NHL Rumor Mill – December 3, 2016

by | Dec 3, 2016 | Rumors | 40 comments

Should the Montreal Canadiens use Max Pacioretty as trade bait this season?

Should the Montreal Canadiens use Max Pacioretty as trade bait this season?

Latest on Max Pacioretty, John Tavares, Ryan Strome and more in your NHL rumor mill. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Brendan Kelly believes Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin must improve the club’s depth at center. There’s not much available, with Arizona’s Martin Hanzal perhaps the best of the bunch. Kelly decides to daydream a little and suggests the notion of New York Islanders center John Tavares in a Habs jersey.

“There is all kinds of media chatter that the New York Islanders star is potentially on the trading block given the Isles’ mediocre start and for some reason — most likely the invention of the Loafs-obsessed Toronto hockey media mob — the Maple Leafs are most frequently mentioned as a potential destination for Tavares.” Kelly proposes offering up Max Pacioretty and someone else as a sweetener. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear in mind that Kelly’s just engaging in a flight of fancy here. Tavares isn’t available. I haven’t seen or heard anything suggesting he’s on the trade block this season, just a lot of musings out of the Toronto media over whether the Isles’ struggles this season could give him second thoughts about re-signing with them.

If Tavares was available, Pacioretty would have to be the centerpiece of an offer, along with at least the Habs top prospect (Mikhail Sergachev), the Habs first-round pick in 2017 and another good young roster player. In other words, the asking price would far exceed what the Habs could comfortably afford. Anyway, the Isles would probably prefer Alex Galchenyuk, rather than Pacioretty, in the deal. 

But why pay a king’s ransom for Tavares? Far better to wait until July 1, 2018, when teams can pursue him via free agency. Sure, the Habs could lose out in the bidding, but at least they wouldn’t be gutting the roster for a player who could depart in a year. 

THE SCORE: Max Pacioretty is among six players “who should get ready to pack their bags”.  The Habs need to stabilize their blueline beyond Shea Weber, while the emergence of Alex Galchenyuk and Alexander Radulov makes Pacioretty expendable.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens must shore up their defensive depth, but they’re also struggling to score right now. Trading one of their few natural snipers to address that need doesn’t make sense right now. And while Pacioretty’s carrying a $4.5 million annual cap hit, that salary is still difficult to move at this time of the season, especially when 26 of the 30 NHL clubs carry $5 million or less in salary-cap space.

Other potential trade bait include Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop (perhaps by flipping him to the Dallas Stars), Pittsburgh Penguins netminder Marc-Andre Fleury, Arizona Coyotes center Martin Hanzal and Boston Bruins winger Ryan Spooner, while Edmonton Oilers right wing Jesse Puljujarvi should be sent to the AHL for the rest of the season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No real surprises here. 

THE PROVINCE: Jason Botchford recently noted New York Islanders forward Ryan Strome was recently a healthy scratch from two games. He asks if the Canucks should be interested, asking Canucks fans if they would do a Strome-for-Jake Virtanen swap. He also noted, however, Canucks GM Jim Benning recently said he doesn’t intend to trade Virtanen, who was demoted to their AHL affiliate in Utica over two weeks ago. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Strome’s been inconsistent, but he does have a 50-point season on his resume. Unlike Virtanen, he’s demonstrated that he can play decently at the NHL level. Then again, Strome’s recent struggles could be enough to scare off potential suitors. 

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators GM Pierre Dorion is working the phones seeking some forward depth after placing sidelined winger Bobby Ryan on injured reserve. 


  1. “Dorion is working the phones seeking some forward depth …” – euphemism for much ado about essentially nothing. Watch for Jagr to personally destroy them again tonight – if this guy could play 82 games against the Sens he’d have an 82-goal season.

    • Great prediction there. Haha

      Oh and I’ve been keeping an eye on Boroweicki and quite like him. Has your opinion changed.

    • yes

  2. Your dreaming in technicolor if you think the Habs would give up that much for Tavares. It’s ridiculous to suggest it

    • Hey, I’m not the guy who was dreaming up the Tavares to Montreal scenario. I was merely pointing out what it would cost the Habs to acquire him if Tavares was on the trade block. But he’s not. So it’s a moot point.

      • You’re right. It would at least cost Galchenyuk, 1st Rounder, Sergachev. The formula is youngish established star, 1st rounder, top prospect. You’re probably also right there would be need for something to be added on top of that, even though the price already is steep.

      • Better chance of the Habs’ Pacioretty being dealt to San Jose.

  3. So who’s Pacciorettis centre in NY if Taveres comes the other way? Strome or Chimera? Sure that’s a fantastic idea lol No one is trading the better forward who plays centre for a winger not sure the level of prospect really matters in a deal like that.It would have to start with Galchenyuk glad to see Toronto media are not the only day dreamers

  4. Dont see y the habs would move patch just cause radulov is having a decent season. Ur gna give away a 30 goal scorer to get a number 2 or 3 dman. Thats what picks and prospects are for to trade for higher rated depth players. Just my theory i guess. U dont trade what is u trade what MIGHT be.

  5. I would trade Patches in a second if the return was acceptable. Perimeter player, no toughness, although he seems to be trying a little more lately. DD would have to be part of the package. Ryan Strome???
    We HAVE to get better at 2C if we will go anywhere this year.

    • Meant, Dylan, not Ryan.

