Changes could be coming for the Blues if they don’t respond well to Ken Hitchcock’s coaching…Change could also be coming to the Hurricanes…Updates on Sam Gagner and Jacob Markstrom.
ESPN.COM: Craig Custance reports an NHL source suggested if success doesn’t happen for the Blues under new head coach Ken Hitchcock, it won’t be the coach who wears it. We can expect instead to see players traded.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Custance didn’t single out anyone as possible trade bait, but noted goalie Jaroslav Halak and forwards Patrik Berglund, Chris Stewart and T.J. Oshie have not played up to expectations thus far this season.
NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Chip Alexander reports Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford said changes needed to be made to strengthen his team, but said a shakeup of the coaching staff wasn’t among them.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rutherford didn’t specify what those changes might be, but there’s been rumors of the Hurricanes possibly shopping a defenseman for additional scoring depth at forward.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson responded to a reader’s e-mail regarding the trade value of Oilers center Sam Gagner and if he’d be a good fit with the New Jersey Devils or NY Islanders. Matheson doubts Gagner would fetch a first round pick, but suggested if the Oilers moved the center, they might throw in a defenseman to sweeten the pot. He acknowledged the Devils and Islanders, plus the Ottawa Senators, are hurting for depth at center, and the Oilers have too many forwards and defensemen.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given their current record, the Oilers aren’t in any hurry to make trades right now. Still, at some point this season, they could make a move, and Gagner could be potential trade bait. For now, it’s best to ride their current roster and use their depth to replace injured players.
SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Harvey Fialkov reports Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon didn’t rule out the possibility of recently demoted goalie Jacob Markstrom returning to the lineup later this season because of injury or trade. Fialkov suggested the return of Scott Clemmensen give the Panthers an opportunity to showcase him for a trade. He also suggested Jose Theodore has a reasonably price contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt Theodore will be moved, but I could see Clemmensen being shopped at some point this season.