NHL Rumors: Blackhawks, Stars, Maple Leafs, Oilers

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, with the removal of Jeremy Colliton as head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks, there are questions about what comes next for the organization. Meanwhile, Ben Bishop should be eligible for reactivation off of LTIR, but are the Stars ready to make that move? There’s unfortunate news on the injury front for Peter Mrazek of the Toronto Maple Leafs and with Devin Shore going down for the Edmonton Oilers, who gets a shot on the team’s fourth line?

Blackhawks Next Moves

The Blackhawks removed Colliton as coach after a tough start to the season and replaced him with Derek King on an interim basis. Scott Powers of The Athletic examined what might come next for the franchise and suggested interim general manager Kyle Davidson might move a few pieces. Davidson and King were set to meet with the media on Sunday.

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Among the names potentially available for trade are Marc-Andre Fleury, Dominik Kubalik, and Dylan Strome. Calvin de Haan, Ryan Carpenter, and Kevin Lankinen are among their notable upcoming unrestricted free agents and other teams will obviously be keeping an eye on their respective seasons.

Dominik Kubalik Chicago Blackhawks
Dominik Kubalik, Chicago Blackhawks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

The Blackhawks need to decide how long to wait before they categorize this season as a lost one. Powers writes:

Davidson won’t be able to wait too long to see if the results change on their own. Maybe he gives them 10 or 15 more games? That will put them into December. He will have to decide eventually to make moves to help the Blackhawks improve or possibly nudge them along to get worse. The Blackhawks probably don’t have a lot of players they can move during the season, but there are some. 

source – ‘Is this a lost season for the Blackhawks? That’s what has to be determined next’- Soctt Powers – The Athletic – 11/06/2021

Related: Flames’ Treliving Faces Questions After Missing Out on Eichel

One of the things Chicago needs to be aware of is that if they tank the season and try to get the best possible lottery position at the draft, they need to pick either #1 or #2. Anything else goes to the Columbus Blue Jackets as part of the Seth Jones trade.

Stars Need to Find Room for Ben Bishop

According to Matthew DeFranks of The Dallas Morning News, goaltender Ben Bishop is eligible to come off of long-term injury reserve. It’s not clear whether or not the Stars organization is ready to make that move. Bishop and GM Jim Nill are expected to have that conversation.

Ben Bishop Dallas Stars
Ben Bishop of the Dallas Stars (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

DeFranks writes:

The Stars currently do not have enough cap space to activate Bishop. Through a combination of sending players down to the AHL (through waivers or not) and trades, Dallas could find a way to get Bishop back on the roster. Bishop is with the team on its current road trip through Canada, and has been at nearly every practice since the start of training camp.

source – ‘Stars goalie Ben Bishop eligible to return from LTIR following Thursday’s game vs. Calgary’ – Matthew DeFranks – Dallas Morning News – 11/04/2021

Bishop’s been sidelined since undergoing knee surgery last fall.

Mrazek to Miss Four Weeks

Maple Leafs’ backup goaltender Petr Mrazek is expected to miss four weeks due to a groin injury. It’s an injury that has been nagging him all season and was reaggravated this past week. In light of this news, on Saturday, the Maple Leafs recalled Joseph Will from the Toronto Marlies of the AHL.

This is not great timing for the Leafs who have a busy schedule coming up. They have 13 games in the next 11 games in the next 21 days and two sets of back-to-backs in that time. Jack Campbell has played well for the Leafs but it’s a heavy load to ask him to carry with a number of road games as part of that mix.

In other Leafs news, Defenceman T.J. Brodie was absent from practice on Sunday. Brodie took a heavy hit from Boston’s David Pastrňák in the game Saturday night and the team might be keeping him out for precautionary reasons.

Oilers Likely to Recall Ryan McLeod

With news that Devin Shore is injured for the Oilers and head coach Dave Tippett says he’ll miss some time, it opens the door for Ryan McLeod to return to the team after an uneventful start. McLeod will be recalled from Bakersfield and get another chance to produce in a depth center position.

The hope for Edmonton is that McLeod sticks with the team and they don’t need to move him back to the AHL.