Latest on the Canadiens, Jets, Predators, Red Wings and more in your NHL rumor mill.
Latest on Subban and Weise.
SPORTSNET: A rumor claiming the Montreal Canadiens were gauging trade interest in defenseman P.K. Subban blew up via traditional and social media on Friday. TVA Sports’ Louis Jean cited an anonymous executive from a rival NHL team claiming Subban’s name had come up in the trade market. Jean, however, followed up by saying he wasn’t suggesting the Habs were in fact shopping Subban.
TSN: Darren Dreger dismissed the notion of the Canadiens trading Subban. “P.K Subban isn’t going anywhere. He’s not being shopped and the Habs aren’t calling around to see if there’s a market for the $9 million dollar star. And if calls are being received from rival GMs hoping to loot the train wreck that’s the Canadiens’ season, Marc Bergevin isn’t listening.”
SPORTSNET 960 (VIA TODAY’S SLAPSHOT): Elliotte Friedman believes the Canadiens, prior to re-signing Subban, thought about trading him, and also believes the Philadelphia Flyers made the best offer. He thinks the Habs ultimately decided they were better off with Subban. Friedman considers it “extremely unlikely” Subban is dealt before his no-trade clause kicks in on July 1.
TVA SPORTS: Louis Jean reports his sources claim there’s been no contract talks between the Habs and UFA winger Dale Weise. He believes Weise could be traded, claiming “several teams” are interested in him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Subban trade rumor has been widely dismissed among the punditry and knowledgeable hockey fans. I’m not blaming Jean, who merely reporting what he was told. Heck, even he doesn’t believe Subban will be traded.
There’s no way the Habs are shopping their best offensive player, who’s also one of the league’s elite defensemen. Yes, the Habs are in free fall and will miss the playoffs. Yes, it’s very disappointing, especially after their strong start to the season. But trading Subban simply creates more problems than it solves. The Habs won’t get a return that makes them a better team now or in the long run. Anyone making a pitch for Subban is simply hoping Canadiens management is sufficiently panicked to make a bad trade. If they make any deadline deals, it’ll be to shed pending UFAs like Weise.
Updates on the Jets, Predators, Red Wings and more.
SPORTSNET 960 (VIA TODAY’S SLAPSHOT): Elliotte Friedman reports the Florida Panthers have been linked to Winnipeg Jets left wing Andrew Ladd. He also believes the Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks “could be there.” He also believes clubs have interest in defenseman Jacob Trouba, who’s coming off his entry-level contract. Calgary Flames winger Jiri Hudler is another pending UFA Friedman believes could be on the move by the deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets’ asking price will ultimately determine Ladd’s destination. They’ll probably seek a return that helps them now and in the future. Given the Panthers’ depth in young forwards, they could be the best fit.
THE TENNESSEAN: Adam Vingan reports Nashville Predators GM David Poile said he’d be comfortable if he didn’t make any further trades before the deadline. However, he adds that he’ll continue calling around to see if he can find something that improves his club. Poile still considers the Predators’ production an issue, as it hasn’t significantly improved after acquiring center Ryan Johansen last month from the Columbus Blue Jackets.” It’s the depth scoring that could use a kickstart,” writes Vingan. “Forwards Craig Smith, Colin Wilson, Mike Fisher and Mike Ribeiro have combined for 31 goals this season after totaling 77 last season.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Poile will undoubtedly keep shopping for secondary scoring depth, but he’s obviously not going to be pressured into a bad deal. I think if he can swap out Smith or Wilson for a good rental player, he’ll consider it.
MLIVE.COM: In his latest mailbag segment, Ansar Khan says he doubts the Detroit Red Wings pursue a big-ticket free agent like Steven Stamkos this summer. He does feel they’ll explore the possibility of adding a decent-sized forward. “Andrew Ladd (Winnipeg), David Backes (St. Louis), Milan Lucic (Los Angeles) and Eric Staal (Carolina) are among those slated to hit the market.” Khan also doesn’t expect the Winnipeg Jets will be interested in a swap of goalie Jimmy Howard for netminder Ondrej Pavelec. While he believes the Calgary Flames could be on a short list of offseason trade destinations for Howard, the Wings could either have to pick up part of Howard’s salary or take on a contract the Flames no longer want.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some Wings fans are hoping Howard can be dealt at the trade deadline. Given his annual cap hit ($5.3 million) and three years left on his contract, I don’t see that move happening until maybe this summer.
TORONTO SUN: MIke Zeisberger has an NHL trade deadline rundown for the Eastern Conference.