Latest on the Canadiens, Sabres & Islanders – February 10, 2017

by | Feb 10, 2017 | Rumors | 62 comments

Speculation continues to link Arizona Coyotes center Martin Hanzal to the Montreal Canadiens.

The trade needs of the Montreal Canadiens, the Buffalo Sabres sell-high dilemma with Evander Kane and possible moves by the New York Islanders in your NHL rumor mill. 

FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites NHL insider Darren Dreger telling Montreal’s TSN 690 he believes Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin has been shopping around for help for his struggling club. The Canadiens need help at center, which explains why they’ve been linked to Arizona’s Martin Hanzal, Colorado’s Matt Duchene and Tampa Bay’s Brian Boyle.

Dreger also said it’s widely known Bergevin is still seeking blueline depth despite the recent addition of Nikita Nesterov from the Lightning. He doesn’t think the Habs recent recall of big center Michael McCarron was done to showcase him for a trade, but rather to give him a second look. He also feels the Canadiens are only a piece or two away from being a prime Stanley Cup contender. 

SPORTSNET’s Elliotte Friedman believes the Canadiens are “going to be in for the biggest fish” in the trade market leading up to the March 1 deadline. He claims they’ve had conversations with Arizona regarding Hanzal but the asking price is McCarron, a first-rounder and another conditional draft pick. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fortunately for Bergevin, his team isn’t in any danger of falling out of playoff contention before the trade deadline, so he’s not feeling the pressure that he would if his club was on the postseason bubble. I believe he’ll wait until deadline day for the price to go down on the best available options and make his move then. I don’t see him landing Duchene because the Avalanche will likely wait until this summer for the trade market to open up.

That leaves Hanzal and Boyle, and I think the latter is the better option. He’s also a big-bodied forward (6’6″, 244 lbs), but unlike Hanzal doesn’t have a long history of injuries. Their point production is comparable (19), but the versatile Boyle can also skate on the wing and plays with more of a physical edge. He would also be more affordable to acquire and has considerably more playoff experience than Hanzal. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Mike Harrington reports the Sabres face a dilemma with left wing Evander Kane, who leads the league since Dec. 3 in even-strength goals with 14. He wonders if they’ll stick with Kane as a core player going forward or try to sell high near the trade deadline in hopes of landing a top-four defenseman. Harrington acknowledges Kane’s off-ice issues last summer, but GM Tim Murray said they’ve worked through that and continue to work with him. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: On talent alone and with only a year left on his contract, I think there would be serious interest in Kane near the trade deadline. Perhaps teams in need of scoring depth at left wing are keeping tabs on him. However, it’s the off-ice baggage that remains a serious sticking point. 

NEWSDAY: In a recent mailbag segment, Arthur Staple said the only real rental player the New York Islanders have is goaltender Jaroslav Halak, who’d be on the trade block regardless of the club’s record. If they go into sell mode by the trade deadline, he doesn’t believe they’d get much back for forward Ryan Strome and doesn’t see teams beating down the door for pending UFA defenseman Dennis Seidenberg. He speculates blueliner Calvin de Haan could become expendable if the Isles see progress from Adam Pelech and believe Ryan Pulock can be a regular down the stretch. 

Staple feels they have interest in Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene but the cost would be steep. He also doubts they’ll bring back Thomas Vanek for another go-around. He thinks GM Garth Snow would prefer adding someone to anchor their second-line scoring.

Staple also said he hasn’t heard anything about the Isles shopping blueliner Travis Hamonic, but feels it’s not a 100 percent no anymore. He doesn’t see Hamonic moved by the deadline but the offseason could be another story. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Isles maintain their current level of performance, Snow won’t be selling. Indeed, he could become a buyer, but he won’t overpay to do so. 


  1. The amount of teams interested in dusch should keep price high though not the ransom Salic is asking. If he is moving dusch he should go full rebuild and go for young players picks etc. Landy dusch Barrie all likely include a first with other assets. They could run out 4 1st round picks and other prospects. They could aim to get those 1sts in mcdavid or Mathews contract year to try an offer sheet as well.

    • That’s aggressive…. And not going to happen.

    • Offer sheet McDavid or Matthews? What? Put down the Playstation controller

      • That’s funny!

