NHL Rumor Mill – April 24, 2017

by | Apr 24, 2017 | Rumors | 79 comments

Could the Montreal Canadiens consider trading Carey Price this summer?

Latest speculation on the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins in your NHL rumor mill. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE/LE JOURNAL DE MONTREAL: Pat Hickey believes it’s important for the Montreal Canadiens to determine the intentions of superstar goaltender Carey Price as soon as possible. Price, who turns 30 in August, is a year away from eligibility for unrestricted free agency. The Habs can open contract discussions with him on July 1.

If Price wants to stay, re-signing him will prove expensive. The current highest-paid goalie in the league is Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers ($8.5 million annually). If Price isn’t re-signed before next season, Hickey believes the Habs must shop him, as he could fetch a top-line center plus a starting goalie to fill the gap left by Price’s absence until promising Charlie Lindgren provess ready for prime time. 

Meanwhile, Ken Campbell of The Hockey News suggested the Dallas Stars should inquire into Price’s availability, perhaps by offering up Tyler Seguin, Jamie Oleksiak and Kari Lehtonen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m sure we’ll hear plenty of speculation over Price’s trade status in the coming weeks. But unless he asks to be traded or intends to test free agency next year, he’s not going anywhere.

If Price wants to stay put, Bergevin will pony up $9-$10 million annually on a seven- or eight-year deal to keep him, or maybe he convinces the goalie to accept a little less ($8 million annually) to leave some cap room to address other roster needs. If Price won’t commit to a new deal, then Bergevin will have little choice but to look into moving him. 

ESPN.COM: Craig Custance believes the Toronto Maple Leafs must add a top-four defenseman, re-sign blueliner Nikita Zaitsev and shore up their backup goaltending in the offseason. The Leafs have the salary-cap space to pursue a  big-ticket rearguard such as Washington’s Kevin Shattenkirk, but Custance suggests a better option is to shop left wing James van Riemsdyk (who’s a year away from UFA eligibility) “in a deal that brings a defenseman back on a contract that doesn’t extend too far into the future.” He also feels the Leafs can invest in a reliable backup without investing too much. 

TORONTO SUN: Lance Hornby suggests the futures of Leafs UFA blueliners Matt Hunwick and Roman Polak will depend upon if the club loses a defenseman via the expansion draft and who the club pursues in the offseason market. Re-signing center Brian Boyle seems a priority while backup Curtis McElhinney worked well with starter Frederik Andersen. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Adding a skilled top-four blueliner should be the Leafs’ priority this summer. They have the cap space and the depth in draft picks and prospects to dangle as trade bait, perhaps by targeting clubs in need of shedding cap space or teams in danger of losing a good blueliner (Anaheim Ducks, Minnesota Wild) to the expansion draft. Moving van Riemsdyk is an option if they’re unable to re-sign him before next season. McElhinney is a UFA and could be an affordable re-signing, but that depends on whether he impressed Leafs management enough. 

ESPN.COM: Craig Custance suggests the Boston Bruins must make a decision about interim head coach Bruce Cassidy, re-sign winger David Pastrnak to a contract extension and bolster their blueline depth. One option to address the latter could be pursuing Washington’s Kevin Shattenkirk via free agency. “The better solution might be to trade for a defenseman with a lower price tag and shorter term to help bridge the transition to the young defensemen in the system,” said Custance, who also suggests the Bruins look into the market for aging captain Zdeno Chara. 

BOSTON HERALD: Steve Conroy suggests this season could be the last with the Bruins for restricted free agent forward Ryan Spooner, who was a healthy scratch from the final two games of their series against the Ottawa Senators. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Considering the Bruins’ improvement under Cassidy when he took over in February from Claude Julien, I wouldn’t be surprised if he returns as their full-time head coach. Pastrnak will be re-signed, but with him coming off an entry-level deal, they could push for an affordable two-year bridge deal with the promise of a bigger deal after that.

I doubt they’ll find many takers for Chara, whose career is winding down. They could chase Shattenkirk but I agree with Custance that a better option is to look into the trade market. 









79 Comments

  1. Most of Lyle’s thoughts is what I’ve been thinking… First, re-sign Boyle. He shouldn’t be too expensive and watching his work in the playoffs he’s obviously worth it. Second, bring in better D. As much as I like van Riemsdyk, watching Kapanen in the playoffs makes him expendable and he can be the centerpiece to bring in a quality D (I keep saying Anaheim is a very logical trading partner, both because of the recent trade history between the two teams, but also because they *will* lose one of their good young D for nothing. During round one of the playoffs I kept hearing from Don Cherry that Zaitsev is not worth a long contract because of his bad +/-… not sure I agree with him.

