The Edmonton Oilers have had a disappointing season, to say the least. There was a brief period before the New Year where it seemed like perhaps they were turning things around, but Saturday night's latest loss, 5-1 to the Dallas Stars, was just another indication that the organization is not at all where it should be after the excellent season they had in 2016-17.
They are currently 26th in the league with 39 points and well out of a playoff spot.
The sheer disappointment of this season's results over halfway through the year has spurred discussion that a major change is about to go down in the Oilers organization - whether that be in management, coaching, or on the roster.
Lyle Richardson of Spectors Hockey reported on a Hockey Night in Canada segment on Saturday night - discussing Nick Kypreos' rather ominous news story.
"Nick Kypreos reports there’s a buzz around the struggling Edmonton Oilers that there’s a feeling changes could be coming where it could cost somebody their job, though nothing’s imminent thus far. Kypreos said many people in the organization feel the shoe could drop between now and next Saturday. The Oilers suffered their seventh fourth-goal loss of the season by falling to the Dallas Stars 5-1 on Saturday."
That's some particularly interesting news. It didn't specify where the exact change would happen, but here are the possibilities.
Todd McLellan was hired after leaving the San Jose Sharks organization, and there was a lot of hope around that hire. He brought the team out of the dumps last season, but hasn't been able to find the solution this year, bringing the team back to square one, despite the bevy of bright young players it possesses.
He could have his job taken away from him - or perhaps one of his assistants.
Conversely, the popular decision would likely be to fire general manager Peter Chiarelli. He has a history of making poor trades - the Tyler Seguin deal back in his Boston Bruins days being the worst of them all. Trading Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson was met with a lot of mixed reactions - some understanding the deal, and others hating it, especially now that Hall is playing a huge role for the New Jersey Devils. And don't get anyone started on the Eberle-Stome deal.
It is widely believed, and hoped for, that Chiarelli gets the axe, and perhaps we see that this week.
The seemingly easier move would be to make a trade or 2, but who goes? Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has always been in the rumor mill, but he's been one of the few bright spots of this season, so is trading him really in the cards? Hard to tell.
Any way you shake it - something big is likely to happen in Edmonton, and soon.
It was discovered on Saturday that this is the first time since the end of the expansion era (1966-67) that a coach hasn't been fired before the midway mark of a full NHL season.
The Buffalo Sabres are having yet another horrid season, but Phil Housley won't be worrying about getting fired already.
Makes you think - is it just a matter of time before a coach is fired at this point? We've entered unprecedented territory here.