Rumor Roundup: Trading Hall would do little to help Oilers long-term improvement

Taylor Hall (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Edmonton Oilers firing of head coach Dallas Eakins prompted speculation over potential roster changes. It’s believed Oilers management will consider all options going forward, including the possibility of trading star left wing Taylor Hall.

TSN’s Darren Dreger reports of a “sagging work ethic” and lack of a winning culture among the Oilers’ players, suggesting Hall hasn’t been what the front office expected “from a culture standpoint.” Dreger believes the 23-year-old Hall will be in play in the trade market and believes the best return could be had during the summer, perhaps at the NHL Draft in June.

Oilers GM Craig MacTavish spent several weeks seeking help for his floundering roster via the trade market. During a press conference on Dec. 5, MacTavish stated he wouldn’t make any knee-jerk moves and wasn’t prepared to move his core players. Read more

Meet Auston Matthews, the next, next NHL draft phenom

Auston Matthews (Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)

Team USA has won two of the past five world junior championships and based on the talent available to the team, another title soon wouldn’t be surprising. Part of the challenge will be replenishing the roster when the top recruits join the NHL early and it seems like a foregone conclusion that Jack Eichel will be in The Show next season, rather than chasing gold in Finland. Luckily for America, Auston Matthews isn’t eligible for the NHL draft until 2016 – and he may be just as good as Eichel.

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Rumor Roundup: McDavid hopefuls could thin out roster in hopes of landing star

Connor McDavid (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

The floundering Edmonton Oilers appear the favorites to win the 2015 NHL draft lottery and select OHL scoring sensation Connor McDavid as the first-overall pick. However, they could soon have some competition in the McDavid sweepstakes.

Luke DeCock of the Raleigh News & Observer notes the Carolina Hurricanes, basement dwellers of the Eastern Conference, lack the talent to compete with the league’s better teams. The Hurricanes last made the playoffs in 2009, and DeCock believes it’s time for a major roster overhaul, which includes improving their chances of landing McDavid. Read more

From Comeau to Hemsky, cost per point helps show the most (and least) effective off-season signings

Ales Hemsky featured

When the Dallas inked Ales Hemsky to play alongside the newly acquired Jason Spezza it was heralded as a tremendous signing. So far, however, the Stars aren’t getting their money’s worth.

Following Saturday night’s game against the Devils, Hemsky has only registered eight points in 26 games and is on pace for the lowest full season point total of his career. Suffice to say, Hemsky is far short of where the Stars GM Jim Nill had likely hoped he’d see the winger’s point total. At a salary cap hit of $4 million for the next three seasons, Dallas isn’t getting the bang for their buck as they’re on pace to pay Hemsky nearly $170,000 for every point he’s on pace to score this season.

But it’s not just Hemsky, as several stars are making GMs second-guess some off-season signings. On the other hand, there are several who are far exceeding their salary expectations. Read more

Keep playing terrible, Arizona: It’s your best hope for the future

Ryan Kennedy
Arizona has been struggling (Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)

Just as the season was dawning, I had a conversation with Arizona Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith about expectations. The Canadian Olympian laid out the battle plan for his squad pretty succinctly:

“The past couple of years, our consistency has not been where we want it to be,” Smith said. “Our main focus is everyone knowing their role on the team.”

Taking a peek at the team’s recent results, that has not come to fruition. The Coyotes dropped their eighth straight home game last night, 5-1 to Nashville and are languishing near the bottom of the NHL standings – only Carolina and Edmonton are worse.

Should the Coyotes fire coach Dave Tippett, or make some moves to shake up the roster? Nope. From where I’m sitting, this team should just keep on keepin’ on.

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How the Boston Bruins blew the Thornton, Kessel, Wheeler, Seguin trades…and lost out on T.J. Brodie, too

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Let’s play a little hindsight gymnastics.

Quick question: would you make this trade?

Joe Thornton, Phil Kessel, Blake Wheeler and Tyler Seguin for Matt Bartkowski, Loui Eriksson, Alexander Fallstrom, Matt Fraser, Dougie Hamilton, Alexander Khokhlachev, Jared Knight, Joe Morrow, Dennis Seidenberg and Reilly Smith.

Because that’s what the Boston Bruins are left with after trading three future superstars and one well above average player before their primes in four separate trades.

If Thornton, Kessel, Wheeler or Seguin were still with Boston today, each would be the team’s top scorer. Seguin, of course, leads the NHL in goals and points.

One dumb deal is a mistake. Two is a coincidence. Three is a trend. Four is…WTF is going on?

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Rumor Roundup: Arizona could make Yandle available, Devils might be dealing

Lyle Richardson
Yandle Featured

As the Arizona Coyotes continue to struggle (2-6-2 in their last 10 games) amid ongoing questions over the state of their ownership, there’s growing speculation trades could be in the offing soon.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle has once again popped up in the rumor mill. While Yandle has frequently appeared in trade chatter in recent years, McKenzie claims there’s a feeling among the GMs he’s spoken with that the blueliner could be dealt this season. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Trade talk still surrounding Oilers, Coyotes begin youth movement

Boston Bruins v Edmonton Oilers

During a “state of the franchise” press conference last Friday, Edmonton Oilers GM Craig MacTavish announced no major changes were planned for his floundering club. His comments, however, haven’t put to rest the trade speculation which has dogged the Oilers for weeks.

Leading up to MacTavish’s presser, Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos claimed the Oilers and Boston Bruins were revisiting trade talks and speculated Jordan Eberle could’ve been the topic of conversation. CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty reports previous discussions between the two clubs involved Johnny Boychuk (who’s now with the New York Islanders) along with center Chris Kelly and either Niklas Svedberg or Malcolm Subban. Read more