NHL Rumors: Oilers, Hurricanes, Rangers, More

In today’s rumor rundown, there are a couple teams that might be looking at Alain Vigneault as their next head coach, the Carolina Hurricanes are doing well but happy to talk trade with teams, the New York Rangers are getting calls about Kevin Hayes and the Edmonton Oilers have given one of their depth forwards permission to seek a trade.

Alain Vigneault to Get the Call?

There are multiple reports that both coaches in Los Angeles and St. Louis might be on the hot seat and potential candidates to replace them vary. One name that came up is former New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault.

Alain Vigneault
Alain Vigneault (Photo credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports)

The Rangers are paying Vigneault $4.5 million not to coach and might be willing to eat some of his contract to get him off the books. There is also speculation the LA Kings might have interest if they choose to let go of John Stevens who is probably the head coach most being watched as the first to lose his job.

Vigneault is the 12th winningest coach in NHL history (648-435-35-98) and hasn’t been seen or heard much since leaving the Rangers.

Related: NHL Rumors: Hayes, Edler, Trouba, More

Hurricanes Competitive, But Open for Business

The Carolina Hurricanes are off to a good start and GM Don Waddell has indicated they are open for business if teams are looking to make deals. The Hurricanes have the means to trade a right-side defenseman and teams covet that type of player.

Justin Faulk Hurricanes
Justin Faulk, Carolina Hurricanes, Mar. 1, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Speculation is the Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers are looking for a right-handed defenseman and would be asking about Justin Faulk and/or Brett Pesce, but the more successful a season the Hurricanes have, the less willing they might be open to moving a player that is helping them today. So too, the Oilers have been on a bit of a roll and might not want to see where this season goes before making a big trade.

If the Hurricanes open up talks with the Maple Leafs about a player like William Nylander (the rumors are out there), they certainly know they would have to give up something to get a forward of that caliber.

Related: NHL Rumors: Blashill, Nylander, Marijuana in Hockey, More

Oilers Tell Kassian He Can Look Elsewhere

Per Hockey Night in Canada, the Edmonton Oilers have given forward Zack Kassian permission to seek a trade. He’s overpaid as a 13th forward on the team and one that doesn’t get into the lineup every night or contribute the way he did when the Oilers made their last playoff run.

(Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports)

It’s not confirmed if the trade request is coming from the Oilers side of things or Kassian’s side of things and reports have varied but the Oilers have Jujhar Khaira, Cooper Merody and Alex Chiasson all able to serve a similar role at a fraction of the cost. Kassian will likely not be re-signed by the team when his contract expires.

Kassian’s story to get things back on track when he came to Edmonton should be commended but he appears to have lost a gear or two.

Talk Continues to Surround Nylander

On Hockey Night in Canada, Chris Johnston said that Kyle Dubas has been out scouting teams. Elliotte Friedman added that he thinks the Maple Leafs may have to consider a trade and Nick Kypreos adds that he’s heard between 12 and 15 teams have shown some interest in trading for William Nylander.

William Nylander Maple Leafs
Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander battles for position with Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)

The Maple Leafs continue to tell teams they are not interested in moving him but Mike Augello reported that Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas was at the Hurricanes versus Sharks game the other night and that the Hurricanes sent two scouts to watch the Maple Leafs-Jets game.

Time is running out for the Leafs to get a deal done. They have just over a month to either sign or trade him.

Talk on Kevin Hayes Picking Up

The New York Rangers have been in the news lately and often when it comes to the future of Kevin Hayes. Hayes wants to stay, the Rangers see him as a strong player but potentially a stronger trade asset and he’d require a raise on a new contract. The latest news is that he is drawing interest around the league, according to Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos.

Kevin Hayes - Rangers
Kevin Hayes, New York Rangers, September 27, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

“He’s getting a lot of attention early, in terms of NHL scouts,” Kypreos said Saturday during Hockey Night in Canada’s Headlines segment. “It’s no secret right now he’s already making [$5.175 million] with the New York Rangers and he’s going to price himself out as he becomes an unrestricted free agent — especially when it comes to the New York Rangers’ rebuild. So he’s going to get a lot of attention early here.”

When that trade takes place is unclear but Kypreos did speculate a draft pick and a prospect from a team like Winnipeg might be an option.