NHL Rumors: Gary Bettman, Montreal Canadiens, Edmonton Oilers

GOOD MORNING AMERICA – 10/11/21 – NHL Comissioner Gary Bettman is a guest on Good Morning America, on Monday, October 11, 2021 on ABC. (Photo by Paula Lobo/ABC via Getty Images) GARY BETTMAN, TJ HOLMES

We have Wednesday’s NHL Rumors for you. This time we discuss Gary Bettman’s fate, the Montreal Canadiens goalie return, and the Edmonton Oilers goalie situation.

It May Be Time For NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman To Retire

Rumor: Per Allan Walsh, sports agent/lawyer. It seems per Walsh that many NHL owners are unhappy with Bettman’s leadership. He cites the way Gary Bettman is mishandling the Chicago Blackhawks situation as an example. He also describes Bettman’s refusal to acknowledge a link between traumatic brain injury to CTE. Walsh suggests it’s time for Bettman to go.

Analysis: There’s no doubt that Bettman is stuck between a rock and a hard place. The owners pretty much dictate his future. If they see fit to have him replaced, he will be gone. Bettman who is 68-years-old, has been the NHL Commissioner since February 1, 1993. It seems he may have worn out his welcome.

Here’s Walsh’s description of why Bettman’s days should be numbered:

Montreal Canadiens – Carey Price Return

Per TSN Hockey. The Montreal Canadiens head coach Dominque Ducharme announced that Carey Price is expected to leave the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program after the 30-day mark, which means he will eligible on November 6th. Ducharme did however mention that he does not have an exact date for Price to return to play.

Analysis: The Canadiens have obviously gotten off to the slowest start since 1941 causing a stir of NHL rumors. Their 2-8 record leaves a lot to be desired. Having Price to return would be a shine of light to an otherwise dismal start of the season. The Habs have issues with their center-ice position since they lost Phillip Danault and Jesperi Kotkaniemi. They did acquire Christian Dvorak, but he has only four points in 10 games.

If nothing else, the return of their leading goaltender has got to inspire better results on the ice. It is also still unknown how much time Price will need to get ready for game action once again.

The other factor is that Price is most assuredly interested in making up for what he described as a poor performance in the Stanley Cup Final last season. What is known is that his team will welcome him back with enthusiasm and hopes of winning more games.

Edmonton Oilers – Goalie Sitution

Rumor: Per Lyle Richardson – (via Daniel Nugent-Bowman – the Athletic) Will the Edmonton Oilers stick with their goalie tandem of Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen or look to upgrade at that position?

Analysis: Holland still believes in his goaltending. However, Nugent-Bowman pointed out the Oilers GM tried to sign Jacob Markstrom in 2020 and also tried to acquire Darcy Kuemper from the Arizona Coyotes before the Colorado Avalanche got him. This may mean that Holland could consider an upgrade.

When you factor in Smith’s age of 39 and the chances of additional injuries, The Oilers are doing well this season sporting a 7-1 record. Yet, the uncertainty of Smith staying healthy has to haunt Edmonton fans.
If Holland loses faith in his goaltending, he could possibly look into acquiring either Marc-Andre Fleury or John Gibson. Both would cost him some money to sign.

Gibson is signed until the 2026-27 season at $6.4 million average annual value. Fleury seems to want to get out of the madness hitting the Blackhawks’ organization. He has a current cap hit of $7 million and will turn 37 later this month.

For now, it seems the Oilers will stand pat in net. We’ll see how that turns out. Be sure to stay tuned to NHL rumors right here at Championship Sports Media for all the details.

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