It looks like two of the National Hockey League's struggling teams have let rival organizations know that they are open for business, or at the very least rival organizations smell blood in the water.
According to a breaking news report from The Fourth Period's Dennis Bernstein there are currently no fewer than 7 teams with at least one scout currently in Los Angeles this evening for the purpose of scouting the Sunday night match up between the Los Angeles Kings and the Edmonton Oilers. This heavy of a scouting presence, especially for a late night game on the West Coast, is an indication that there is something afoot but that shoudl come as little surprise given the state of the two teams playing tonight.
The Kings have already fired head John Stevens and replaced him veteran NHL head coach Willie Desjardins but that has seemingly done little to improve the fortunes of their team. In fact the Kings choked away a big game for Desjardins against his former team the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night with a late game mistake, arguably one of the worst losses for the Kings this season. The Kings already made a move this season trading forward Tanner Pearson to the Penguins in exchange for Carl Hagelin but Hagelin has already been injured and just about everyone is expecting some big moves from the Kings.
The Oilers find themselves with a better position in the standings but are currently in a similar boat to the Kings. They fired their head coach in Todd McLellan earlier this week and have since replaced with him with veteran head coach Ken Hitchcock. Although there were certainly those among the fan base who felt McLellan was an ineffective coach for the Oilers many lay the majority of the blame at the feet of general manager Peter Chiarelli. Chiarelli's trades of players like Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin have become the stuff of legend at this point, and not in a good way, and it seems like the Oilers general manager needs a big win on the trade front in order to justify keeping his job in Edmonton.
Any of the 7 teams involved could provide the solution for either of these teams and those 7 teams are the Tampa Bay Lightning, Minnesota Wild, Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, Colorado Avalanche, New York Islanders and Dallas Stars. The Lightning are the only team with multiple scouts at the game while every other franchise that was listed has just the 1.