Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – April 23, 2017

by | Apr 23, 2017 | Rumors | 43 comments

Has Alex Galchenyuk played his final game with the Montreal Canadiens?

Latest on the Montreal Canadiens, Minnesota Wild, San Jose Sharks & more in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE/LE JOURNAL DE MONTREAL/TSN.CA: In the wake of the Montreal Canadiens elimination by the New York Rangers from the opening round of the 2017 playoffs,  Pat Hickey, Stu Cowan, Pierre Duroucher and Frank Seravalli wonder what the future holds for goaltender Carey Price, forwards Alexander Radulov and Alex Galchenyuk and defenseman Nathan Beaulieu. Price is a year away from eligibility for unrestricted free agency. Radulov is a UFA this summer while Galchenyuk and Beaulieu are restricted free agents. 

ESPN.COM: Craig Custance believes the Canadiens should extend Price’s contract, re-sign Radulov and consider trading Galchenyuk, perhaps to the Colorado Avalanche as part of a deal for center Matt Duchene. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens’ anemic offense was on full display in this series against the Rangers. While their blueline is also a concern, their lack of scoring punch and quality depth at center was their downfall against the Blueshirts. Expect general manger March Bergevin to go shopping this summer to address this issue via trade or free agency, but it remains to be seen if he’ll chase someone like Duchene. He could target clubs with limited salary-cap space or those at risk of losing a quality forward to the expansion draft.

For all the talk about John Tavares’ future with the New York Islander, Price’s contract status could also garner attention this summer. Bergevin will likely try to lock Price up on a long-term extension, but the netminder could need assurances the Habs are building toward Cup contention.

Bergevin could offer Radulov a four- or five-year deal. The dollars could be the issue. The Habs will likely try to keep it close to $6 million annually, but the Radulov camp could push for $7 million.

Galchenyuk and Beaulieu have probably played their final games with the Habs. It’s simply not working out for those two in Montreal and they’ll likely benefit from moving on to a club where they’ll face less pressure. 

ESPN.COM:  Craig Custance believes the Minnesota Wild must trade a defenseman, as they risk losing a blueliner such as Matt Dumba, Jonas Brodin or Marco Scandella to the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft. Custance feels they have trade value and suggests moving one of them for a young center. He also advocates a contract extension for restricted free agent forward Mikael Granlund and explore ways to move veteran winger Jason Pominville’s contract, perhaps by contract buyout. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I expect there will be a a roster shakeup this summer for the Wild. Three years of inconsistency capped by disappointing playoff performances cannot continue. I daresay head coach Bruce Boudreau will want some input in whatever decisions GM Chuck Fletcher makes. They’ll likely try to move one of those young blueliners mentioned by Custance before the expansion draft. Re-signing Granlund should be a no-brainer.

Pominville has a no-movement clause but also a 10-team no-trade list. However, finding a taker for the final three years of his contract (at $5.6 million annually) for a fading 34-year-old winger will be a tough sell. A buyout is possible, but as Custance observes, they already have the Thomas Vanek buyout on their books for next season at a cap hit of $2.5 million. 

CSN BAY AREA/THE MERCURY NEWS: Ray Ratto wonders if the San Jose Sharks first-round elimination by the Edmonton Oilers spells the end of an era for the club. He suggests this could mean the departures via free agency of aging Sharks stars Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau. Paul Gackle, however, reports Sharks alternate captain Logan Couture hopes both will return. “I love those guys,” said Couture. “They play hard. If you guys only knew what they play through. The respect level that I have for those two guys is just through the roof.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Thornton and Marleau are willing to accept affordable (perhaps bonus-laden) one-year deals, I can see Sharks GM Doug Wilson re-signing them. The duo loves living and playing in San Jose and could be unwilling to test the UFA market. 

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports Russian star Ilya Kovalchuk wants to return to the NHL. The New Jersey Devils still own the 34-year-old winger’s rights and Friedman said there’s no problem signing with them. If he wants to join another NHL club, it could require the unanimous approval of the other NHL clubs. Friedman speculates that if he doesn’t want to join the Devils or if they don’t want him, a team would work out a sign-and-trade with the Devils or acquire his rights. He thinks there will be significant interest in Kovalchuk.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given his age, Kovalchuk probably won’t get any offers beyond two years. No word on how much he’ll seek. My guess is his asking price could start at $7 million annually but he’ll likely end up taking between $5 – $6 million.


