Latest on the Canadiens and Devils – February 6, 2017

by | Feb 6, 2017 | Rumors | 67 comments

Could the Montreal Canadiens pursue Arizona Coyotes center Martin Hanzal?

The Canadiens need for a center and musing over the New Jersey Devils pursuing Kevin Shattenkirk in your NHL rumor mill. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Jack Todd observes the Montreal Canadiens lack of depth at center could affect their hopes for a long playoff run this spring. He notes that Alex Galchenyuk’s been injured, Tomas Plekanec is showing the miles, David Desharnais is a “perpetual whipping boy for anglo fans” and Torrey Mitchell is their most consistent faceoff man.

The best available center is Matt Duchene of the Colorado Avalanche. Given the reported asking price of a top-four defenseman, a first-round pick and a top prospect, Todd speculates defenseman Nathan Beaulieu would have to be part of the return.

A more affordable option is Martin Hanzal of the Arizona Coyotes, though it could cost the Habs big young center Michael McCarron. If Galchenyuk can regain his scoring touch, Todd suggests pursuing a scoring center might not be necessary. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens would be very lucky to get Duchene with Beaulieu as the centerpiece of the deal.  I don’t see the Avalanche agreeing to that offer.  

It could cost McCarron to get Hanzal right now, but if Habs management is patient, they might be able to get him for a lower price. Still, there’s rumored to be 10 teams interested in Hanzal, so maybe that price won’t drop by much come deadline day.

NJ.COM: Chris Ryan wonders if the New Jersey Devils could be a suitor for St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. He cites an NHL scout claiming Shattenkirk would be an upgrade for the Devils, especially on the power play.

Devils GM Ray Shero has said he’s not interested in rental players, but Ryan wonders if a sign-and-trade scenario is possible.The scout suggests it would cost the Devils more in that situation, perhaps a defenseman and either a draft pick or a good young prospect. He also speculates a playoff-bound club, such as the New York Rangers, might be a more likely destination. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The only way this works for the Devils is if they can get assurances from Shattenkirk that he’ll re-sign with them. Otherwise, they’re wasting assets on a player who could bolt in July via free agency. His preference could be to join a playoff contender. Perhaps the best option for the Devils, who have a lot of salary-cap space (over $21 million) next season, is wait until the free-agent market opens in July and attempt to land Shattenkirk then. 


  1. Caper, re the TOR-BOS game you were expecting a comment on yesterday. Sure, it was an emotional rollercoaster of a game, but I think your fanbase is taking the result a bit more seriously than we are.

    Leaf fans are playing with found money at this point – the team is vastly outperforming reasonable expectations. On top of that, we have a way more talented group of young players in Matthews, Marner and Nylander than we’ve seen in decades.

    That they have gotten lit up for at least 5 goals in each of the last few games is not surprising; what was surprising was how well Andersen played from Nov-Jan and how weak the division was, putting us in a playoff spot on pts%.

    I still expect with the games tightening up down the stretch, especially through the neutral zone, the Leafs reliance on stretch passes for offense will hurt them. The D’s inability to create breakouts is also going to hurt under tighter forechecking.

    If we get to the deadline as sellers, I’ll still be counting our blessings for the luck we’ve had. The offseason and possibly the deadline after that when JVR, Bozak, Komarov would be traded if not before will be the interesting periods to watch.

    Here’s the minimum amount of change I expect to see in our top nine:

    Hyman – Matthews – Marner
    Shoshnikov – Nylander – Kapanen
    Leipsic – Kadri – Brown

    • What did this story have to do with the Leafs again?

      • I was wondering the same thing. Lyle, i love your site, but you leafs fans are way to over whelming. We need to create a couple days a week that are leaf free days less they are legitimately making waves.

        Its sad how everyone over values their players on here. Zip it and wait for the entry draft and deadline boys then you guys get the spotlight!

        Not to be rude, but you guys are way to much most days.

      • could you name who you mean by ‘you guys?’
        Let’s keep your comment as a response to the people you can actually pin point and name.

      • Was thinking the same thing…it’s one person that regularly does this let’s call it for what it is.

      • If you read the first sentence of Dan39’s post he was addressing someone in particular regarding a post yesterday.
        Not really a big deal and why shouldn’t he be able to do that?
        And as far as going after Leaf fans; if you don’t like their threads, don’t comment on them and comment on the ones you want to.
        Over whelming?

      • Caper was asking why I didn’t comment yesterday. Didn’t have time so commenting today.

        You don’t like my post, don’t read it. You don’t have to read all the posts. I normally don’t read certain posters, for example. It’s not hard.

