In today’s NHL rumor rundown, we provide a quick follow-up to the Toronto Maple Leafs and Mike Babcock story from yesterday, there is connected accusations about another coach in the NHL and speculation that he’s been let go from his job with the Calgary Flames and we get into some trade talk about Kyle Turris. Finally, despite speculation the Edmonton Oilers are looking to make a trade, the GM has a different idea.
Babcock/Marner Maple Leafs Story True
It was reported yesterday that back when Mitch Marner was a rookie, he was singled-out by then coach Mike Babcock, asked to make a list of players on the team in order of their effort level. That list was shared with the team, really putting Marner in an awkward position. The story is true.
In a follow-up, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reached out to Babcock and the response he received was, “I was trying to focus on work ethic with Mitch — focusing on role models — ended up not being a good idea. I apologized at (the) time.”
Marner himself addressed the report in a media scrum and admitted it was true but that it was a long time ago. He was surprised by the request to make a list and said, “I was lucky enough that the guys that were there with me, none of them took it to heart.”
Since the story became public, there have been more and more media members and other stories about other coaches that have come to light and it’s not a good look for those being accused and hockey in general.
Bill Peters Removed as Head Coach?
After these reports about Babcock surfaced, former hockey player Akim Aliu said, “Not very surprising the things we’re hearing about Babcock. Apple doesn’t fall far from the Tree.”
We’ve covered the story on Aliu’s allegations and the response from the Flames in another article but Pierre LeBrun of TSN has added that two more former players and teammates from Rockford are backing Aliu’s allegations regarding Peters. With these allegations likely true, and with how quickly the NHL was to make a statement, speculation is that Peters has been fired.
In a tweet that has since been removed, David Amber of Sportsnet wrote that Jeff Marek reported Peters’ termination on Tuesday.
There are conflicting reports here however, with some saying that he has not been terminated. Mark Villani, reports the Flames have said, “Bill has not been relieved of his duties, we are continuing this ongoing investigation right now.”
It appears likely this doesn’t end well for Peters but this is a situation we’ll keep an eye on. It might be that Peters resigns amidst all the backlash and bad PR he’s receiving. At the very lest, bad press would be saddled to the Flames organization should they keep him.
Kyle Turris Frustrated in Nashville
Jared Clinton of The Hockey News reports that Kyle Turris is growing frustrated with his situation in Nashville and lack of playing time. Turris remains a healthy scratch despite injuries to key players and a series of losses.
At this rate, with Turris consistently out of the lineup and coach Peter Laviolette seemingly possessing little-to-no interest in reinserting the pivot back into the lineup, one imagines Poile would be amenable to the idea of re-homing the 30-year-old center if for no other reason than to get some salary cap relief. Turris’ $6-million cap hit –source – ‘THE PREDATORS HAVE A KYLE TURRIS PROBLEM AND THERE’S NO SIMPLE SOLUTION’ – The Hockey News – Jared Clinton – 11/25/2019
That said, Clinton also writes that Poile likely doesn’t want to move Turris for next to nothing considering what it cost to acquire him — Samuel Girard and Vladislav Kamenev and a second-round pick.
Oilers to Wait a Couple of Months to Make Move
Kurt Leavins of The Edmonton Journal writes that Edmonton Oilers GM Ken Holland was on Bob Stauffer’s 630 CHED show yesterday. During that interview, Holland addressed rumors the team was looking to add via trade.
Holland insinuated that the Oilers intend to keep the same roster for the next couple of months and then, depending on where they are in the standings, could make a significant addition that will help the team ensure a playoff birth.
Kreider Isn’t Thinking About His Contract
Larry Brooks of the New York Post writes that New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider isn’t thinking about his contract, speculation of a trade, or status as a pending unrestricted free agent. When asked, Kreider said he hasn’t thought about it at all.
“I’ve been around long enough to understand that there is a hockey component to this and there is a business component to this and there is no value in combining them. I understand the interest and the question, but I don’t think it’s useful to talk about it.”
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.”