With the first coaching change of the season in the books, speculation has quickly turned to which team will be the next to make a move. A popular speculative choice has been Nashville as the Predators have won just two of their last ten games and are only two points ahead of last place Los Angeles in the Western Conference.
However, head Peter Laviolette told reporters, including Paul Skrbina of The Tennessean, that he hasn’t been given any indication from management that his job could be on the line or that he feels any extra pressure at all to turn things around. Considering that the Predators are built to win now though, that could change if their struggles continue and GM David Poile isn’t able to swing a trade to try to shake up the roster first.
Elsewhere around the league:
- Johnny Gaudreau’s struggles have led some to suggest that the Flames should consider moving the winger. Eric Duhatschek of The Athletic details (subscription required) the reasons why they shouldn’t be doing so, highlighted by the fact that making an in-season deal of that type of magnitude is extremely difficult to pull off while still getting full value in return. After scoring three times in his first five games, he has just two in 20 contests since then. Nonetheless, he still sits second on the team in scoring despite his struggles.
- The Capitals have had to turn to some extreme measures to stay cap-compliant in the early going this season. Eventually, they will need to free up a bit of salary room as they won’t be able to just rely on LTIR the rest of the way. However, it’s going to be easier said than done. J.J. Regan of NBC Sports Washington highlights winger Richard Panik and defenseman Nick Jensen as possible candidates given their contracts but also points out the complications for moving both of them. Panik’s contract (four years at $2.75MM) is a tough one given his lack of production while Jensen would leave them with a hole on the right side of their back end that they can’t fill internally. Accordingly, whether it’s one of them or someone else, GM Brian MacLellan is going to have a tough decision to make once Carl Hagelin comes off LTIR early next month.