The Edmonton Oilers make the news a lot, usually for bad reasons. They fired GM Peter Chiarelli recently. Pierre LeBrun ($) listed the Penguins’ assistant GM Bill Guerin as a potential suggested candidate:
A former Oilers star who learned his craft in Pittsburgh as the assistant GM while winning some Stanley Cup in the process. He knows the Edmonton market and he’s a personable guy who works well with others.
To be fair, this was just LeBrun’s informal and self-desribed “list of candidates that I would look at if I were the Oilers brass” and he put Guerin as the tenth name on his list, so it’s not like there’s a very high likelihood.
For Guerin, that’s probably a good thing, being as Darren Dreger revealed this morning that the three year, $4.5 million (as in annual) contract for goalie Mikko Koskinen “was an organizational plan to sign him” and negotiations started in December. Chiarelli is an easy punching bag and he should be for the decisions he made, but Edmonton’s problems are rooted deeper from ownership to executives. Firing Chiarelli isn’t likely to result in some huge positive change if the “organizational plan” from higher above is a bad one, the GM doesn’t have a lot of a chance with his hand tied by bad ideas being forced onto the roster.
So despite having Connor McDavid, Edmonon is probably not the place a savvy GM would want to be in a restrictive and misguided direction set by the very top, perhaps fortunately so for Guerin to be on the fringe of list for that job.
Sticking with TSN, LeBrun and Dreger had interesting nuggets on TV last night for the latest twist and turn in the Pens saga with Derick Brassard trade rumors.
LeBrun: Yes, throw in the Pittsburgh Penguins. And why not? We know that Jim Rutherford, the GM of the Penguins, is always very active at this time of year and our understanding is that the Penguins have inquired about. Boy, you might look very good playing on Crosby’s wing and of course not the only team. I think the Calgary Flames will inquire if they haven’t already as to what it would take to perhaps start that conversation of re-acquiring . Name the contender, they have Ferland and guys like on their radar. Now here’s something interesting about the Pittsburgh Penguins. They’re always right near the cap. If they were to go further in these talks with Carolina, somebody else would have to move. What if it’s a player we’ve talked about also being on the trade market. It would help the math work. Carolina now would want a first-round pick in there. Brassard is a UFA, would Carolina then turn around and flip him closer to the trade deadline? There are a lot of moving parts, a lot of conjecture here, but some interesting conversations being had right now.
Dreger: And I think would be okay with that scenario. He just simply wants to be on a playoff team and for whatever reason, it hasn’t worked out in Pittsburgh. That’s fine, you move on. has been down this road before. But it’s going to be interesting to see how aggressive Jim Rutherford and the Pittsburgh Penguins get in terms of trying to move him. They aren’t going to give him away. They’d like to get a third line centre back as part of that return package. The Winnipeg Jets have explored some interest in , but there will be some other teams that jump in as well.
Pittsburgh has about a month to sort out what to do with Brassard. It does seem really unique that the one hole on the team (third line center) is the one thing they would be trading in Brassard to also look to fill. It doesn’t really make sense for Pittsburgh to flip Brassard for Ferland and call it a day, that leaves them too thin up the middle.
But does a team like Winnipeg have interest in trading Adam Lowry for Brassard? Doesn’t seem quite right.
Or would the Pens take pick/prospects for Brassard from a contender and use that haul to flip for a different center like a Radek Faksa or Charlie Coyle type? That could be more of a consideration but would require Rutherford to quickly navigate two different agreements from two different teams, who are also going to have a lot of different plates spinning as they try to find the best deals.
So....stay tuned. The only thing we really know for sure at this point is it sure looks likely Brassard is a goner sooner than later and certainly by the February 25th deadline. Beyond that, there’s still a lot to sort out.