    • In recent years they’ve had teams with Mackinnon, Duchene, Stastny and O’Reilly. I don’t think that centers have been the issue. I don’t think they should be thinking Mcdavid or Mathews. They should be thinking of building a better defense around guys like Mackinnon and Duchene.

    • No one will get an opportunity to offer sheet McDavid or Mathews. They will be signed to long term deals before they get to RFA status.

      • Oilers should pick up Franson from Buf for 2nd pick.
        And Brodin from Minny
        for Pitlick and Pouliot.

    • You can’t offer sheet McDavid or Matthews, they’re not set to become RFA’s! And to get either or, Colorado would have to give up a kings ransom, because Matthews and McDavid are their future and one of the best in the League at 19 years old. You can’t afford them!!!

    • Love it. I don’t think they will be offer sheeted… just speculating… but any leaf or oil fan thinks they don’t get 8-10 mil right off the bat gonna be shocked… they allowed to hit Rfa they lokely will get sheeted…. many teams would trade 4 1sts for mcdavid and likely mathews

      • I think anyone who knows hockey believe Matthews and McDavid will both be getting ridiculous money when the time comes.

    • Rantanen and Duchene + 2nd for RNH, Nurse + 1st and 3rd

    • LOL! McDavid and Matthew’s will have contracts before game 1 of their 3rd season.

  2. Someone seriously needs to rescue MacKinnon and get him out of Colorado. Yes they can build around him but I don’t think Sakic and the powers above him have a clue what they are doing. That team is just brutal beyond their three good forwards and two defensemen.

    • I beg to differ. Rantanen is a stud & Zadarov soon will be.

      Rebuild, Colorado is in a rebuild. Duchene is 26, Landeskog 24, Grigorenko 22, McKinnon 21, Rantanen 20, on D Barrie is 25, Zadarov 21 at G Pickard 24.

      The old part of the future core is Johnson at 28.

      They have soild prospects accross the board. Colorado has 1 of the worst D’s in the entire NHL no depth beyond 5 forwards. This is a rebuild & Colorado is just completeing year 2 or 3 of it but due the the rediculous 2 headed monster that existed with Sakic & Roy you could say it started last summer.

    • A REAL interesting suggestion…I think Pittsburgh could be a GREAT landing place for McKinnon if there is a deal to be struck…here is 2 deals that would be fair and interesting to all teams involved. IMO



      first rounder 2017



      Fucale (Learn from Fleury) They have similar styles
      1st Rounder 2017

      This helps Avs in the net with a true cup winning goalie to help anchor the team for the next few years while they retool….as well as gives them a #1 Franchise Center back, an up and coming D man and winger for the top pairings as well as a top pick in this years draft take another D man ..clears out Varlamov and Beauchmins contract but gives Pens experience upfront and on the back end for the next 2 years for multiple cup runs..
      Iginla signs for a 1 year deal at $4 million ….

      this could be a great starting NEW MIX for what ever they get for Duchene …

      I would then retain Landeskog to play with Malkin on the top line.

      Just a suggestion ..not playing EA sports

      Malkin has always flourished when he is on his own when Crosby was out of the lineup and could rejuvenate the Avs Franchise??

      This is a Draft trade but signed off on now as not to trade those players elsewhere.

      Sprong – Malkin – Landeskog
      Rantannen – Galchenyuk – Comeau

      Johhnson – Barrie
      Pouliott – Beaulieu
      Weirchoch – Tyutin

      In my opinion it gives everyone what they are looking for …Gives Pittsburgh cap relife in 2 years and Crosby will pass the torch to Mckinnon

      Iam ready to get roasted now…LOL

      • Why in the world does Iginla deserve $4,000,000?

      • Eklund?

      • Iginla could possibly be rented for this seasons playoffs but I don’t think he gets a contract past this season and if he does he’s definitely not worth more than a half mil for one more year. I don’t think heart and experience is worth wasting a spot on the roster. I think Malkin will be in Pitts until his contract runs out at least. Why would they trade away the 2nd best points per game guy over the last 10 seasons and since MacKinnon has been in the league only Kane has been able to be as good as Malkin. MacKinnon is not even in the top 50 producing players over the last 4 years. I mean anyone could step their game up if they got to play with Crosby but why make that move if you already got the top 2 producing players in the league. It’s looking like this season Crosby and Malkin are gonna finnish 1 and 2 producers again unless McDavid makes some sort of a big push to the end of the season.

