The Oilers have struggled considerably over the last several weeks, having lost 10 of their last 12 games which has led to some speculation as to whether or not head coach Dave Tippett is on the hot seat. In the latest TSN Insider Trading segment (video link), TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that there are no plans for a coaching change in Edmonton unless things get considerably worse. Speculatively, that would mean a continuation of their current struggles to the point where they fall well outside the playoff picture. For the time being, they currently hold the final Wild Card spot in the West.
Dreger adds that the Oilers are looking to add a goaltender in the midst of Mike Smith’s injuries and Mikko Koskinen’s struggles as well as an upgrade at the third line center position. However, they’re in a situation where they need to match money to make a deal happen which will complicate things.
More from the Western Conference:
- Also from Dreger in that segment, the Coyotes are believed to be seeking an ‘Eichel-like’ return if they’re going to move defenseman Jakob Chychrun, an asking price that has scared at least some potential suitors away. The former Buffalo center yielded a first-round pick, a high-end prospect, a top-six winger, and a second-rounder and with the 23-year-old signed for just $4.6MM through 2024-25, he’s someone that many more teams will be able to afford which will allow Arizona to keep the price justifiably high.
- The Golden Knights are considering the possibility of acquiring the rights to Ryan Kesler from the Ducks, notes David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period. Kesler, who hasn’t played since 2019, carries a $6.875MM cap hit that is LTIR-eligible. In theory, if Vegas moved out enough salary to bring Kesler in and remain in cap compliance with their current cap situation, he could then be added to their LTIR pool, enabling them to eventually activate Jack Eichel. There’s precedent for teams acquiring injured players to boost their LTIR pool – Toronto (David Clarkson) and Tampa Bay (Brent Seabrook) – are recent examples and with Max Pacioretty and Alec Martinez both expected to return before the end of the regular season, Vegas may need to get creative to make the cap work when their players are healthy.