Latest on the Canadiens, Rangers & Panthers – April 14, 2017

by | Apr 14, 2017 | Rumors | 15 comments

Could the Canadiens shop Nathan Beaulieu (28) and Alex Galchenyuk (27) this summer?

Latest on Alex Galchenyuk, Dan Girardi and more in your NHL rumor mill. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Stu Cowan notes the decline in the offensive production of Canadiens forward Alex Galchenyuk and puck-moving defenseman Nathan Beaulieu. Along with the decline in former Hab P.K. Subban’s scoring last season, he cites them as examples of the Canadiens “somehow sucking the offence out of their most skilled players.” Noting Galchenyuk and Beaulieu are both restricted free agents this summer, he speculates that (like Subban) they could be playing elsewhere next season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Galchenyuk and Beaulieu both briefly surfaced in this season’s trade-rumor mill. Should the Habs’ anemic offense result in an early exit from the 2017 playoffs, general manager Marc Bergevin could make moves this summer to improve the scoring. If Galchenyuk and Beaulieu fail to produce in this postseason, they might hit the trade block.

NEW YORK POST:  Larry Brooks observes Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi has played well since returning from an ankle injury on March 25.  “But with two years remaining on his contract at $5.5 million per and the league getting faster every day while the noble 32-year-old veteran does not, No. 5 likely is facing a buyout.”.

Despite the erratic play of pending unrestricted free agent blueliner Brendan Smith, Brooks speculates the Rangers would like to keep him after parting with a second and a third-round pick to acquire him. Center Oscar Lindberg has played well in a fourth-line role, but he could get plucked away in the expansion draft by the Vegas Golden Knights. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Buying out Girardi will be costly in the first three years. It’s a $2.6 million cap hit in the first season, $3.6 million annually in the second and third third years. However, it drops to over $1.1 million annually for the final three seasons.

Smith, 28, is coming off a two-year deal at an annual cap hit of $2.75 million. As for Lindberg, the Golden Knights could pass him over to select backup goalie Antti Raanta. 

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Harvey Fialkov lists several potential candidates to fill the vacant head coach position with the Florida Panthers. Nashville Predators assistant coach Phil Housley, Washington Capitals assistant coach Todd Reirden, University of Denver bench boss Jim Montgomery and Los Angeles Kings assistant coaches Davis Payne and John Stevens tops his list. He also suggests Toronto Marlies coach Sheldon Keefe, former Islanders coach Jack Capuano, former Edmonton Oilers coach Ralph Krueger, long-time AHL coach Mike Stothers and Utica Comets coach Travis Green.

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  The Kings are reportedly leaning toward promoting Stevens as their new head coach. If the Panthers have interest in Housley or Reirden they’ll have to wait until their current clubs are finished in this year’s playoffs. Green could get promoted by the Canucks. 


  1. But why should Galchenyuuk be the one to answer the offensive woes of a team whose systems suck the life out of offensive players? If that’s the case he should welcome a trade. It was painful watching Montreal’s first game against the Rangers. They just can’t score. They played well though. I was actually cheering for them because I took several across my two pools as I anticipate they should advance from the Atlantic side of the Conference. The Habs were once an offensive jaugernaut. Remember the 70s? Has to be painful for life long Habs fans.

    • Something about the sucking out of offense doesn’t make sense… didn’t weber have a big year while subban got worse in Nashville?

      • Weber had a great start, average the last 40 games or so. Subban missed a good chunk of the season to injuries.

      • Take a look at Weber’s point total – this is a “big year” to you?

        No, he did not.

        Subban, meanwhile, played hurt for a good portion of the season.

        As to Galchenyuk and Beaulieu, their “production” is probably linked directly to the “coaching” they received during their pro “development”.

        Beaulieu in the AHL and NHL, Galchenyuk in the NHL.

        Another of Michel Therrien(the gift that never stops giving)’s legacies.
        Sort of like a hockey STD.

        But, ultimately, this is really on Bergevin, a rookie GM who made the bozo call to give coaching positions to his buddies.

        Mtl hasn’t had a top 10 NHL scorer in decades.

        Sic transit gloria mundi.

  2. I doubt NY buys out Girardi at this point. Both he and Staal have had bounce back seasons. I think Girardi needs to start sliding down the depth chart and stay down. His 1st pairing days should be over. With the emergence of Skjei, I wouldn’t mind seeing Smith back on the 3rd pairing. Staal , Klein should be shopped. Even if they have to retain salary on Staal. Maybe Graves gets a full time shot next year. After this preseason, I thought he should have been considered for 7th or (at the time) 8th on the depth chart.

    • girardi definitely should not be bought out… at least this year. Staal with salary retained may not be enticing.. but d is a hot commodity. I would try to entice Vegas to take staal with a sweetener… no salary retained.

      • Agreed. That buyout period is way too long. They just need to be realistic on their expectations with him. Sure he’s a very expensive 2nd or 3rd pairing guy, but Skjei and Graves could balance out the dollars. I’d wait at least 2 years before even considering a buyout.

      • Staal has an NMC. Neither Staal nor Girardi will be bought out until only 1 season remains on their contracts. I don’t see NYR paying someone to take either or retaining salary to facilitate a trade.

  3. If the Habs exit the playoff early and I suspect they’ll be one and done. They can’t score added a bunch of toughness but no one who can score. Now they try to play physical and left the skill at home. Back to my thought if they’re one and done, this will be a big off season for them and a bigger 2017-2018 season. If no improvement why would one of the best goaltenders in the world want to stay there. He’ll be able scan all (available) NHL roster and see what teams gives him the best opportunity to win the Stanley Cup. Maybe he see that in Toronto, wouldn’t that be a blast.

    • spoken like a true leaf fan

      • Caper isn’t a Leaf’s fan.

  4. i think the rangers will as girardi to waive his NMC for the expansion draft or for a trade as he most likely will not be claimed…if he says no,then they will probably buy him out…or maybe they’ll just keep him and expose holden

  5. Alex Galchenyuk and Nathan Beaulieu to the Avs for Duchene and Gregorinko. I don’t think Galchenyuk will flourish in Montreal. I do believe he was one of he best guys in his draft year but he needs out of Montreal to flourish? If Sakic could get those two pieces plus pick(s) and/or prospect(s) he should jump on it. I think Bergeron made a mistake by not paying the price for more offense before he added grit.

    I am a Leaf fan so if Price would pick TO in free agency that would have to be balanced with the cost. It is the same with the Traveres rumours. They are nice pieces to have but if you can’t keep Matthews, Nylander, Marner, Brown, and Zaitsev plus upgrade the defense it won’t matter.

    • Q’s to ask/ things to consider:

      1) Colorado’s writers are saying “time to dump Grigorenko”. He was obtained for what – a 3rd round pick? What would he really cost to obtain? Not too much.

      2) Mtl is woefully thin on LD.
      We are trading Beaulieu because? And will replace him with?

      3) duchene – a smaller, older, more expensive underachieving Center.
      Montreal wants him to replace Galchenyuk – why?

      Don’t think this flies.

    • Hey Tugboat,

      I agree we don’t need Price or anyone else’s stars! Stick with the plan. Although going after a couple free agent D men would be a great idea! Shattenkirk? Alzner?