  3. Duchene is an extremely interesting proposition for the habs.
    He might just be the missing piece for them who already have an elite goalie and are really strong on defense.
    High price or not the habs should be looking to swing something which includes two firsts + for Duchene, like the Kessel deal to the Leafs. The difference is that the timing is a whole lot better.
    The habs are going to be contenders for at least another 2 years and an investment in Duchene might be much better than investment in a UFA.

    Beyond this they should also be looking for a LW for their second or third list.

    From where I see it, this seems like the better option to be competitive the next few years.

    • Montreal’s 1sts are basically early 2nd rounders if they have Duchene…Sakic would have to be drunk to make that deal. Toronto was bottomed out when they made that deal with the Bruins. Big difference in value of those 1st rounders.

      • Chris,

        I agree with you here. The Avalanche will request much more than 2 first round picks for Duchene. They’re going to want a young NHL rdy player, top prospect, and a 1st rd pick. They’ll also have to wait until the offseason to pull that out so that there are more teams available to bid and drive the price.

  4. I think the avs are going to miss the boat on these trades. They’re asking too much and no one will pay it and then they’re going to be stuck and have to settle for less.

    As for offer sheeting McDavid, the oil will have to give him a max contract because if they don’t, 30 other teams will.

    • If Colorado does anything with Duchene or Landeskog it will be in the summer when 30 other teams can bid.

      Nor do they have to move either of these players nor do I think they should. I’d simply sell off all UFA’s up this year for prospects & picks where able. Iginla, Mitchell, Bourque, Martinsen, Tyutin & Goloubef. I would also look to trade Beauchemin; may be impossible with his NMC but the acquiring team could always buy him out if it causes a protection issue for expansion, Wiercioch & Comeau, again if able for what ever you can get.

      Then I buy players for picks, those picks acquired m9ving out all those players from 1 or 2 teams confronted with losing a good player in expansion for nothing. I also wait till late in the summer playing tbe salary cap game. Taking assets from those teams forced to pay others to help solve their cap issues & bid for a few decent depth UFA’s especially on D.

      Colorado wasn’t even a bubble team when the playoffs started. You can’t hope to compete for a playoff spot with no D & 4 or 5 players at forward that shouldn’t even be in the NHL.

      • Sorry should read when the season started.

      • That all makes sense Striker. That is the formula for a rebuild.
        I also don’t understand the rush to move Duchene or Landeskog opposed to keeping them, but there is too much smoke for there not to be fire.
        Is there more to the story? Perhaps Duchene wants out and no one is saying it publicly?
        If not it is strange.
        No need to tank more than they are.

      • Agreed Ray Bark. Sakic is now looking to put his stamp on this team. We have no idea how the previous 2 headed management team worked.

        There is merrit in moving Duchene with 2 years left till UFA status & him just in his prime. Sakic should get maximum value for this asset.

      • Ya somebody will buck up in the off season. If on a good team he is a valuable player.

    • they shouldn’t care if they make a trade. Wait and build around their core, they already have a core that most teams would envy.

  5. MTL is looking for a centre with size. Boyle has played 50 playoff games with the 2 teams that eliminated MTL in 14 and 15 on their way to the final. He’said much more affordable both cap wise and assets parted with than Hanzal.

    Other persons of interest for MTL for playoff rentals include Dennis Seidenberg and Thomas Vanek. MTL has a plethora of picks to throw at these teams so they can retool.

    • Seidenberg and Boyle I can see but no way the habs would want vanek back!

      • Montreal looked brutal last night. They will not see a second round in the playoffs this year. Imo

      • I could see them tank a bit if it looks like the leafs are gonna slip in, to get an easy first Rd matchup I think they’ve beat the leafs 13 in a row or something?

      • With how tight the race is 2-6 in that division a tank attempt to 2nd might land them out of the playoffs. They are not doing that

      • Big Bad Bruins: explain to me how it is MTL couldn’t use a guy whose been a puck possession and offensive best for DET? They would be getting him at a 3rd of the cap hit they had him for in 2014. I fail to see the problem.

