NHL Rumors: Oilers, Flames, Islanders, Canucks

In today’s NHL rumors, the Edmonton Oilers are missing a few key pieces from their morning skate. Will Leon Draisaitl and Brett Kulak play the Los Angeles Kings in Game 7 tonight? Meanwhile, will the Calgary Flames be without Nikita Zadorov in Game 7? The New York Islanders could be eyeing an interesting name as a coaching replacement, and Bruce Boudreau is officially returning to coach the Vancouver Canucks next season.

Oilers miss Draisaitl and Kulak

Tweets Saturday morning from members of the media covering the Oilers state that neither is the case Striker Leon Draisaitl nor defender Brett Kulak were skating in practice. Draisaitl struggled with an ankle injury throughout the series, which worsened in Game 6 when he was pulled down by Mikey Anderson in a scrum. Warren Foegele took Draisaitl’s place at the morning skate, and while that could mean Draisaitl is out, the Oilers could just let him out to rest.

It’s not clear why Kulak wasn’t on the ice as there were no reports of an injury he could be dealing with. If he doesn’t play, it could indicate a last-minute development as Philip Broberg has been traded to the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors. If Kulak were out, Broberg would probably play.

Zadorov is to be heard

The Calgary Flames also have a Game 7 against the Dallas Stars and may have to play that game without defenseman Nikita Zadorov. Zadorov will have a hearing with the Player Safety Department over a blow to the head of DStars forward Luke Glendening on Friday night.

Nikita Zadorov didn’t get a penalty for that goal against Luke Glendening. Was that a clean hit or a dirty track? 🤔 #Flames #TexasHockey https://t.co/OyX1HXk2DD

It was an obvious decision not given a major in the game and then Zadorov came in with Stars forward Jamie Benn to end the game, saying, ‘I’m coming for you. I’m coming.” Some fans argue that Zadorov is being punished for being tall. Others disagree and think he’ll get at least one game.

Could islanders be interested in Babcock?

The New York Islanders are in need of a new head coach after Barry Defiance was fired, and Mike Babcock’s name has surfaced. There was no indication from GM Lou Lamoriello which way the Islanders are leaning, but The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz names Babcock as a potential candidate.

Also see: Penguins News & Rumors: Crosby, Malkin, Rust & Domingue

In a nutshell:

But Robinson’s move to Constantine, along with a few quotes Lamoriello gave on Monday’s conference call, could be a clue as to where the general manager is leaning. And they could very well point to Mike Babcock. It starts with familiarity. Lamoriello has worked with well-known figures when appointing a new manager in the past.

Source – ‘Islander coaching quest: Point to hints of Mike Babcock and Lou Lamoriello reunion?’ – Kevin Kurz – The Athletic – 05/13/2022

Mike Babcock Toronto Maple Leafs
Mike Babcock, Toronto Maple Leafs (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Kurz spoke about Lamoriello’s hiring history and how he has repeatedly brought back familiar faces with the teams he has led. He also referenced Lamoriello’s history with Babcock in Toronto and how he likes harder, more aggressive voices in the room when a team is underperforming.

Boudreau officially returns to Coach Canucks

The Vancouver Canucks officially announced Friday that head coach Bruce Boudreau will resume coaching the team next season. Many thought he would sign the option on his current contract and come back, but there have been rumors he might explore other options as the Canucks were unwilling to commit to anything beyond next season. Boudreau chose to do nothing.

Boudreau said in a statement: “My desire has always been to come back to coach this team. I love the organization, the city, the fans and the players. I’m also grateful for the opportunity Jim and Patrick gave me to further build on what we started.”

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