    • Zaitsev was thrown into the deep end in his rookie season and he played hurt against Washington. Mike Babcock’s opinion is the only one that counts – Don Cherry’s opinion means nothing (as usual).

      • Agreed. Zaitsev will be fine. Like any player needs time to adjust to the NHL game. Even though older than some rookies still takes years to learn to play at the best level in the world.

      • The ONLY caveat is, he’s a D and a stumble in theor second full season at that position by rookies who had good first seasons is well documented – Bogosian, Ceci, Zadorov, Rielly, Ekblad, Gostisbeher

        NOT saying this will happen with Zaitsev – but don’t dump on him if it does. He wouldn’t be the first.

      • & not just at D George. 2nd year regression doesn’t happen to all but it is common to many. I think much of it may be mental. The 1st year was easier than anticipated, they think it’s going to be easier the next season, but now teams are keying on them & youth struggles to adapt mentally.

        I really have no idea why it happens. Ha-ha!

      • Zaitsev is not a very good dman playing in the khl he is not really a rookie, cherry is bang on zaitsev plays small and a 7 yrs would be ridiculous

      • He played most of the year with Reilly and both their +/- suffered as they were up against every team’s top line night in and night out… Zaitsev is only 23 – still pretty young… Marincin is the guy who got too many minutes – Babs finally saw that towards the end of the regular season but was forced to play him because of the injury to Polak.

        What they really need as a 4th D-man is (dare I say it) a Phaneuf type guy who can be physical but also have a big shot for the PP (and i’m not saying Phaneuf himself now – he’s too old to fit in with what we got going on)…

      • Phaneuf is 32. Hardly ancient.

  2. With a pipeline full of young talent, I’ve been hoping Boyle opts back with Tampa. It’s clear the leafs appreciate the values he brings to a club both on and off the ice. He will, wherever he goes, anchor a bottom six frontline & help it get playoff ready. He was especially strong at helping stability when a lot of diffrent guys were cycling through the lineup due to injury. Generally underappreciated.

  3. Shattenkirk is a very good player; however, I don’t think he is the type of D man the Leafs should be pursuing. The Leafs need a defensive minded guy to pair with Reilly, Gardiner and/or Zaitsev. Their defense is pretty offensive minded so a top four “shut down” guy is needed. Just my opinion.

    • I agree. They need actual D minded D. I’d aim for Karl Alzner, Brendan Smith, Ladislav Smid, Kyle Quincey. I also wouldn’t mind if Polak came back. I know he doesn’t have the foot speed to compete against top players but there are far worse 5-6 D out there, and he’d be cheap. I haven’t followed how well Cody Franson has played this season but he already made public his desire to go back to Toronto so maybe that would be a good thing.

      • The only name in your list that is a viable Top 4 UFA D is Alzner – and you can bet if the Caps can’t re-sign him (I think they will) there will be 30 other teams vying for his services, including the Canucks since he’s a B.C. boy.

        I also doubt the Rangers let Smith walk away after dealing 3rd rounder this year and a 2nd rounder next year to get him from Detroit.

        Why in God’s name would you consider Smid? The guy’s 31 y/o and hasn’t played anywhere near a full season since 2011-12. Over the past 3 seasons of 246 games he’s managed 54, including just 1 this past year. He’s done.

        Quincey is OK – but certainly not a Top 4 D.

      • George O, you’re right. When I mentioned some of those names I did so after looking at the list of UFA D this summer and realized how poor the free agent pool is. After realizing the few good top quality players we were left with 35+ players going downward in their abilities or aren’t top line players but focus on the defensive side of their game.

      • My God!

      • Cody Franson would be a good pick up if it was for a bottom pairing price. He has a good shot, which is something the Leafs PP lacks right now, also depth D is something that hurt the Leafs all year and in the playoffs as it seemed they constantly had multiple guys having to play above their skill level (ie Hunwick in a top 4 role, Polak, Carrick, Marincin should normally be 6-7 guys).

        They guys I would like the Leafs to target would be Brodin, Manson, Trouba or Ellis via trade, and Alzner, Stone, B. Smith, Franson via free agency.

        All for various reasons, and price dependant. I am not saying the Leafs have what some of the trade partners are looking for, but given this year is one of the few years where teams might be under more pressure than normal to make a trade, the Leafs should be kicking tires hard on guys that are available as this might be one of the few windows where guys they might need are available for reasonable prices. Also, with teams worried about expansion, the Leafs have an abundance of assets that are expansion draft proof (picks, prospects, NHL ready players who are exempt) and have room to protect someone they obtain, which might give them a unique edge. It’s a place I think they need to get aggressive and need to be in contact with any team that MIGHT trade a D.

      • George. Not meant to be antagonistic just on topic.

        I don’t see how Washington can possibly afford to resign Alzner with out dumping Orpik’s contract on someone.