      • Perhaps Lyle should start a second site
        “All Leafs – All The Time”

      • Talk about what ever you wish. Join the conversation on that topic or not. I’m not a Toronto fan but as we have discussed the majority of followers that post here are Leafs fans. Several Bruins fans; myself included, a few Senators fans, a couple Rangers fans, Edm fans, Flyers fans, etc.

        All good.

      • Twin… I don’t mind the Leafs fans using this forum to discuss their team… only two teams in the article… could make for a boring thread otherwise. I do object to the Leafs fans ever having the nerve to portray themselves as persecuted… as the easily outnumber every other fan on this and most sites.

      • And a pens fan striker… duh.

        and Dan… not kidding anybody… your too invested in this to not read peoples comments… not comment back sure… but you read em. 😉

      • Hey now Striker, there’s at least one Isles fan here still getting kicked around by Snow 🙂

    • I made a comment to Dan39 yesterday in regards to the Bos-Tor game which he is replying today. Dan that was a very respectable reply, I was wanting a dig and didn’t get it. That in itself was about a dig, it was almost like a pity comment.

      • No dig required. I think your fanbase knows where the issues are and they were mostly on display in that game.

        All but one of the goals from the top line so almost no secondary offense? And goaltending depth/burning your starter without a decent backup.

        Not going to happen in Division I guess, but the Bruins could actually really use JVR in place of Vatrano on that 2nd line to give Krejci someone to feed. Plenty of D pieces to return.

  2. Galchenyuk was a point a game centering the top line before he was injured.

    Now they have him playing wing on the 3rd line and are supposedly needing another center?

    Really don’t get the coaches logic here.

    • Temporary for now. He came back from injury at the second line and making some poor decisions with the puck. He’ll be back on the top line soon.
      The habs have an issue with their 2nd line center – pleks and DD aren’t up to the task IMO

  3. Vanek and Boyle would be 2 very good rental moves MTL could make to go deep in the playoffs.

    • Vanek worked out pretty well for Montreal last time around (5G 5A in 17 playoff games), you know the Red Wings are looking to offload him. Maybe they can add a little playoff insurance for a couple picks and a B prospect?

    • No matter what gets said about Desharnais, the fact remains he’s been a healthy scratch more than once this season. IMHO it is in Bergevin’s best interest to leave Plekanec exposed to Vegas and not resign Desharnais. With guys like McCarron and Sherbak in the wings, the future could be here now.

  4. Guys, let’s try to keep the thread on topic here, OK? Let’s not get into fingerpointing or singling folks out for who’s at fault. Let’s not hijack the thread if it doesn’t have anything to do with your team.

    • Lyle, I can respect that; however, sometimes people make a comment or ask a question later in the day or they were not on the site that day, which get replied to in the next day comments. Nothing more or less. No hijacking intended.

      • Go reply where the question was asked, that comment section is still open.

        Commenting off topic here seems, self-indulgent.

        As to the actual topic at hand, the Canadiens getting Hanzal helps not just their NHL level centre depth, but also their lack of size. Hanzal might not be the most physical, but he’s a big body that can protect the puck, and battle with strength.

    • But Lyle… the Leafs… Nylander… but… but…



      • Brian pretty simple don’t like it don’t read it. I skip comments on here at a regular bases because they don’t interest me. Not hard to do.

  5. Hanzal certainly belongs in the “most over rated” list. he is okay-ish when on the ice, but he spends a lot of time hurt. However, he seems to be discussed as very good when on the ice, and his time off the ice is typically ignored.

    You can have him.

  6. They want whattttttt for duchene? Get real!
    Well, i suppose you dont ask you dont get!

  7. May be the Habs should consider Bozak. They could probably get him for a second or a good prospect and he is just as good or better than Hanzal? It gives them another second line centre and opens a spot for Nylander at centre. Leafs might even keep some money?

    • No difference between bozak and desharnais, both terrible defensively and solid offensively

    • No talking about Leafs!

      • @G2 Montreal needs a centre and you’re saying that they can’t consider anyone from Toronto

  8. While I completely agree that the Habs need offensive help, I’m not convinced it needs to be a center as much as simply a true top 6 forward.

    Problem seems a combination of Coaching – implementation of players currently and then the lack of offensive firepower.

    I think a Coaching Change could be as effective or more than a trade, but don’t see this GM doing so.

    Gallagher eventually comes back which helps, but I’m not convinced he still has the shot he used to after multiple injuries to the same hand.

