Report: Toronto approached Chiarelli before he took Oilers job


Peter Chiarelli is already at work assessing the Edmonton Oilers depth chart.

The newly appointed President of Hockey Operations and GM of the Oilers was reportedly at prospect Leon Draisaitl’s game with the Kelowna Rockets on Friday night. With Chiarelli on the scouting trip was former GM Craig MacTavish.

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Chiarelli has asked MacTavish to remain with the club at a position, which has yet to be defined. Chiarelli is also expected to meet with current Oilers’ head coach Todd Nelson in the coming days.

Friedman reports that prior to Chiarelli taking the Oilers job, the Leafs called the 50-year-old to gauge his interest in the in the Toronto vacancy.

The Leafs fired GM Dave Nonis along with interim head coach Peter Horachek and several scouts on April 12.

Leafs’ President Brendan Shanahan is also reportedly interested in both Sean Burke and George McPhee for GM role. The pair are currently part of Team Canada’s management staff for the upcoming World Hockey Championship.

PHT Morning Skate: Sens’ rookie Curtis Lazar makes a get-well card for Chris Phillips


PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Ottawa Senators rookie Curtis Lazar has been living with veteran defenseman Chris Phillips this season. With Phillips undergoing season-ending back surgery on Tuesday, Lazar sketched a get well soon message for his landlord.

Editor’s Note: Play one-day fantasy hockey tonight! Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $25,000 league for Wednesday’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first place wins $2,000. Starts tonight at 7:00pm ET. Play Now!

Here’s another look at the highlights from Tuesday night’s triple overtime game between the Nashville Predators and Chicago Blackhawks, which went into the early hours of Wednesday before Brent Seabrook scored the winner.

With the Edmonton winning the NHL Draft Lottery and likely selecting Connor McDavid in June, hockey insider Darren Dreger says Oilers GM Craig MacTavish will be busy this summer doing some “big game hunting” in an effort to address some of his team’s needs. (TSN)

Dustin Byfuglien was on the ice for three of the Anaheim goals in Game 3 and took an undisciplined penalty for his blow to Corey Perry following the Ducks 2-1 goal in the second period. The 30-year-old has been held off the score sheet while registering a minus-3 rating and four penalty minutes through the first three games of the series. All this is has led Matt Larkin over at The Hockey News to write that Byfuglien is hurting his team. (THN)

TSN Radio1200’s Matt Kaunisviita produced a Bob Dylan parody song to “Like A Rolling Stone” titled, “And The Rookie Stone…” referencing Sens’ rookie Mark Stone. (TSN 1200)

Report: Oilers to offer Schultz a one-year deal


The Edmonton Oilers plan to offer restricted free agent defenseman Justin Schultz a one-year deal.

Schultz appeared in 81 games for the Oilers this season registering 31 points to go along with a minus-17.

The 24-year-old signed a one-year, $3.675 million contract last August.

Following the deal, GM Craig MacTavish said that he believed Schultz had Norris Trophy potential in the future. The Norris talk was quickly shelved when Schultz was a healthy scratch in November.

Once Jeff Petry was dealt to the Montreal Canadiens at the deadline, Schultz led all Oilers in ice time averaging 22:37 a night.

Nelson takes over as Oilers look to snap nine game skid


Todd Nelson will look to steer the Oilers in the right direction as he takes over as head coach tonight when Edmonton plays host to the L.A. Kings.

Nelson had been working alongside general manager Craig MacTavish since the Dec. 15 firing of Dallas Eakins.

Since MacTavish took over, the Oilers have gone 0-3-2 and have not won in nine games overall.

Edmonton will have a couple new faces on the ice as well. Newly acquired forwards Derek Roy and Matt Fraser are expected to be in the lineup against the Kings.

Fraser, 24, was plucked off waivers by the Oilers from the Bruins on Monday. In 24 games this season, the Red Deer, Alberta native has three goals and seven penalty minutes to go along with a minus-5 rating.

Fraser skated on the right side of Leon Draisaitl and David Perron at the team’s morning skate.

Roy, who was acquired by Edmonton from Nashville in exchange for Mark Arcobello on Monday, skated between Nail Yakupov and Teddy Purcell.

The 31-year-old had a goal and nine helpers in 26 games with the Predators this season.

Both players are on expiring contracts.

Welcome Taylor Hall to the trade rumor mill


After firing head coach Dallas Eakins Monday, GM Craig MacTavish alluded to more changes coming within the organization.

“We’ve got to make changes. To think this is a coaching issue would be naive,” he said. “It’s deeper rooted than that and we have to get to the core of it.”

What might those changes include? Well according to hockey insider Darren Dreger, it could include trading Taylor Hall.

Dreger appeared on TSN Radio 1050 Monday afternoon and suggested Hall’s issues come not on the ice, but in the room.

It’s not one player. It’s the collection of players that make up a sagging work ethic and a lack of culture, but if you wanted to put a face on it or name to it, that’d be Taylor Hall. Taylor Hall, at least again from a culture standpoint, more in the room, not necessarily on the ice, hasn’t been what they hoped he would be.

When MacTavish looks into his crystal ball and tries to see what might come his way via trade, he’s got to be looking to the trade deadline and then beyond that obviously looking at the draft floor. Because if you’re moving a piece like Taylor Hall, and I believe Taylor Hall will be in play, then the rate of return is always best when teams have flexibility in the summer.

So what would MacTavish look for in return for Hall?

The needs of the Edmonton Oilers is vast. Age-sensitive, absolutely. Has to fit in that dynamic.

What you’re getting is what you need most, is that a young goalie? Probably. Is it a center? Is it a top-pairing defenseman? Any of the above.

Edmonton’s issues don’t lie only on the ice or behind the bench, as we alluded to last month, the Oilers’ draft history is rather atrocious.

Dreger mentioned Monday that changes to the Oilers’ scouting staff could be coming.

Organizationally, there’s going to be a lot more change coming here in the near future. That scouting department is going to implode, I believe. When you look beyond picking in the Top 10 of the first round, when you look at the players they haven’t found in other rounds and things like that, that comes back to the scouting and the fundamentals of a foundation of an NHL organization. There’s a lot of change to come.

Change isn’t going to happen at the general manager’s level, Kevin Lowe’s level and it’s not going to happen at Bob Nicholson’s level. It’s going to happen within scouting and additional assistant coach change.

Edmonton, who has just one win in its’ last 16, begins a new chapter Tuesday night when they visit the Arizona Coyotes, who are winless in their last nine on home ice.