NHL Rumors: Red Wings, Oilers, Senators, Flyers

The Hockey Writers

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, did the Detroit Red Wings and Patrick Kane talk about a trade this season if the Red Wings don’t make the playoffs? Meanwhile, do the players on the Edmonton Oilers roster like the idea of Elvis Merzlikins joining the team? Could D.J. Smith be let go by the Ottawa Senators? Finally, where is Sean Walker of the Philadelphia Flyers most likely to be traded to?

Could the Red Wings Trade Patrick Kane?

During the most recent episode of Insider Trading on TSN, Pierre LeBrun hinted at the possibility of a trade involving Patrick Kane if the Red Wings face challenges in maintaining their playoff contention. LeBrun disclosed that discussions between Kane’s agent, Pat Brisson, and Detroit’s general manager, Steve Yzerman, took place before the accomplished player joined the Red Wings. These talks explored potential scenarios, including the prospect of Kane seeking a new team for another playoff opportunity and the Red Wings getting an asset if they miss the postseason.

Patrick Kane Chicago Blackhawks
Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)

It’s noteworthy that Kane holds the authority to veto any deal with a full no-trade clause. The underlying assumption is that the Red Wings are aware of Kane’s openness to a potential trade, with the player expressing preferences for specific teams.

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Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times wonders if a return to the Chicago Blackhawks is a possibility in the future. He writes:

“There’s always a piece in the back of your mind that maybe could potentially happen — even down the line or in the future,” he said. “You never know. I love the city, loved my time there with the organization.”

source – ‘Patrick Kane opens up about Blackhawks’ rebuild, joining Red Wings, hip surgery and more’ – Ben Pope – Chicago Sun Times – 11/30/2023

Do the Oilers Players Like Merzlikins?

Bob Stauffer and Frank Seravalli discussed the prospect of the Edmonton Oilers acquiring goaltender Elvis Merzlikins from the Columbus Blue Jackets during a conversation on 630 CHED. Stauffer highlighted that Merzlikins’ agent, Gerry Johansson, is based in Edmonton, suggesting a potential connection for the trade. He also mentioned that both the Blue Jackets and Merzlikins are open to a change of scenery.

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Perhaps most interesting about the prospect of Merzlikins joining the team, Stauffer emphasized the considerable respect Oilers players have for him as a goaltender. Acknowledging his performance in both the league and world championships, it sounds like they would be comfortable playing in front of him.

Could Coach D.J. Smith Be Fired This Week?

Struggling with a 9-10-0 record, the Ottawa Senators, once anticipated as contenders, now find themselves languishing at 30th in the NHL standings. Despite nine skaters amassing 10 or more points, the team ranks a surprising 28th in goals-for, a setback for a roster with initial promise. The underwhelming performance has sparked speculation of a coaching change, putting D.J. Smith’s position in jeopardy.

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Bruce Garrioch from the Ottawa Sun suggests that GM Steve Staios is at a crucial juncture, emphasizing Staios’ reluctance to make an immediate change. However, Garrioch notes that patience may wear thin, and Smith’s departure could be imminent. He writes:

“Staios doesn’t want to make a change. At some point that patience will wear thin, and Smith will be let go. That could be tomorrow, next week, next month or even next summer. Anything is possible, but the best bet for this group is to collectively start playing better.”

source – ‘GARRIOCH: The Ottawa Senators need to get their act together quickly’ – Bruce Garrioch – Ottawa Sun – 12/02/2023

Six Trade Options for Flyers’ Sean Walker

According to Shayna Goldman of The Athletic, the Flyers are still looking for a trade involving Sean Walker and says, “There’s a handful of selling teams with defenders to spare, and maybe even more buyers this year. That’s what pumps up the value of someone like Sean Walker.”

Sean Walker Philadelphia Flyers
Sean Walker, Philadelphia Flyers (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Goldman writes:

“Philadelphia seems to be keeping the big picture in focus and that means furthering the rebuild. There may be a few NHL-caliber players kept around to maintain the locker room culture and help contribute on the ice to support young talent. But management can only afford to keep so many of those types of players around — and a pending unrestricted free-agent defenseman may not be one of them.”

source – ‘Sean Walker trade destinations: 6 teams that could be interested in the Flyers defenseman’ – Shayna Goldman – The Athletic – 12/04/2023

Of the teams she mentions could show interest, Goldman mentions the Toronto Maple Leafs, Dallas Stars, New Jersey Devils, Winnipeg Jets, Colorado Avalanche and Edmonton Oilers as possible options.

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