Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE,
The trade winds are kicking up with Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli making stops at other NHL arenas to scout players for potential trades for a Boston team that’s in a serious offensive drought. Sportsnet analyst Nick Kypreos is reporting that there’s “strong speculation” the Boston Bruins and Edmonton Oilers are revisiting trade talk that goes back to this summer when Johnny Boychuk was one of the names being mentioned before Boston’s deal with the Islanders.
Those past discussions also involved third line center Chris Kelly and perhaps either Niklas Svedberg or Malcolm Subban for an Edmonton team in dire need of quality goaltending, and it’s believed that right wing Jordan Eberle has always been the desired top line target for the Black and Gold....
One thing that is a fact: Edmonton management covets power forward Milan Lucic and would be extremely interested in netting the punishing left wing in a deal with the Bruins, but don’t count on that one happening with the B’s looking to get heavier on their sticks rather than lighter with any moves that they make.
Stay turned on this one as Chiarelli is obviously highly motivated to make moves that help his team after watching the Bruins grind it out for the last two months.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Again, it’s All’s Quiet on the Western Front (Oilers version). While Anaheim’s Bob Murray is wheeling and dealing (because of injury concerns mostly on his back-end) and fellow GM Marc Bergevin is making trade noises in Montreal to get defensive help and dumping players like Rene Bourque and proactively signing Brendan Gallagher to a six-year contract, the sounds of nothing happening in Edmonton is deafening.
Again, just say something MacT? Tell us you’re TANKING the season, not in those words (that’s an NHL no-no) and you see absolutely no need to put bandages on all the open sores on your hockey club now.
Eakins, who is in Year 2 of a four-year deal, doesn’t look or sound like a haunted man who’s going to lose job any time soon. As he said Wednesday morning after practice in Winnipeg, “this is not going to break me ... bring it on.” He did not look after the OT loss to the Jets like he was at the end of his rope. Frankly, he looks a lot more wrung out, stripped of his tie and jacket, shirt unbuttoned in his post-game pressers as he describes losses at Rexall Place, the NHL’s softest landing for visiting teams. Eight straight losses.
via Darren Dreger tweets,
I suspect the next few days will determine direction Oilers will go. Full forensic analysis from top to bottom will take place...
A culture change is required, but does firing coach and gm do that? Not if the team is fundamentally flawed. Tough decisions for Oil brass.
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
The Flyers haven't won on the road since a 5-3 victory in their unofficial second home, Pittsburgh, on Oct. 22.
Overall, they have lost 10 of their last 11, including six straight (0-4-2)....
I thought we lost the point tonight," coach Craig Berube said. "We’re up 3-1 and we have to shut the door. We’ve got to play smarter hockey in that situation. I thought we let them back in the game with defensive mistakes" that led to odd-man rushes.
more on the game...
from Derek Van Diest of the Edmonton Sun,
After taking a third-period lead with a strong individual effort from David Perron, the Oilers gave up a late goal, then fell 3-2 in overtime to the Winnipeg Jets, extending their losing skid to 11 games.
Mathieu Perreault scored 17 seconds into overtime to give the Jets the win on a deflection in front, keeping the Oilers winless (0-12-4) against Western Conference opponents.
“I thought we played a textbook road game,” said Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins. “We settled in, into a building that is extremely loud and volatile. We settled into the game and I thought we played a mature road game. I thought we showed some growth from how we’ve played as of late and I believe if we can play that game every night, we’re going to win a lot of hockey games.”
Beginning with MacTavish and Lowe, I have many friends inside an organization that I have covered for 25 years. I am genuinely sad to say, I can hardly think of one person who deserves to keep their job.
-Mark Spector of Sportnet on the Edmonton Oilers. Read more from Spector on Edmonton....
Don Cherry tells Hockey Central at Noon that he feels for Oilers’ head coach Dallas Eakins, says he might actually be happy to get fired.
from John MacKinnon of the Edmonton Journal,
If they made a film about this 2014-15 Oilers team, they’d title it The Blunder Boys, and it has veered from comedy into farce.
The Oilers constant repetition of mistake after giveaway after gaffe has become a joke, as team captain Andrew Ference emotionally underscored after their 5-2 loss to the Arizona Coyotes on Monday night.
The Oilers blooper reel of gaffes, giveaways, pratfalls and collapses is feature-film length about now, just 25 games into an NHL season gone horribly wrong. The mistakes by the 6-15-4 Oilers blur into one by now, don’t they?
The Oilers performance Monday night is the sort that gets coaches fired, if not coaches and general managers as a package, deserved or not. When a team — a talented one — is bumbling along in this fashion, something has to happen. It’s that simple.
Ference, for one, clearly believes the onus for failure falls squarely on the players, not the coaches.
added 9:10am, Watch Ference's post-game remarks below...
Edmonton has been a bad team for a long time, and has turned to youth to solve their problems. It’s not a healthy dynamic, rather, it’s a nasty, self-defeating cycle. One the Oilers can’t seem to break, as the decision top pencil Leon Draisaitl in as second-line centre even before training camp this season demonstrates beautifully.
The Oilers are using the NHL as a development league. That’s bad. If it is to be used as a development league, it’s important that players are handled carefully and consistently; instead Edmonton have tossed them in the deep end and for good measure shuffled coaches on a semi-annual basis. Watching the team operate is a master class in how a losing environment can be perpetuated.
-Jonathan Willis of Sportnet where you can read more on the Oilers.
“We can’t start to just tear everything down, we have to get a solid plan as we go forward here of how we can get this team to win a Stanley Cup. We’re a long ways from that where our record is today — we all realize that — we just can’t panic here and make major changes unless they’re going to help us in the future.”
-Bob Nicholson,viice-chairman of the Oilers Entertainment Group on Prime Time Sports this evening. More from Mike Johnston of Sportsnet and you can listen/watch the whole interview too.
...are trades the answer right now? As another rival executive suggested, is the smartest thing at this point not just to take a knee and get in the lottery chase given this year’s draft class?
On the surface, it’s probably what makes the most sense. But eight years of hockey hell has also eroded some of the goodwill (loyalty?) of the fan base in Edmonton. Can you afford to take a knee and not risk further brand alienation? Or would fans in Edmonton, a pretty savvy hockey community, understand that it would be worth it given the draft class?
-Pierre LeBrun on the Edmonton Oilers. Read more from LeBrun on the Oilers at ESPN.
The Edmonton Oilers and Columbus Blue Jackets, two of the worst teams in the league, are working together to make a trade happen to improve their fortunes.
TSN Hockey analyst Aaron Ward is reporting that Oilers winger David Perron and Blue Jackets centre Artem Anisimov are the players being discussed for a potential trade, but there could be more players involved.
TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger first reported over the weekend that the Oilers were looking to deal Perron and said general manager Craig MacTavish is looking for a top line centre in return for the 26-year-old.
Perron has two goals and eight assists in 22 games this season with the Oilers, his second year with the team. The Sherbrooke, Quebec, native has two years left on his current contract.
from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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