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