MacT time runs Lowe with Oil

BRUCE GARRIOCH

, Last Updated: 8:05 AM ET

In the desperate-times-call-for-desperate-measures category, the Edmonton Oilers could fire coach Craig MacTavish.

Though many believe that would be a huge mistake, the talk is president Kevin Lowe, who assembled this team before stepping down as GM in the summer, is rumoured to be headed behind the bench. That's hardly an upgrade from MacTavish, considered one of the NHL's best coaches.

Somebody might want to tell Lowe Doug MacLean went behind the Blue Jackets' bench when he was GM and is now working for Rogers Sportsnet.

THE MARIAN KIND

A Thrashers-Wild blockbuster could be in the works.

Denials will come from Thrashers GM Don Waddell and Wild counterpart Doug Risebrough (they always do), but the whisper around the NHL is those teams have been discussing a huge deal involving superstar forwards Marian Gaborik and Ilya Kovalchuk.

Risebrough has been shopping Gaborik all season, but it's been tough to find a taker because of his injury history.

The talk is the Thrashers might have an interest if they can get Gaborik signed to a long-term contract, but the asking price would be high.

There's a belief the sides have been talking about sending Gaborik and D Kim Johnsson to the Thrashers in exchange for Kovalchuk and RW Colby Armstrong.

It's believed Waddell was in Los Angeles last week to see the Wild play the Kings and Ducks.

CANUCKS GET OHLUND, TOO

The arrival of C Mats Sundin in Vancouver means D Mattias Ohlund will likely be staying with the Canucks, new deal or not.

There was a belief GM Mike Gillis might try to force Ohlund to waive his no-movement clause if he refuses to sign a new deal before becoming an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

That's not good news for the Senators. Ohlund has been Ottawa GM Bryan Murray's No. 1 target all season as he looks for a puck-moving defenceman.

Now with the arrival of the big Swede, it's doubtful Ohlund would accept a trade from a team that's suddenly a contender. It's believed Sundin will play with RW Pavol Demitra.

"Great move for Vancouver," said a league executive. "They get the best player available for free."

OFF THE GLASS

Lightning LW Jussi Jokinen cleared waivers yesterday. Jokinen was cut loose after the Bolts couldn't trade him ... Keep an eye on University of Denver C Tyler Bozak, who will be a UFA at the end of the NCAA season in March. Bozak, 22, a Regina native, has seven goals, 14 assists for 21 points in 18 games this season with the Pioneers and has received plenty of attention from NHL scouts.

AROUND THE BOARDS

Nothing is going right for the Lightning. While C Steven Stamkos was the consensus No. 1 pick in the 2008 draft, his struggles have left many wondering if the Bolts made the right choice. They could have selected the likes of promising d-men Drew Doughty (Los Angeles), Luke Schenn (Toronto) or Zach Bogosian (Atlanta). While Bogosian is getting ready to return from a broken leg, Doughty and Schenn have both been solid. And the Bolts have had plenty of problems on the blueline.


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