The Edmonton Oilers haven’t had much success when it comes to trades in recent years, but the team may be able to plug some of their offensive woes with a trade. The Athletic’s Allan Mitchell (subscription required) writes that the Oilers are actually overloaded in left-handed defensive depth throughout their system and might be able to use that depth as a way to send off for some veteran help at the wing that might allow the team to give extra development time to Jesse Puljujarvi and Kailer Yamamoto, who both were sent down to Bakersfield this afternoon.
Mitchell writes the team is loaded on the left side with two top-four players, including Oscar Klefbom and Darnell Nurse and still have Kris Russell who is playing on the right side. After that, the team has Ethan Bear as well as a host of left-handed defensemen in Bakersfield, including Caleb Jones, Ryan Stanton, William Lagesson, Keegan Lowe and Kevin Gravel. That’s a lot of options for a team, should they consider moving someone like Russell, Lagesson or Jones to add some depth at some point this winter.
- Curtis Palshenka of the Mercury News reports that San Jose Sharks forward Tomas Hertl, who has missed the last three game with a head injury, is starting to feel better and may be able to return Sunday for their game against the Calgary Flames. He still needs to go through more testing, but remains positive. Hertl has been a key piece to the Sharks’ first line, including Logan Couture and Timo Meier. The 24-year-old is producing a point a game so far this year with five goals and nine assists in 14 games.
- One change the new Los Angeles Kings head coach Willie Desjardins intends to implement is to cut down shift times. Helene Elliot of the Los Angeles Times writes that the coach intends to cut all shifts by 10 seconds, so that lines are only on the ice for a little over 40 seconds. “If you look at teams’ regular-season shifts and then look at their playoff shifts, their playoff shifts are always shorter,” he said, “and that’s because the intensity of the game goes up. And I think we have to bring our playoff game right now. I think we have to get our shifts shorter and I think that’s something our guys have to buy into, to be successful.” Desjardins also adds that he wants to cut down the ATOI of both Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty, who both lead the team in ice time at their respective positions.