        Washington has to find a #1 & 2 RW. Both Oshie & Williams are UFA’s. Kuznetsov, Burakowski, Orlov & Schmidt are all RFA’s. No way their will be enough money to retain Alzner.

        Alzner is a distinct possibility & a great target. I guess the question is do you want to pay him Petry type money on a 7 year deal as their will be teams happy to do so?

      • George. I agree with you on Smith. This is a player Vignaeualt & NYR like. They wait until after the expansion draft to sign Smith so he doesn’t have to be protected. 3.5 to 4.5 on a 3 to 5 year deal much will depend on how deep NYR goes in these playoffs & Smith’s contribution to such.

      • Danny.

        Didn’t the Leafs have the 2nd best PP in the regular season? Gardner finished 17th in D scoring, Zaitsev tied for 38th overall for Dman 3rd for rookie Dman. I think Toronto’s point shots are fine.

        That said Franson at 5 or 6 works for me as well if it doesn’t cost more than 2.5 to 3 on a 2 or 3 year deal.

    • If they can pry Manson out of Anaheim that would be a great fit.

      I think Anaheim’s D will play out as follows leading up to the expansion draft. Bieksa agree’s to waive or he is bought out to eliminate his NMC. I don’t think Vegas would take Bieksa regardless due to age & contract term so he would get to stay in Anaheim. Vatanen or Manson are traded pre expansion. Vatanen seems more logical to me as Theodore & Montour are more similiar. Neither bring Manson’s grit & defensive acumen to the table.

      There are other options, Brodin or Scandella from Min, Savard Clb, Hamonic or De Haan NYI, what about even a player like Beaulieu from Montreal who appears to be out of favor? Montreal needs scoring & Beaulieu should be a solid #4D in the next 2 years. Just turned 24 & approaching 250 NHL games played. He’s a leftie but Zaitsev & Carrick are righties. Reilly & Gardner lefties.

      • I think there are a lot of options as well. I do think it’s important they don’t strike out or get too gunshy while there are options. Manson would be ideal, I think he is the perfect to pair with someone in a shutdown type role, but is low maintenance and likely doesn’t comes with a cap hit that will make it easy to maintain and even add to the D long term.

        I think the Leafs need 1 D via trade pre-expansion draft, and still add one via free agency (aside from possibly bringing someone else back). I would like to see a borderline top 4 guy added to play bottom pairing to give depth. Franson and Stone fit that type of situation to me.

        I also think the Leafs should move JVR this summer as well. I think they are in a unique position in that they should be just as dangerous offensively without him, just from growth from some of the Kids and likely fill from within. With the competition internally, I think getting 15 or so goals from someone internally, and growth from guys like Marner, Nylander, Brown, Hyman and Matthews will likely replace the difference, or come close enough since offense was never a short coming this year.

      • Danny.

        I think that’s going to play out exactly. They secure a Dman from 1 of the 5 teams faced with losing 1 in expansion. Anh, Clb, Min, Mon or NYI. Or from 1 that has ways to wiggle out of a possible dilemma in expansion. Win? Then the sign 1 of the UFA Dman, Alzner, Stone, Kulikov, Del Zotto, Daley, Franson, etc.

      • I include Trouba not because he is likely, but more speculation after his comments about not commiting to Winnipeg coupled with an increase in his value after a good season, a chance to capitalize on a more active trade market could make him available for the right deal, and if that is the case, the Leafs should be interested. I don’t know that they will be offering what WIN wants, but I think you need to inquire.

        I can see Winnipeg wanting to move on and see if they can turn a corner. Also, moving him without receiving a D that needs protection could allow them to go 7F-3D for expansion, and that could be valuable as they don’t really want to give up on Perrault.

      • Re-signing Alzner won’t be easy given the Caps cap – pardon the pun – but with the expansion factor plus the fact so many teams want and absolutely NEED improvements on D I wouldn’t rule out being able to send Orpik somewhere where he would, at least, be a vast improvement over the status quo.

        However, if they can’t accommodate him, and considering the same factors just mentioned, someone is going to over-pay to get him – that’s a safe bet.

      • Agreed George. The issue with Orpik isn’t what he brings to the table it’s the cost. He played as Washington’s #5 this year. That’s a ton of money for a #5 Dman. His actual salary for the last 2 seasons is 5.5 & 4.5 so there is certainly a market.

        There aren’t enough D to go around. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Washington expose Orpik in expansion & with only 2 years remaining at a 5.5 cap hit he may appeal to Vegas. His value in trade down the road would be solid & Vegas may be able to get Washginton to pay them a sweetener to take Orpik?

