While teams can't qualify for the postseason in the league's first month, they certainly can dig a substantial hole. That's the situation surrounding the Edmonton Oilers at the moment and rumors are already starting to swirl.
Edmonton reportedly sent a scouting contingent of president Kevin Lowe, manager Craig MacTavish and adviser Mark Messier to Madison Square Garden to watch the Anaheim Ducks challenge the New York Rangers on Monday night, according to Larry Brooks of the New York Post.
The Rangers have also stumbled out of the starting gate but face far less daunting competition in the miserable Metropolitan Division. New York is only two points out of a playoff spot despite recording 12 points in 14 games. With a slew of injuries hampering the club's performance, opinions vary on what the true potential of the club is.
That's why Brooks believes it's still too early to determine if the Rangers would be interested in working out a deal with the Oilers. He writes that pending-unrestricted free agent Ales Hemsky could be a player of interest and included Nail Yakupov in the mix. Yakupov was at the center of trade speculation earlier this year after being a healthy scratch in consecutive contests. Hemsky was publicly placed on the block this offseason, but MacTavish couldn't find a suitor for his services.
New York manager Glen Sather has a connection to all three members of the Edmonton contingent, as he coached and managed the men when they were players with the Oilers.