  9. “cites an NHL scout claiming Shattenkirk would be an upgrade for the Devils”

    You don’t need to be an NHL scout to know that Shattenkirk, let alone most NHL defensemen, would be an upgrade for the Devils 🙂

    • Haha, I thought starting to read you would say that he upgrades most teams. Ouch! 🙂
      Maybe play Hall as their D? :O

  10. Full disclosure, I suck at evaluating goaltending prospects. That said, do you think Beaulieu,a 1st and either Lindgren or Fucale would be of interest at all to the Avs for Duchene? Maybe add is 2nd next year? Maybe a better target for the Habs is Filpua for Desharnais. Desharnais is a free agent while Filpula makes 5 mill next year. even if TB retains a mill they are up 4mill to resign Drouin etc. Filpula has better playoff numbers than DD which is where they need people to step up. Just a couple thoughts.
    Oh, and I have been a critic of Therien before but credit where it is due, he has done really well this year….

    • From what I’ve read mcniven and lindgren are the goalies most likely to be traded. Got to see mcniven live a couple times, he is really turning heads around the ohl the scouts are watching him

    • no.

      Sergachev, 1st, DD or Plect to help out habs would be appropriate.

      sounds like a lot… but habs have a shot and dusch isn’t a rental.. sometimes you have to go for it.

      • Doesn’t sound like a lot to me. As a matter of fact if they made that trade for Duchene I would fire the GM. Sergachev may make a decent d-man, but DD is not all that good and Plecanec is on the downward side of his career. And the 1st rounder would be in a down year for top end talent.

      • This isn’t landing Duchene, I bet about 10 teams can beat that proposal including the habs

    • I get the sense that Fucale’s star isn’t shining all that brightly at the moment. There are times when he can’t stop Fuc all eh. It’s almost impossible to tell with goalies. Some seem brilliant then tank, others struggle then blossom. They seem incredibly dependant on both their mental state and the system played in front of them for the most part.

      • Isn’t Fucale the backup in Brampton now, not much value right now

      • Yogi, you are right that he is in Brampton but he didwell at thr Spengler Cup and he is in Brampton to play #1 minutes rather than be #2 to Lindgren in the AHL, I believe. So more value than you give him but your point is well made.
        No way Sergachev should be traded.
        DD for Filpula anyone?

  11. I have a tough time coming up with a “Shattenkirk to New Jersey trade”–would it be an Adam Henrique + pick/prospect kind of deal?? Are there some top prospect names that I should check into? I also don’t think Shatty would sign long-term deal–just rental.

    • I’m a huge Devils fan but even I have to say we would have to overpay to land a Shattenkirk type of player. 7 years, $50 mil might get it done, and the only realistic way this happens at the deadline is a sign and trade. Our prospect base is thin, so I’m thinking we would have to do a package along the lines of Pavel Zacha,Steve Santini,John Quenneville and the second-rounder we acquired from Boston.

    • Everyone wants Shattenkirk…he is a power play start but barely a top 4 pairing dman… And for the price he will be asking in his free agent contract $7 million per No thanks….

      Brett Burns, Drew Doughty. Kris Letang, Shea Weber, P.K. Subban okthen not Shattenkirk…he isn’t the best d-man on his own team.

    • DD for Filpula?

      DD “is the perennial whipping boy for anglo fans” should read DD is slow, undersized aging and virtually untradeable.

      Even the French media are discussing how he really no longer has a place on the team.

      For those outside of Mtl, Jack Todd is a bit of a clot.

      And I am not an “anglo”.

      Which isn’t to say that DD might not make another team, but they’re not giving up assets to get him.
      If he is involved in a trade, dollars to doughnuts it will be to balance salary.

      As to Filpula – not doable imo.
      He is having a bad year, I get it, but he has a NMC which means he has to be protected re Expansion.
      He is also $5 million for another year which means difficulty signing Radulov, Galchenyuk, Beaulieu and also picking up another Center at the end of this year.
      Who I believe will be Shipachyov.

      I’m thinking the Habs will NOT trade for Hanzal, but for a lower key but big useful Center.
      Like Grigorenko or Colborne.

  12. Bozak wins face-offs. He could also be turned into an asset at the draft?

    Maybe Sergachev, Beaulieu, and Fucale (or another goalie in their system) for Duchene and Mitchell? If Avs want a first round pick then they will have to send a second back and keep some money. There is a limit to what a team pays.

    NJ should not give up assets for Shattenkirk. They are far enough from contending that it is better go after him in free agency.

