With Gerard Gallant being the first coach fired, talk has quickly swirled to who may the next to go. Ottawa Sun columnist Bruce Garrioch reports in his latest Insider Trading column that several executives around the league believe that Winnipeg head coach Paul Maurice and Buffalo bench boss Dan Bylsma are both on the hot seat. The suggestion is that the Jets have played well enough that they should be firmly in a playoff spot instead of fighting for a Wild Card berth while the Sabres have underachieved even after factoring in the long list of injuries they’ve had to deal with.
Garrioch also provided some information about several players that are available on the trade market and what some teams are looking to acquire:
- The Edmonton Oilers have held trade talks with a few teams regarding left winger Benoit Pouliot. He’s off to a slow start this season with just four goals and one assist in 23 games while also spending time as a healthy scratch. The 30 year old has two years left after this with a cap hit and salary of $4MM. Garrioch clarifies that GM Peter Chiarelli isn’t actively shopping Pouliot but he is trying to see if there is any interest in him throughout the league.
- Islanders GM Garth Snow is looking for a top line winger to play alongside John Tavares. Long-time linemate Kyle Okposo signed in Buffalo back in July while Andrew Ladd has struggled considerably with New York so far. Even though Tavares won’t be a free agent until July of 2018, Snow is aware that finding him another winger that he’s comfortable with would go a long way towards helping them re-sign him. One winger who doesn’t appear to be the solution is Nikolay Kulemin, who the Islanders are actively shopping.
- Philadelphia would like to trade defenseman Andrew MacDonald. However, with a cap hit of $5MM through 2019-20, that is a move that will be much easier said than done. The 30 year old cleared waivers last season and almost undoubtedly would again if they tried to clear his contract through that route.
- Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin has been calling teams looking for a defenseman that could play alongside Shea Weber on their top pairing. Alexei Emelin is currently forming the other half of that duo but he’s better suited as a bottom pairing player. Speculatively, the team would likely be looking for more of a mobile puck mover to go along with the physical Weber.
- Boston “wouldn’t mind moving” right winger Jimmy Hayes. He has had a disastrous start to this season, scoring just a single goal in 22 games and is playing just over ten minutes per night, not exactly what they were hoping for when they dealt Reilly Smith for him back in July of 2015. Hayes has a cap hit of $2.3MM through 2017-18 which may present some challenges to move considering his current struggles.