Laviolette on feeling pressure from management: ‘I haven’t felt any” – The Tennessean – Paul Skrbina – 11/21/2019

Related: Bobby Orr’s Flying Goal

Keep an Eye On Predators and Turris

NASHVILLE POST: Still with the Predators, Michael Gallagher of the Nashville Post is speculating as to what’s next for Kyle Turris after being a healthy scratch in consecutive games this week.

Nashville Predators center Kyle Turris
Nashville Predators center Kyle Turris (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

Gallagher writes:

Barring any internal reasons unbeknownst to the media — i.e. an undisclosed injury or the all-too-real possibility he’s a piece of a potential trade and the team is wanting to keep him healthy in the meantime — it’s puzzling trying to understand how 22-year-old Mathieu Olivier or struggling forwards such as Granlund (three goals, six points in 20 games), Craig Smith (two goals, six points in 20 games) or Austin Watson (three goals, six points in 20 games), give Nashville a better chance to win than a player who has the fifth-most goals on the team. This will definitely be a situation to monitor closely in the coming days. 

source – ‘Diving deeper into Nashville’s Kyle Turris conundrum’ – Nashville Post – Michael Gallagher – 11/21/2019

Related: Paul Coffey & the Whalers: Brief but Memorable

Capitals Need to Clear Space

While the Washington Capitals are making due, eventually, they will need to free up a bit of salary cap space, not relying on LTIR to avoid making roster adjustments. Where those roster moves come from will be an interesting situation to watch.

 J.J. Regan of NBC Sports Washington suggests Richard Panik and defenseman Nick Jensen could be possible candidates for a move thanks to their contracts but it won’t be easy. Panik makes $2.75 million per season for a few more seasons and isn’t terribly productive. Moving Jensen creates a hole on the right side of their blue line.

Related: NHL Rumors: Sabres, Maple Leafs, Flames, More

Senators Seeking a Defenseman

Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reports that Senators GM Pierre Dorion has been actively shopping the NHL marketplace for a defenseman. His blue line has been hit with injuries like that of Christian Wolanin (shoulder), Andreas Englund (lower-body), Erik Brannstrom (hand), and Cody Goloubef (undisclosed).

Ottawa Senators Pierre Dorion
Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang)

The Senators have recalled Max Lajoie and Christian Jaros but that may not be enough . Garrioch quoted head coach D.J. Smith who said:

“It’s just a case where we’re going to try to get through tonight and then we’ll have Zaitsev back and hopefully Goloubef,” Smith said Friday morning. “You don’t plan on this many guys getting injured and, unfortunately, Zaitsev having to go home for a day.

source – ‘GARRIOCH GAME REPORT: Flourishing Senators keep foot on gas in win over Rangers’ – Ottawa Sun – Bruce Garrioch – 11/22/2019

Related: Oilers News & Rumors: Kassian, Expansion, Bad Losses, More

Don’t Expect Heavy Oilers Ice Time to Drop

In today’s NHL, it’s not odd to see the big stars getting most of the ice time. In fact, to see the numbers heavily skewed is pretty common. But in Edmonton, there is concern Connor McDavid and Leon Draistaitl might be playing too much.

Leon Draisaitl, Connor McDavid
Edmonton Oilers’ Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson)

McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are 1-2 in league scoring and average ice-time at 62 and 61 seconds, but coach Dave Tippett says that’s not a concern.

Tippett said:

“All those guys’ (McDavid, Draisaitl, Oscar Klefbom) minutes get skewed because of our power play. It’s unique.” …”I’m always thinking, ‘You can’t do that or you’ll be tired.’ But they can stay out there because of the offensive-zone time.”

source – ‘OILERS SNAPSHOTS: Nygard’s speed gives him scoring potential but just the one goal’ – Edmonton Sun – Jim Matheson – 11/22/2019

It’s the fact they get so much time on the power play that he’s not concerned about them getting over-exerted any more.

Related: THW’s Top-12 NHL Trade Rumors Tracker