        This is assuming Grubauer is traded before the expansion draft or I see no way Vegas doesn’t select him unless given significant enticement not to do so. For me Grubauer is the best goalie available for numerous reasons. Due to age & contract demands I take him over any other option be it Bishop, MAF, Darling what have you.

      • Danny, Trouba has no interest in a Canadian Market.

      • That could well be the case, or it could be the case that the contract he would demand doesn’t make sense, or simply the Leafs can’t/won’t meet Winnipeg’s demand. The point is the Leafs need to updgrade on D, and not many off seasons will present the number of opportunities this one does, so I think the Leafs need a game plan to address their needs. Identify anyone who might be available that could serve those needs, and negotiate from there.

  4. As I said before when those silly rumors of Bishop or Darling to the Flyers who are deep in goaltending prospects were going around why not include the Montreal Canadians as destinations for them.
    Carey Price has a terrible playoff record 25/W 31/L and only once has he been past the second round in eight attempts. All those Olympic and world cup championships don’t mean squat to the Montreal Canadians, they need a playoff performer.
    As I said that silly rumor makes as much sense as any other (lol)

    • I don’t think the problem with Price’s record is him, I think it’s the team. For years he has covered for the fact they are an average team with a great goalie who has filled the gap so well, but once the playoffs come around the competition level ramps up and there are no good and bad teams – it’s a tough fight all the way through, and they don’t have the other pieces needed to seriously go at the cup.

      • If you are trying to figure out if Price is the problem or that he makes a bad team look good have a look at their record with and without him.
        I know that CJ is French Canadian, but from a strictly hockey perspective I was surprised he jumped to MTL right away when he could have waited, cleared his mind and looked at some other options. MTL is in win now mode and they are a long ways away in my opinion and the farm is nothing to write home about.

      • Sorry about that! I was doing a copy/paste of Price playoff stats, obviously it didn’t work. I thought I deleted it all but didn’t. Again sorry.

      • I agree completely Thirstydeer. Price is the best goalie in the world currently. He takes a very average team & makes them the 7th best team in the NHL in the regular season. We saw how Montreal fared without him last year.

        I assume Price will stay but I’m not paying any goalie more than 6.5 mil per in today’s NHL cap world. I don’t care how good they are. Just not enough cap space to compete if a goalie pushes much more than 6.5 it handcuffs teams ability to buy & keep scorers, create 3 decent scoring lines or build a solid deep D.

        Ideally your starter is a top 12 goalie making 5 mil max. Harder to rank goalies than at almost any other position. No position reflects a teams defensive ability both on D & as a team. Is Schneider a bad goalie? His #’s were brutal this season. Him or NJ?

      • I’d say there is zero chance Price re-signs at exactly what he’s making today (6.5). My guess is he’ll be seeking 8.5-10 on a 6-8 year deal.

      • I agree NYR4life that’s why if I’m any other team I pass on him if available in trade.

      • Striker go look at the injuries the Habs had in 2015/16 season I know you don’t think injuries matter but you’re completely out to lunch with the Habs that season

    • Carey Playoff stats, this year very good but overall not the level you might expect. With that said, I think he’s an excellent goalie but I would not pay 8yrs on $9m, I actual hope Montreal does. How many elite years does he have left 3, 4? Like I said yesterday this will depend on Carey thirst to win a Cup and can he see that happening in Montreal? I don’t not with that lineup. Montreal is more then one player away. If they give Carey 8yrs at $9m and Radulov 5yrs at $7m they will be dweller feeders for awhile, just good enough to make the playoffs and getting a mid round pick each year to advance nowhere in a hurray.

      Goalie Stats
      Scoring
      Season
      Age
      Tm
      Lg

      GP
      GS
      W
      L
      T/O
      GA
      SA
      SV
      SV%
      GAA
      SO
      MIN
      QS
      QS%
      RBS
      GA%-
      GSAA
      G
      A
      PTS
      PIM
      2007-08
      20
      MTL
      NHL

      11
      11
      5
      6
      0
      30
      304
      274
      .901
      2.78
      2
      648
      5
      .455
      3
      115
      -3.89
      0
      0
      0
      2
      2008-09
      21
      MTL
      NHL

      4
      4
      0
      4
      0
      15
      123
      108
      .878
      4.11
      0
      219
      1
      .250
      1
      144
      -4.55
      0
      0
      0
      0
      2009-10
      22
      MTL
      NHL

      4
      1
      0
      1
      0
      8
      73
      65
      .890
      3.56
      0
      135
      0
      .000
      0

      0
      0
      0
      4
      2010-11
      23
      MTL
      NHL

      7
      7
      3
      4

      16
      242
      226
      .934
      2.11
      1
      455
      4
      .571
      0
      78
      4.44
      0
      0
      0
      0
      2012-13
      25
      MTL
      NHL