    I am amazed the guy TO just picked up by TO didn’t get picked up by the Avs or Coyotes? If not him Corrado especially when his analytics are pretty good even though it is a small sample. Don’t understand why teams will pass on a guy on waivers then he gets traded later.

    • Bozak wins faceoffs and puts up decent 2nd line production. 33 pts this year in 47 gp…

      Hey BigBruin, that’s a bit better than David Krejci production (34 pts in 55 gp) without the $7.25 cap hit!

      I think Bozak will get moved to make way for Nylander at C. Not sure that happens this offseaosn or next – Nylander still needs to develop his faceoffs, in particular.

      • Anyone gm would take krejci over bozak quit talking stupid

      • Most wouldn’t because of cost… injury history etc. yins are stuck with that bozo

      • On ice play krejci all the way

      • Krejci is a 7.25 million dollar 2nd line player on a team that might not make the playoffs, Im not so sure about that bbb…I don’t like Bozak either but he only makes 4.25 and 3 million bucks less for a second line player who is doing pretty much the same thing seems like a lot of reasons to doubt what you’re saying. You don’t think NHL GMs think about cap hits? I’m sure there are lots of players that some GMs like more than others based on how they play but you’re on crack if you don’t think that they don’t consider the cost of the guys contract. Im sure lots would like to take Toews Getzlaf or Stamkos over Bozak on the 2nd line too but…

      • Read it ” on ice play” do you have to respond every time someone says something about a leaf player? Kinda childish

      • Talking to me or Chris? seems like we are both saying the same thing.

      • in his not maimed prime maybe. Hell I’d take stepan over krejic given the choice ?

      • You two are telling me you would take bozak on the ice over krejci?? Lmfao geeze

      • Im saying not many teams would love the idea of a 2nd line centre having 7 mill + cap hit and it’s a fact of life in the NHL that players contracts are pretty much just as important as on ice play. Sure there are lots of guys I’d rather have than Bozak but not if they cost twice as much to do the same thing. I don’t want a centre on a second line that’s struggling that costs 3 million dollars more than the second line centre who is on a line that is playing good. Take the names off the jersey I’ll take the guy who is having a better year that cost less. Why would I rather pay more for a player who isn’t playing well?

      • What’s it been 2 hip surgery? a knee wrist…and just 4 more years of 7.25 mill for a guy who is 30? Ya no thanks I’ll pass can’t figure out why 29 other GMs aren’t beating down Sweeny’s door for that like I said I don’t even like Bozak but I’ll take 1more year of 4.25 over the gimpy 2nd line C who likely might never be the same player making that kind of money. Dave Bolland had a good year or 2 too but…

      • On the ice!! Bozak isn’t even in the same league as krejci? All you look at is points so much more to the game

  13. We’ve heard a number of comments that most of the contenders don’t want a sign and trade with Shattenkirk because they think his value won’t be there long term. They view him as a 2nd pairing guy who wants first pairing or #1 d man money. If I’m the Devils I wait for free agency for the guy rather than giving up future assets for something I might be able to buy for just cash down the road.

    I suspect that getting him to agree to a contract now would also give Shatty a lot more leverage than he’ll have when free agency comes with a flat cap and most teams simply can’t afford or won’t pay his asking price. The Devils may actually also end up saving some cash and cap space if they wait.

    Lets be honest here. Even if they wait and lose out, Shatty isn’t the piece that’s going to fix them, particularly if he ends up getting 7 mil per.

    • The 7m/y for Shattenkirk is a crazy over-valuing imo. Not saying he won’t get it – but like with many contracts, it will look kinda bad 10 games in. 5.2-5.5 should be a max for that type of asset imo. He is a second pairing guy, i would say 4,5 is a solid contract. Maybe he should be able to put food on his table on a salary like that? :p
      So many contracts today just handicap teams, don’t understand why gm’s keeps signing them! The list is long now and most teams have one or several really awful contracts that would be decent had the cap risen with 10m/y or more, but that don’t seems likely!

    • Ya Styx, we logically say that every year… and then Yandle signs for an AAV of $6.35 for 7 years. He is also primarily an offensive D Man and 2 years older.
      I am guessing it will be similar if not more, somebody will pay.

      • Ya someone will pay for sure.

  14. if the Blues continue to slide Bergevin should inquire about Patrik Berglund

    • A year ago Blues fans would have given Berglund to Montreal for a bag of sticks. This year he would cost a bit more—but I agree that he would bring some size and versatility. Is he worth a #1?

  15. I get very frustrated reading this site. Nothing ever happens. Let’s get some trades rolling boys. Let’s get some trades rolling.

    • Tell that to the general managers.