      • he was not liked by therrin in the playoffs and the guys bergevin picked up like shaw,Weber were brought in for character and everyone know vanek doesn’t exactly shine with character, if he did end up with mtl that would mean they missed out on everyone else

      • There isn’the a deal to be made. The price tag is far too unreasonable at this point for a Duchene. Trading for Duchene is as realistic as trading for Bergeron in Boston. A 3 time Selke trophy winner and Stanley Cup Champion (2011). That would be a more desirable target than Duchene. If you’re really all in on a cup, Bergeron is your guy. The much more realistic targets on deadline day are Vanek, Boyle and Seidenberg. If Vermette in Anaheim were somehow available, I’d ask about him. He’s the NHL’s top face off guy.

      • Vermette? If they have to go that low no point in making a trade

    • Vanek was pretty decent for MTL in the playoffs so why wouldn’t they want him back? They lack scoring and he netted 10 points I think in about 15 games.

      IMO though Boyle would be a great addition for MTL down the stretch and into the playoffs, big body, plays with that edge and can pot a couple goals too.

      • You never know but they didn’t even try to sign him in the offseason I don’t think he was liked by the coach

      • Unless you have undisputed, empirical, evidence Cleary demonstrating an actual rift between Vanek and Terrien; I’m trading for Vanek.

      • Google it!

  6. E. Kane has all the talent but just can’t seem to get away from the off ice issues and baggage. I think he could be an interesting deadline trade candidate. There’s always some names that seem to move by the deadline that we never see coming or surprise us. He could be one of them.

    Side note (for Bruins fans) – did anyone watch the game last night against San Jose? There were glaring differences in style of play and on ice game plan IMHO. Watched entire game beginning to end. Much work to be done but overall like what I saw with only 2 days of practice.

    • Didn’t almost every team that changed coaches this season respond with a win in their first game – except Florida?

      • happens generally then the other teams catch up on the game plan and coach accordingly

      • Not so much concerned with the win as much as I am with what I saw from the team. Regardless of whether the other team was caught off guard or as taz mentioned other teams catch up and coach accordingly. Personally, I don’t care what other teams do so much as I care how the Bruins play on the ice.

        I thought they executed well and there was a lot of different elements some much more noticeable than others that I felt were very positive. If they had lost and still played to the game plan/style they were on the ice last night I would have been okay with it as well.

        I like the direction the team is going if it continues to emulate what they were last night. With that said there will be nights that the more open style will haunt the Bruins and teams will run up the score. I prefer a much more offensively focused style than I do the defensive trap or dump and chase.

        Just my 2 cents

      • Chad, yes they did. And to your point the exact things that Cassidy said he wanted to tweak, they did. Especially attacking the net more from the side hash.
        Having said that CJ has been trying to have them push the pace this year as well. And has always been open to the D joining the rush, but they had to make the right read and it wasn’t open season. Sounds like Cassidy will put up with more mistakes, which I know has been mentioned on this site before.
        I also think it has much to do with some badly needed rest and practice time. Tough to have many high tempo practices to get things fixed when you have had the schedule the B’s have had.
        The B’s are also way over due for the shooting % to go up to the mean.
        Time will tell.

      • Ray Bark,

        The rest probably had some effect but also the addition of higher paced practices likely made an impact as well. Even with the condensed schedule I still felt the Bruins always came out sloppy and lethargic at the beginning of games. There seemed to always be something there that I couldn’t put my finger on. Then Sweeney and Neely reported this week that Cassidy wants to have higher tempo practices. I’ve always felt that you play in games the same way you practice. If the guys are constantly have relaxed practices and aren’t committed to game speed then I feel it catches up to you. Could be a major reason why they came out that way in a lot of games.

        I hope that’s the case and the Bruins will continue to come out at a faster pace.

        I also hope that Cassidy does continue to put up with the mistakes and gives these young players more responsibility. Mistakes are going to happen.

    • Don’t look now but Marchand is tied for third in scoring only 3 points behind Crosby and McDavid. If Cassidy opens up the offense look out.

      Side note thoughts on a trade proposal
      Chara for Eberle
      I think this would help both teams.
      Will give Edmonton a good playoff rental with experience and only one year left on contract at a hit of 4 million. Gives Edmonton cap relief long term to sign other guys.
      Gives Boston a top six RW a bit overpaid but good player. Chara is getting older and Boston is in semi rebuild mode.
      Chara might waive no move to join Chiarelli and a playoff contender.
      Boston would probably have to add a prospect or pick to make a deal.