      4
      4
      1
      2

      13
      123
      110
      .894
      3.26
      0
      239
      2
      .500
      1
      137
      -3.50
      0
      0
      0
      0
      2013-14
      26
      MTL
      NHL

      12
      12
      8
      4
      0
      29
      358
      329
      .919
      2.35
      1
      739
      7
      .583
      2
      92
      2.64
      0
      0
      0
      0
      2014-15
      27
      MTL
      NHL

      12
      12
      6
      6
      0
      28
      352
      324
      .920
      2.23
      1
      752
      8
      .667
      2
      101
      -0.31
      0
      0
      0
      2
      2016-17
      29
      MTL
      NHL

      6
      6
      2
      4
      0
      12
      179
      167
      .933
      1.86
      0
      387
      5
      .833
      0
      91
      1.18
      0
      0
      0
      0
      Career

      NHL

      60
      57
      25
      31
      0
      151
      1754
      1603

      • Now THAT’S a glitch!

  5. From this vantage point, the Habs’ first concern in the off-season should not be Price but rather Pacioretty while there is still some seasonal lustre. It’s now evident he just can’t keep his game in playoff hockey. Once the Rangers developed a game plan to stifle Radulov it was game over. Galchenyuk should also go in a separate deal, as should Gallagher – 100 pounds of buzz and effort – little or no offensive return. Plekanec is another who can’t solve playoff hockey.

    • That sounds like most of their core George O. And when you think about the return for those guys, is that the core of a contender? Are those guys the core of a contender? I don’t disagree with you George, but Bergivan is all in with these guys it seems, but hey he traded Subban.
      To me Montreal is a what they appear to be, a so so team at best with a great goaltender. I may be biased as a Bruins fan, but that seemed obvious last year when Price went down.

    • I think some of the issue with Montreal is Beregevin is sort of down a path there. I don’t think Weber’s contract would be easy to move, and likely not for any huge value. Can Bergevin sell ownership on a re-build or even blowing up the core after being so all in this season?

      I know people want Galchenyuk traded, but is there a deal where he gets a significant upgrade in offense in return? Some have mentioned Montreal targeting a team with a forward they can’t protect in the draft, but there is no difference maker in that group.

      Galchenyuk in a package for Duchene (maybe him, Beaulieu and a first is enough?), try and sign someone like Joe Thornton? I just don’t see a lot of options to deal with their biggest issue.

      Also, how good will that D be next year? Markov only has so many miles left on those legs, and as many predicted, Weber wore down significantly as the season wore on. He wasn’t the issue, but he wasn’t capable of playing at the same level he started the season at down the stretch.

      • Danny.

        Nice to have you aboard. Solid points & insight. I don’t think it’s so much Weber broke down. I like to think of it as balancing out.

        Also on the contract for Weber. 1 more year at 12, then it drops to 6 for 4, then 3 followed by 3 years at 1.

        What always struck me as odd about the Weber/Subban trade is Subban was owed more money at point of trade yet his contract expires 4 years sooner.

      • Yeah, I think the issue with the trade wont’ be that you can’t trade Weber, but as long as you have him, you have the cap hit. They may eventually find a team willing to take the cap hit because he is owed less, but he won’t be worth as much.

        I think it just makes it harder to hit reset in that position. Subban will have a high value for the duration of his current contract unless his play falls off a cliff, so rebuilding with him on the roster is either easier because of his age, or because he would gain more assets if you decide to move on.

        I do think some of Weber slowing down was balancing out, but I do think some of it is wearing down. He played a lot of hockey this year with the World Championships before the season, and he has had a lot of seasons where this sort of thing has happened. That being said, he is still a very good defensemen, and one of the best at the PP and PK, I just think that the trade ties Beregevin to a narrow window. Hopefully for Habs fans this isn’t the case and it doesn’t force trades that will be regrettable later.

      • I’m going to be curious to see how Weber’s game evolves as he moves into his mid to late 30’s. Numerous Dman have played into their late 30’s. Their games evolve to a more defesnive role.

        Campbell would still be playing on Florida’s #1 unit if he choose to stay in Florida. Chara turned 40 in March & is still Boston’s #1. Many don’t like it as they want the old Chara but I’m very happy with the Chara as well especially with his cap hit at 4 mil next season.

        It’s like having a coach on the ice. His pairing with Carlo allowed Carlo to flourish & it will also help McAvoy transition smoothly to the NHL.

        Weber’s game isn’t built on speed but smarts & a booming shot. I think most are going to be shocked that the Weber you see today will still be the same Weber at 38. I have no issue with his cap hit now or later. His 1 mil per year actual salary will be very appealing in trade when he hits 37 & his 7.8 cap hit 5 to 7 years out will be the going rate for borderline #3 Dman in the NHL. It’s essentially 5.5 today.

