Monday, December 22, 2008

NHL and Hockey Rumors for Dec 23, 2008

Edmonton Oilers coach Craig MacTavish has put forward Robert Nilsson in his doghouse by putting the Swedish forward as a healthy scratch for Monday's game against the Phoenix Coyotes. Nilsson was benched on Friday, and was called out in the Edmonton Sun by MacTavish. "I was expecting a lot more out of him," MacTavish told the paper. "He had a great opportunity playing with our best forward (Ales Hemsky) and he just didn't show enough urgency in his game for me. That's plagued him through his career so far, the complacency and the laissez-faire attitude in which he conducts himself and plays the game." Brochu's take: This method of calling out players in the media seemed to work for Dustin Penner, who has responded offensively. But will it work again? Nilsson's name could be in trade rumors if it doesn't work out.

According to the Puck-rakers blog on the Columbus Dispatch website, there appears to be a lot of indications that the Blue Jackets could be trading as soon as the NHL Christmas trade freeze ends December 27. Writer Tom Reed suggests that New York Islanders Doug Weight and Mike Comrie would be good fits, however, Comrie's $4 million salary might be too much for Columbus' liking. Brochu's take: Weight and Comrie look like targets for NHL teams arming for the playoffs.

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