      • Dave,

        Interesting trade proposal. I’m not opposed to moving Chara, however, that will 100% indicate that the Bruins are not pursuing a playoff spot this season and going full rebuild mode. After the press conference this week by Sweeney and Neely’s radio time yesterday on 98.5… doesn’t feel like that’s the MO that the team has at the moment.

        This team is fully committed to making the playoffs and expects that the talent they currently have is playoff caliber and can make it in the 7th-8th spot. Management understands that there are glaring needs and indicated the backup position, left side D (top 4) and some more scoring on the wing as areas they want to address.

        They said they may look internally and will make a trade at the deadline if it impacts the team long term. They won’t give up major assets unless it’s for the future.

        I would say that puts a large amount of prospects off limits and 1st-3rd rd picks unless it’s for a player that is in the long-term plans of the team. Sweeney is very high on his farm system and mentioned multiple times how they’re going to continue staying the course.

        I hope that means they won’t trade for a stempniak or liles again and waste draft picks like that.

      • If bruins get a legit top 6 winger albeit overpriced currently, for an aging out chara I’d tip my hat to Sweeney.

      • Chrisms,

        Like Dave pointed out though the Bruins would probably have to add a prospect or pick. I’d say the’d most definitely have to add a good prospect and/or pick (1st).

        Zdeno Chara
        2017 1st Rd.

        Jordan Eberle

        Will mention though that Eberle is on pace for 16 goals this season, which would tie his lowest throughout his NHL career dating back to 2012-2013.

      • Chad, If Boston could pull off that trade, I would say that shows their 100% going for a playoff spot.

      • Caper,

        Bruins need scoring, yes, but one of their biggest weaknesses right now is the defense. You remove Chara their captain and arguably biggest contributor on defense for scoring.

        That’s addition while subtracting. Get better on offense while getting much worse on defense.

        Now, if they were to swing a trade that included a 1st, A level prospect, or some package like that with futures for Eberle then yes I’d agree with you.

        I believe the hole that Chara would leave for a playoff run even when adding in Eberle would not indicate them making a playoff run. But that’s just my opinion 🙂

      • Thanks for your opinions guys. I did think about this trade for awhile and it makes Edmonton better now. Edmonton is currently in the playoffs. Boston is not and should be thinking more about the next year or two. Chara will definitely help a playoff team. Eberle is not living up to his contract and is almost a salary dump at this point. Edmonton needs cap space to sign Draisitl and McDavid in the future. Eberle is not currently a top 6 and from a a Bruins fans opinion I’m not sure I would even do this trade. Just thought it made sense for both clubs. Chara can also help the young guys in Edmonton.

      • No 1st. Maybe a 2 or 3. Eberle is at lowest of low value now

    • E.Kane and Kulikov, Larsson, Girgensons + 1st for Duchene, E.Johnson and Rantanen + 2nd

  7. If Montreal holds on to 1st in Atlantic they will have a reasonably good chance to go deep.

    1st round likely against NYR (much rather face them then CLB).

    2nd round likely Tor, Ott, Bos. No real powerhouses here.

    Then 3rd round whoever survives out of Pens, Caps, Jackets.

    Although they have not play well of late I think they have a good opportunity this year if they add the right players at the deadline. Sharp and Boyle of would be good rental targets. I like Duschene but not sure how they pull it off and have right mix of centers… does Danaut or Galchenyuk move to the wing?

    Depth D man for insurance in case of an injury will also help. Oduya if he is healthy. Or maybe seidenberg as someone suggested earlier.

    • I think anyone who has to meet the winner of the Pittsburg Washington series has no hope from that point forward.

    • Rangers in five!

      • Habs and rangers would be close depending on what goalie shows up both have had up and down seasons. Wsh are perineal playoff chokers I think 1 of the pens,rangers,clb or Habs come out of the east

  8. Evander Kane might look good playing on the wing for the Isles if he could keep his head out of his butt. They definitely need help on left wing and would likely be fine with trading their first plus a d man for someone like Kane.

    I agree with Staples that they will likely get a lot more value from keeping Strome than they would from trading him. They’ve done a terrible job developing most of their young guys, Strome included. They’ve now managed to destroy whatever value he previously had.

    For the right return I could see the Isles being willing to deal any D man not named Leddy at this point. They have Pullock, Pellack, and Mayfield on ready or nearly ready so have a bit of depth there.

  9. TO MTL: Duchene, Beauchemin

    TO COL: McCaron, Beaulieu and 2 1st road picks