It appears that the Oilers are making progress in their search for a new general manager. In an appearance on 630 CHED (audio link), Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports that Edmonton has narrowed its list of candidates down to three names. Two have been widely speculated for a while in former Toronto assistant GM Mark Hunter and current Vegas assistant GM Kelly McCrimmon while the third has yet to be determined. Friedman suggests that Ken Holland would warrant consideration but there are doubts that the now-former Detroit GM would seek that position so quickly. Interim GM Keith Gretzky could also be the other option being considered. A decision on who to hire is expected after the World Under-18’s conclude on Sunday.
Elsewhere out West:
- The Jets have interest in keeping defenseman Nathan Beaulieu in the fold, mentions Postmedia’s Ken Wiebe. After struggling with Buffalo, the 26-year-old held his own in a late-season trade to Winnipeg, logging nearly 17 minutes a night during the regular season although he didn’t see action in the postseason. Even though they want to retain him though, his required qualifying offer of $2.5MM is probably too rich to justify, especially with all of the other prominent players to sign. Accordingly, it’s likely that if a deal can’t be reached by the tender deadline in June, he’ll go unqualified with the Jets hoping to bring him back after he has a chance to test the open market.
- On top of missing Joe Pavelski for tonight’s series opener against Colorado, the Sharks will also be without winger Joonas Donskoi, notes Kevin Kurz of The Athletic (Twitter link). He suffered an upper-body injury back in the sixth game of the first round against Vegas. Despite having a career-best 37 points this season, the pending UFA has seen limited action so far this postseason, even when healthy. There is no timetable for his return.