  6. Wow Tavares leaving for another Canadian team. Shocker? He isn’t going anywhere in a trade and honestly like Stamkos going to a Canadian team never happened Tavares isn’t either for several reasons. He loves the Islanders believe it or not. Secondly the owners have begun a search to strengthen the organization. 3rd, why leave for the Leafs when they haven’t won since 1967. Finally, the highest paid players play in the US. Have you seen the CAD dollar exchange rate. Tavares isn’t giving away money to play in Canada. Good luck paying an extra .35 on the dollar on a 10M US contract.

    • Players on Canadian teams get paid in U.S. dollars. Take off that stars and stripes and buy a little tact.

      • Don`t forget George, guys like Bobby Ryan, never gonna resign in Ottawa.

  7. Gotta say the Tavares to …. gets old. Not sure how much clearer he could have been this summer about wanting to stay with the Isles. I agree with Lyle that it would take a significant package to get JT out of the Isles even with Snow at the helm.

    Snow is not a great/good/average/only a bit below average GM but he has managed to sign a couple of remarkable contracts. Tavares and Hamonic are both incredible value on their current deals. Hard to see either of them being dealt before they get nearer the end of their deals.

  8. you always say 1967 for the leafs what about st Louis Philadelphia Vancouver Washington buffalo almost all the same time but have your fun

    • Flyers have been to the finals 8 times since ’67. Including 2 cups.
      Don’t ever compare them to the leafs.

      • Not that the Leafs have been good but not sure 2 Cups in 5 decades is worth getting all worked up over, 2 cups in 5 decades or 4 cups in 6 decades what’s the difference? Neither have been a dynasty in a while. Yes the Flyers have made the playoffs more the past decade which has been miserable for the Leafs but who cares. Cups matter, that’s the goal.

      • 8 finals vs 0 finals.
        You are proving your ignorance.

      • Make it sound like the Flyers won 2 cups the last 5 years lol

      • Making the finals counts as a great achievement. That alone is freaking hard to do.

      • I’m not big on presidents triphies either, 2nd place and consolation prizes don’t do it for me. Not something to brag about IMO. Hockey or any other sport or anything else for that matter who cares who came second? It has nothing to do with being a Leaf fan lol Who was second in the Super Bowl 5 years ago or in the World Series 10 years ago? Who won the Silver medal in the 100 m dash who cares? Gold star for effort I guess.

  9. You are an idiot.

  10. No what’s proving ignorance is comparing any expansion franchise to any original 6 IMO Leafs or not.There is probably a reason 5 of the 6 are the most valued and considering 2 of the top 3 Tor and MTL operate for the most part on a 25% weaker currency and still have around 30% more value as a franchise I’d say to hockey when you are comparing a team that’s been around since the late 60s to a 100 year old team is all you gotta say about being ignorant. Don’t get me wrong I like the Flyers in fact there are few teams I hate but people seem rediculos with some remarks….don’t ever speak them in the same breath or whatever bs lol give it a rest.

    • See above “you are an idiot “

      • Lol ok.

    • Shticky you do have the Leafs up on some strange pedestal. It’s harder to when the cup now than it was back in 67. One reason is due to the number of teams. Maki g the finals is a huge achievement all teams and fans should be proud of. When the leafs finally make it you will understand. I think your lack of experience with success as a fan whobcheers for a bad team has devalued it’s occurrence a little bit in your mind.

      • Who is putting teams on pedistals I’ve said they haven’t been good and miserable the past decade? Or the drama queen who says his team and the Leafs name shouldn’t be spoken in the same sentence
        because they have won 2 cups in 50 years….I get it yes it is harder to win cups and more teams blah blah blah I’m saying nether the Flyers or Leafs have been dynasty’s in a while. How many cups the Hawks have this decade the Bruins nearly had 2 the Kings have 2 Pens 2 how many cups the Devils and wings won over the past 20 or so years? 6 or 7 between them? …the only person holding a team on a pedistal is the guy yapping about the great expansion team that’s been around 5 decades and won 2 cups in its existence lol. Now if you mean do I hold original 6 teams in a higher regard than the rest of the league due to history? You bet I do

      • Should he as a Flyer fan not be able to say Flyers and Islanders in the same sentence the Islanders have double the cups in less time…is that blasphemy too? To mention the Flyers with that hallowed franchise that now plays in Brooklyn to 5000 fans a night? It’s crap 2 cups in 50 years none in nearly 40 4 cups in 60 none in 50 neither one is worth bragging about.

  11. Morgan Reilly the give away machine does it again

    • hasnt been a scratch how bout the “Ghost bear”? Or should “they not be mentioned in the same sentence”? Drama queen sounding person you lol

      • I guess it’s not fair to compare provorov and Reilly. As provorov is a 19 year old with 26 games. But I will.
        Provorov dominated the play today…while Reilly is looking like a solid bottom pair defensman.

      • Ya and I’m the idiot.

      • Have a good night man, might be tough for ya to understand but it’s only a game.

  12. The up and coming leafs are getting beat by the spiralling Canucks.
    Looks like the leafs are once again overrated by the media and the blind leaf fans.

    • The up and coming Leafs that finished dead last last year and that were not expected to make the playoffs are 4 points back of the Flyers with 2 games in hand who also are not in a playoff spot. lol seems like someone should be paying attention to their own team rather than yapping about how crappy another team is that’s on pace for very close to the same finish.

      • See above-You are an idiot

      • See above “ok” lol

  13. Loafs? Loafs!? It’s Loaves.

  14. Pacioretty for Tavares??? Pacioretty plus 1st rounder plus.


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