NHL Rumor Mill – November 1, 2017
Speculation over the Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators & Edmonton Oilers in your NHL rumor mill.
FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites NHL insider Darren Dreger telling Montreal TSN 690 he found it curious so many high profile members of New York Rangers management (including president Glen Sather and assistant general manager Jim Schoenfeld) took in Monday’s game in Ottawa between the Senators and Montreal Canadiens. He believes the Rangers “are definitely interested in doing something. Whatever that something is, I think they’re pretty wide open for business.”
Dreger also notes Senators GM Pierre Dorion was in Brooklyn the same evening scouting the NY Islanders and Vegas Golden Knights. He also feels the Canadiens, despite their recent improvement, still haven’t suitably replaced the absence of Andrei Markov from their blueline.
Nichols also cites Dreger’s colleague Pierre LeBrun appearance on Vancouver’s TSN 1040, during which he was asked which NHL GMs are making the most calls for trades right now. He believes the Rangers’ Jeff Gorton, the Canadiens’ Marc Bergevin and the Senators’ Dorion could be the most active. He notes how banged-up the Senators are at forward.
Meanwhile, Elliotte Friedman appeared on Vancouver’s Sportsnet 650 noting the Canadiens, Rangers and Edmonton Oilers have been busy shopping around for help. He believes the Habs’ Bergevin hasn’t found anything worthwhile and is now putting the focus on improvement from within. He notes the Oilers’ Peter Chiarelli has some balls in the air, including gauging interest in winger Jussi Jokinen and perhaps calling up young winger Jesse Puljujarvi.
As for the Rangers, he doesn’t think they want to tear it down but hope to add young pieces. He expects veteran winger Rick Nash, who’s eligible next summer for unrestricted free agency, could be dealt later this season. He also thinks they will get a lot of questions about winger Chris Kreider.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers may be “open for business” but they’re probably not finding many trade partners willing to make a deal that could immediately improve their roster. Given their concerns at center and on defense, I doubt they’ll find any help from the Habs in that regard. Same goes for the Sens, who could use some healthy bodies at forward. Given Nash’s expensive salary, I think the earliest he could be dealt is in the new year, likely close to the Feb. 26 trade deadline.
Canadiens GM Bergevin last week claimed he’s not giving up on Galchenyuk, but he’s the same guy who last year said he wasn’t trading P.K. Subban. If he gets a solid offer for Galchenyuk, I think he’ll pull the trigger.
The Oilers need scoring depth at right wing and more help on the blueline. Dangling a fading veteran such as Jokinen won’t bring in a return that addresses either need.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks believes the “sensible takeaway” for the Rangers scouting the Canadiens-Senators game was doing due diligence on Habs forward Alex Galchenyuk. He also said the Blueshirts are known to like Montreal forward Andrew Shaw. While the narrative out of Montreal claims the Rangers will do anything to land Habs captain Max Pacioretty but wonders why, citing Pacioretty’s poor performance in last spring’s playoff series between the two clubs.
Brooks cites sources saying Kreider and J.T. Miller aren’t on the trade table. He wonders if the Habs would want winger Mats Zuccarello or perhaps defenseman Brady Skjei.
TVA SPORTS: Renaud Lavoie and Danny Dube don’t like the idea of the Canadiens trading Shaw. Dube points out the chemistry Shaw’s built with center Phillip Danault. He feels moving the winger could upset that line’s stability.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think the Rangers are seriously interested in one or two players on the Canadiens. Galchenyuk and Shaw could be the obvious targets. But with Galchenyuk showing improvement of late despite skating on the fourth line and Shaw playing well with Danault and Pacioretty on the second line, Bergevin could be reluctant to move them right now. Of course, it depends on what the Rangers are willing to part with.