It's December, but the heat is up in Ontario.
With the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators having lost by a combined score of 9-0 to the Edmonton Oilers and San Jose Sharks respectively, coaches Ron Wilson of the Leafs and Cory Clouston of the Senators are on the watch list.
Their general managers would like to make a deal to help out but are running into dead ends. The Senators have been linked to the Anaheim Ducks, potentially for some defensive help, with one scout suggesting veteran defenceman Paul Mara could be in play. However, scoring goals has been the Senators' problem.
The Philadelphia Flyers told Leafs GM Brian Burke, looking for help up front, they weren't interested in trading young James van Riemsdyk, Tim Panaccio of csnphilly.com reported.
Because it's not easy to make a deal, the sights get set on the guy behind the bench, although Burke said Wilson is safe.
"There aren't a lot of trades right now in the NHL," Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman said. "It's a difficult league to trade in, mainly because of the salary cap. Teams that have cap space don't have a lot money to spend. Teams that have the ability to spend money financially don't have a lot of cap space. It's a bit of a mismatch in terms of there being moves to be made."
And coaches cringe.
HEAR AND THERE: One of the things that makes Nashville coach Barry Trotz so successful: No fear in administering accountability. He demoted J.P. Dumont and Patric Hornqvist to the fourth line with Nick Spaling. Colin Wilson and Sergei Kostitsyn were the beneficiaries, moving up, and scored goals in a win over Columbus ... It remains to be seen if injured Red Wings forward Mike Modano will be able to resume his career. Modano's right wrist sustained tendon and nerve damage on Nov. 26 when sliced by the skate of Columbus' R. J. Umberger. Wings GM Ken Holland called it the most severe injury he has seen in his time with the Wings ... In Chicago, defencemen Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook were reunited heading into Friday's game against the Vancouver Canucks. They were split up to ease the workload on Keith, but the results weren't good.
THE BUZZ: Memo to future Canucks opponents. If you find yourself facing winger Alex Burrows and Daniel Sedin on a 2-on-1 and Burrows has the puck, he's going to pass. Burrows scored recently on a 2-on-1 using Sedin as a decoy, but he knows where his bread is buttered. "I don't think that's the right idea, to look off Danny and shoot the puck. I won't do that again." ... Canucks defenceman Kevin Bieksa has been the subject of numerous trade rumours and had his name linked to Tomas Fleischmann, who was dealt by the Caps to Colorado. "I think it's hilarious. It's funny how you guys keep throwing my name out there and I'm still standing here. I don't think I can comment on every rumour that's out there but certainly with this one I'm still here today and that's all I can say."
JUST SAYING: A big part of the Penguins' hot streak lately has been their outstanding penalty killing. They had killed off 32 consecutive short-handed situations before allowing a goal against Atlanta Thursday night. Even more remarkable is they have been doing it without their best penalty killer, Jordan Staal ... Sidelined by a broken hand after a broken foot, Staal is hoping to be back in time for the Winter Classic Jan. 1 ... Part of what you have to like about the Avs' Chris Stewart is the menace he brings to his game, but deciding to fight Minnesota's Kyle Brodziak? Just dumb. The kid has to learn he's now too valuable for that. He broke a pinky in the fight and is out for at least a month ... If you will allow my a personal moment: My business lost one of its truly respected voices when Jim Kelley lost his battle with pancreatic cancer. Jim was a man who did this job the way it should be done: Opinionated, but fair; thorough and, above all, respected. His willingness to help out those new to the hockey beat -- where many veterans are territorial or jealous -- will be the defining memory for a lot of people in this job. His was an example from which anyone in any walk of life could learn.
JUST WONDERING: The Red Wings are back on top (again) and Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg are putting on a show. What's the key to their chemistry? "If I hear someone yell in Swedish, it's him," Datsyuk said.
THE LAST WORD: "Unfortunately, that's the last time we see them this year." Nashville's Shane O'Brien after N.Y. Ranger Sean Avery speared (allegedly) Predator Cody Franson in the throat.