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.