      • What I find hillarious is listening to the French pundits on Antechambre saying on of the things the Habs absolutely need is a D who can lead the rush out of their own end and control the PP! Does the name Subban ring a bell?

      • If they still had subban they would have finished worse even take away webers offensive stats and it’s not close subban is terrible in his own end him and Reilly are some of the most one dimensional dmen in the league

    • I don’t get why MTL would move Gallagher and Galchenyuk. Both are young and affordable. Both are also coming off their worst seasons with the Habs. Moving these guys now seems like a step backwards to me.

      As for Plekanec, having figured out the playoffs is not the issue. The issue is that he is past his prime and rapidly declining as a player. Leading up to his age 30 year, he was the Habs most consistent playoff performer, year in and year out. Those days are gone, along with the notion that they could get something in return for him in a trade.

      • Gallagher draws the ooohs and ahhs with his buzz-bomb hell-bent-for-election style of play – but rarely for any offensive contribution once you get beyond Oct-Nov hockey. He’s missed 20% of his games the past 2 seasons due to injury – hardly surprising with his style of play and stature (5′ 9″ 184 lbs). If you’re happy with that for a $3,750,000 cap his through to 2021-22 then I guess you keep him. I wouldn’t.

        Galchenyuk sulks when he’s doesn’t get to play C – and yet 2 coaches have come to the conclusion that he just can’t compete with the big C in the league – at least consistently. He’s an RFA coming off a $2.8 mil cap hit. He probably thinks he’s worth at least what Gallagher is getting – but 89 goals and 115 assists in 336 game played shouldn’t get him a whole lot.

  6. I agree with Thirsty Deer regarding Price. Montreal is just another example of a team that is strong in one area and lacking in another. If the old maxim to building a hockey team is still building from the net out then why remove Price? I think Radulov showed his true colors in the playoffs but will still be leery of signing him for too long. Montreal, as we all know, needs help down the middle. Tough area to address. On another note, how many people thought the Rangers were that good? I thought they looked great and think that Senators/ Rangers series will be a dandy!

    • Went 6 for 8 in my bracket pool. Have NYR going to the conference final. Coming thru the Atlantic was a huge bonus.

      If Was & Pit turns into a bloodbath anything can happen. Boston missing 1/2 their D killed any hope of advancing. Should Was or Pit have similiar misfortune NYR could surprise.

      I took serious flake for supporting NYR as a lock for a top 6 spot in the east, they finished 5th all summer & into the season. This is a great hockey team. Not Pit Was good but injuries & a liitle luck anything is possible.

      • I was 8 for 8 won 23000 on bet365

  7. That’s funny Tyler Seguin and Claude Julien together again, in Montreal.

  8. Boston defense next year should look something like this Krug, McAvoy, Carlo, C.Miller, Chara, Mcquaid (or) K.Miller. I’m certainly not concerned about this D, after watching Charlie Mac, playing with that composure in his first NHL playoff series. I know it’s very early but he looks like an absolute stud. No thanks to Shattenkirk. Also since I’m always on K.Miller back I thought he had a very strong series.

    • K Millar has always been a warrior, just one that gets hurt a lot and doesn’t have much on the skill side. He did play really well playing big minutes too.
      McAvoy did look really good for a 19 year old, some obvious errors (as expected) but not that many. He can move the puck, isn’t afraid to hang on to it, and has the type of vision you don’t see everyday and can’t teach.
      I’m not as sold on C Millar as some others. Has the obvious speed and shot, but all that stuff that makes McAvoy so intriguing, he seems to lack. No poise with the puck, makes bad reads about when to join the rush or pinch, doesn’t win many puck battles and doesn’t engage physically enough. Just seems to lack the catch all”Hockey IQ”. Perhaps he just needs more time at the NHL level, but he has a ways to go in my opinion and my not get there.

      • That defense is weak why they signed that anchor of backes and not a dman is mind boggling

  9. I assume baring a trade before the expansion draft that Boston protects 7F, 3D & 1G. The D keepers are Chara, Krug & C. Miller. Carlo & McAvoy are exempt. That’s 5 Dman next season in Boston for sure. That means 1 of McQuad or K. Miler are lost in expansion most likely. Which ever 1 stays slots into the top 6, if both stay the top 7 are set.

    At Forward Bergeron, Marchand, Backes, Krejci, Pastrnak, Spooner & ? I assume both Belesky & Hayes will be exposed so not certain who the 7th forward keeper will be as Vatrano is exempt. I assume Hayes will be bought out this summer.

    Boston needs a #2 LW far more than they need another Dman.

