NHL Rumor Mill – October 12, 2017
Latest on the Canadiens plus updates on Kyle Turris and Griffin Reinhart in your NHL rumor mill.
FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites NHL insider Bob McKenzie’s appearance Wednesday on Montreal’s TSN 690 discussing the Canadiens’ salary-cap space. While they have room to pursue someone such as Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene ($6 million cap hit), he doesn’t think that’s a front-burner issue for the Habs or the Avs.
McKenzie doesn’t believe the Canadiens have the available assets to meet the Avalanche’s asking price for Duchene. He also points out that using up most of that cap room to address a short-term need could have long-term consequences when taking on a player who’s signed beyond this season.
TSN: Darren Dreger thinks it could be time for a change for struggling Canadiens forward Alex Galchenyuk. He’s recently been demoted to the fourth line and is vulnerable defensively. Dreger doesn’t know what the market could be for Galchenyuk right now but feels like the Habs might have to do something to retrieve an asset in return.
SPORTSNET: Eric Engels reports the Canadiens are trying to trade defenseman Mark Streit, who signed with the Habs this summer (one year, $700K) but has been disappointing thus far, appearing in just two games. Streit could also be pushed further to the periphery with the imminent return of David Schlemko. To make room for Schlemko, they could demote Victor Mete but that’s unlikely because Mete is playing well. If they return him to the OHL’s London Knights, he cannot be recalled unless it’s an emergency.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite the Canadiens 1-3-0 start and their offensive struggles, I don’t see general manager Marc Bergevin pulling the trigger on a major move right now, in part because he’s unlikely to find a suitable deal this early in the season. He likely prefers to remain patient and use that cap room later on in the season if required to plug holes in his roster. If the Canadiens overcome their slow start and regain their playoff contending form, Bergevin will likely use that cap room near the Feb. 26 trade deadline for one or two rental players.
Galchenyuk, a former 30-goal scorer, was thought to be trade bait last June and was linked to Duchene in the rumor mill but the Habs opted to re-sign him. I doubt he’s enough to land Duchene, but perhaps he could be swapped for another scoring forward later in the season if an opportunity arises. Unless he changes his style to suit coach Claude Julien, this season could be Galchenyuk’s last in Montreal.
Moving a 39-year-old defenseman who’s well past his prime won’t be easy. Streit carries an affordable contract but I don’t see any takers for his services. I can see him getting demoted.
Dorion is working with Turris camp on contract talks. “No panic,” says Dorion. Confident he can get something done. #Sens
— Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) October 11, 2017
EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples cites Sportsnet’s John Shannon suggesting Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Griffin Reinhart has no NHL trade value and would clear waivers if sent to the AHL. Shannon said Vegas GM George McPhee is still hoping to find a trade market for some of his excess players, which is why he hasn’t demoted them. They’re carrying nine blueliners and three of them – Reinhart, Brad Hunt and Jon Merrill – have yet to play.