    If Spooner was fit to play, he was injured but rumors are he could have played & Cassidy choose to sit him please move him along, both actually. Spooner is a developing asset & needs to play to learn & develop. Cassidy was ok but not a long term solution for me. Boston just got healthy before the coaching change took place, like days & the fancy stats for Boston we’re excellent under Julien they just couldn’t score.

    • Striker for the most part I agree. You’ve been advocating for Shattenkirk, has your opinion now changed? I think Spooner is done. He’s needs to get stronger and commit for to the battle before he can advance, do you still think Spooner can get a second rnd pick? Also I wouldn’t buy out Hayes unless the cap space is needed why carry the money if over two season if you don’t have to. I would like to see if Boston could swing a deal with Winnipeg for Adam Lowry he be a real good fit for third line center. The talk in Winnipeg is they might protect Lowry and leave Mathieu Perreault unprotected who is starting a new 4yr new at $4m per. I guess this all depends on if they can get Enstrom to waive his NMC or not.

      • I guess so yes. I don’t remember advocating strongly for Shattenkirk. We have him in Krug. I did advocate strongly for Yandle last summer but due to Carlo & McAvoy, I didn’t see them being able to just step in at this level & be this good this quickly, why bother now. Unneeded, unnecessary & to expensive. Now if it’s Trouba & doesn’t cost us Krug, Carlo or McAvoy I’m all in.

        Lowry would be an awesome addition as would several of the other young Winnipeg forwards they are potentially confronted with losing. Copp, Armia & Dano.

        If Spooner is moved I think it’s post expansion & assume the return will be more than just a 2nd. For me this was kind his 2nd season: sophomore slump, but tied into Julien’s refusal to play him at C. He played 4, 23 & 29 the 3 seasons prior to the last 2. Nor did he have anyone to play with due to the injuries that didn’t fix themselves until just before the coaching change. He played well offensively after he got moved back into the middle.

        At 2.6 in salary the buyout on Hayes is negligible over 2 years & free’s up about 1.5 in cap space. Not even really a cap space issue for me. Don’t want him eating up a roster spot I would prefer see go to 1 of the prospects. Boston is moving into year 3 of a transitional rebuild. 1 more year of adding youth, allowing those already added to mature & develop & then we go all in again & try to go for it again.

    • Don’t be surprised if C. Miller is exposed and Krug traded. The Bruins need on D is a left shot, stay at homer. With McAvoy and Carlo, Krug is no longer needed for his puck moving, which, like his power play management, IMO wasn’t top notch.

      • I can see what you mean. Finishing tied for 7th in points for Dman in the NHL 2 out of the top 5 coming off major off season shoulder surgery, an injury that’s supposed to take upwards of a year to fully recover from. He needs to go.

        Boston’s offense & power play looked great in the playoffs with out Krug. NOT. Krug still has 1 more year before he’s fully developed. He only has 4 full season + 3 games & 322 regular season games under his belt. The best is still yet to come.

        He’s not going anywhere unless his contract demands are extreme come July 1st with 1 year left on his contract. It makes no sense to me why these types of players garner very little respect for what they can do. He is 1 of the best offensive, transitional. PP Dman in the NHL today & only hits the cap at 5.25!

      • Striker, they missed Krug HUGE. I know that OTT like to plug the neutral zone to create turnovers, but there were long stretches were Boston was consistently flipping it high to get out of the zone, or high off glass, or high into the stands (5 times in games 5&6). Krug would have helped the PP and help generate speed leaving the zone and creating chances on the rush. We had next to none of that in that series.
        I am now a believer in Mr Krug.

      • As long as they are prepared to pay and then gamble on a 5′ 9″ 185 lbs D who could succumb to the constant pounding a D takes when being fore-checked deep in his own end by 6′ 6″ and up F during an 82-game grind.

        Yeah, there are examples of smallish D being able to withstand that – but probably more examples of those who are worn down (Spurgeon in Minnesota whose last 2/3 weeks of the season and playoffswere nothing like the early going is one example. 5′ 11′ 185-lb Gostisbehere is another who suffered once the big F started targeting him).

      • You may be right George. Time will tell. He has missed 9 games in his 1st 4 full seasons in the league.

        I believe these 6 games missed relate to a knee injury suffered from a questionable hit.

        I have seen no data to support smaller players being more susceptible to injuries but physics certainly supports your position. E. Kane is 6’2″ 215 lbs & hasn’t played any where near a full season.

        I saw Krug throw some monster hits this year. Shocking really. Your going to need to catch him to hit him 1st.

      • It only takes one to catch him with a bone-crushing check to screw up his season.

  10. “Meanwhile, Ken Campbell of The Hockey News suggested the Dallas Stars should inquire into Price’s availability, perhaps by offering up Tyler Seguin, Jamie Oleksiak and Kari Lehtonen.”

    …say what now?

    Why does Ken Campbell hate the Dallas Stars so much?

    • Cuz what’s there to like? Highly underachieving team with the worst goalie tandem on the planet. That’s Dallas by the way.

      • No one is giving up a 25 year old number one center for any 30 year old goalie.

        Any team that gives up a boatload of assets to the Habs for Price will become the Habs…a team with Price and not much else.

      • & 1 of the 3 worst D’s.

      • Which is why I can’t figure what prompted Hitchcock to sign there – is he a masochist? If he thought Elliot was unreliable …..

      • Montreal would have to get more than that for price best goalie in the world by a mile

  11. Leafs don’t need Shattenkirk, there powerplay is pretty good already and they need a strong defensive d-man or two that can move the puck out of their own zone. Signing Polak would be okay since he is tough and a fine penalty killer. Hunwick on the other hand IMO is a liability half the time and can find work elsewhere. Unfortunately it doesn’t appear any d-men from the marlies are quite ready so dipping into the unrestricted pool will be necessary. Unless of course they fall back into old habits and trade the future for somebody who may or may not fit on the team. I know leafs fans are desperate for a top team but patience should still be preached even after this past amazing season.

  12. Orange crush baby

    • ?

  13. K. Miller arrived in the NHL late in his career. He played 4 full years of college. 2 years in Providence & then split his 1st year in the NHL between the AHL & NHL. Age/maturity can allow for nominally faster adjustment to the NHL but it still takes almost all Dman 400 NHL regular season games or almost 6 years to fully develop.

    Miller has 3 & a 1/2 years of experience, 2014-15 he lost 1/2 the season to injury. 217 NHL regular season games played. He is still developing even though 29. As I said & defended him then. His 4 year 2.5 mil per deal was an excellent signing.

    He will be very appealing to Vegas. Both he & McQuad provide excellent value McQuad having 2 more years at 2.75. In a pinch they can play as high as a #4 if necessary, not ideal but at 5 & 6 TOI/GP that is solid depth. 2nd & 3rd pairing guys. Either is a good partner for Krug helps offset his jumping into the rush.

    • I always found the comment trade one of them because their basically the same. I’m perfectly fine with that as long as they are not expected to do more then they are capable of. Having two guys that hit hard and play a solid d game, help compliment Krug and C. Miller. Mcquaid and K. Miller are tough to play against and generally are not hurting you defensively.

      • Nice to see you coming around. I may be wrong but have we not debated these 2 Dmans merits, more Miller than McQuad numerous times?

        The fact Boston potentially loses 1 but gets to keep 1 works perfectly. Few teams have positioned themselves for expansion as well as Boston. Several have but Boston has zero issues, in fact they have room to take on a forward prior if so inclined from a team faced with losing 1. Winnipeg has several that appeal to me & would look great in black & yellow, many other teams do as well, Minnesota, Zucker?

  14. The leafs need 2 bruisers on defence and 2 bruiser forwards.they leave too many players rebound hunting at the net and we need to let other teams know that the kids will be protected.nick ritchie,tj oshie,Karl alzner, Nate Schmidt come to mind.

    • The leafs need more than that don’t see them making the playoffs next yr. marner was a ghost in the playoffs a long with nylander physicality stops those two

      • Marner seemed warn down after a long season. Coming right out of Junior I don’t think he was prepared for a 88 game grind. That said, I do think conditioning, adding some size, and just being a year older will accomplish a lot for him in the off season, and with his skill level he likely has the biggest room to improve on what he did this past year.

        Nylander was actually excellent down the stretch and in the playoffs. He played his best hockey in March and April, and was arguably the Leafs most dangerous forward against Washington. He didn’t get the point totals he would have liked, but he generated more zone entries, chances and shots on goal than anyone else on his team.

        The Leafs do need to add if they want to avoid regressing. They will likely be improved just through maturation internally, however that might only be enough to account for some luck drying up. The Leafs made the playoffs on the 2nd last day, and while they improved as the season went on, they also avoided almost any major injuries. So they need to improve just to handle inevitable injuries.

        I don’t buy that they need bruisers, size can help insulate, but guys that would help like Manson on D are bigger guys, but hardly aggressive monster type D.

        I also think moving on from a guy like JVR is a wise decision this off season. I think they need to get something for him, and I don’t think they can afford to pay him what he will likely ask for given that he is already down to being their 5th best forward. Also, they are in a good position to move on from him and barely notice the offense lost.

  15. If Washington doesn’t keep them, there will be long line-ups for UFAs Alzner and Oshie, both of whom will command big bucks and long terms. I seriously doubt anyone is going to pry Schmidt out of the Caps (he’s an RFA) or Ritchie out of Anaheim (he’s not an RFA until 2018-19) without giving up something significant in return.

  16. Go Pens!