  1. Great series! I think Montreal should think twice about re-signing Price, then think about it 6 more times. The best solution would be trading him, and doing it NOW! ( well not right this minute, but asap) I can’t even imagine what that “Price” tag will be. I don’t think he’s the problem, but he’s also not the solution. Even in a pretty flooded market, his return would be enormous!

    • Wow having the arguable the best goalie in the world right now is not the solution. You might wanna rethink that statement.

      • I hate spending big $ on goalies but without Price I’m don’t think the Habs are even a playoff team, and the return of moving a goalie even one like Price is not helping…I’m just gonna put this out there for Biggie I thought Weber was the answer the Habs were too deep for the Rangers. You still think Poile is having second thoughts? Guess the Rangers got the runner up prize in that playoff lottery you were talking about?

      • Really? How has that panned out so far? Let’s be honest here, the man is brilliant at times, but you cannot expect him to carry this team through multiple series in the playoffs…..

        I’ve seen that from NY and that hasn’t worked out so well has it? Sure they both are the elite of elite, and both can steal a game here or there. But series after series ….? Not so much! And honestly, seeing Lundqvist choking down the cap , I can say….. pass on Price! What do you think he’ll be seeking? 8-9-10 per? Best goalie in the world …. maybe? But he sure as hell ain’t taking them over the hump, and certainly it won’t get better with a disgusting cap hit hanging on his head!!!

        Brian Leetch said it best when asked how the Rangers could have traded him…. ” well, they weren’t winning WITH me”…..

      • That was for Yogi.

        But shticky , that’s kinda my point. I agree, without him they’re not a playoff team….. and with him they can’t find a way to win.

        I don’t think signing him to a ridiculous Lundqvist like deal helps that cause …. does it?

      • One of the best regular season goalies of all time. No disrespect to Price, but he hasn’t played in 1 Stanley Cup finals game. Until he wins a cup, his legacy is a great goaltender who wasn’t able to win the Stanley Cup.

      • Nyr4life, Pitts kinda proved it last year having great goaltending and the ability to score were the main ingredients to win. Having lesser defenceman that can simply move the puck up to the forwards seemed to work quite well for them. Notice Nashville won with P.K. and Montreal lost with Weber. The transition game is becoming the norm again. Remember the 80`s Oilers, great goaltending, goalscoring with a soso defence. But, you have to have that great goaltending. What you`re willing to pay is another matter. Puck moving defenceman have a tendency to turn the puck over more often, hence the need for Price. The problem in Montreal is in the coaching style and management. Bringing in Julien proves that

      • @Caper true but it`s not Price`s fault. Goalies don`t score many goals. If Price played in Pitts all these years how many cups would he have. Price in Mont, wrong place, wrong time.

      • I don’t think Weber was the problem. Played 28 mins a game, 3 points, +1 lead the team in blocked shots, 2nd in hits. What ailed Montreal was neither Price nor Weber. I complete lack of goal scoring was.

        Losing in the 1st round sucks. I’ll say what I always say. Come playoff time in a 7 game series anything is possible. Great goaltending at just the right time or a fluky timely goal can turn a series. You don’t tear it down unless it’s perpetual. See Minnesota.

        Montreal isn’t a great team, their an average team with the best goalie in the world & 1 of the best 2 way Dman to play the game ever. That’s almost it. With very little exception this team is filled with pluggers, Ott, Shaw, King, Martinsen, Byron, Mitchell etc. making it very easy to shut down what few scorers they have. Dressing Benn over Beaulieu makes zero sense to me as well. Yes Beaulieu had some struggles but Benn is a train wreck.

        Chicago is a great team, they lost in round 1 & they will be great again next season. Montreal needs change, Chicago, stay the course. Only 1 team can advance & not always the best team but the best team at that time.

      • I don’t think comparing Pitts to Montreal is a reality. Montreal doesn’t have that kind of skill, most teams don’t. But…. they also won with an inexperienced, unproven goaltender…. not a 8-9-10 million dollar Price or Lundqvist. Even if Montreal somehow lands the next Crosby : Mcdavid… and Kessel….. how do they keep them or give them the supporting cast they need shackled to a 9.5 30+ goaltender?

        Rinne, Lundqvist, Price . 3 of the best in the world… zero to show for it…. Fleury, Crawford, 5 combined neither cap hit is close to the other 3.

      • **** will be close to the other 3*****

      • @Nyr4life, I`m not comparing Pitts to Mont. Leave Mont out of the equation, how many cups would Price of won if he had played in Pitts. Say Pitts had drafted and signed Price, I`d say Price would have 5 rings. Last year Murray may have been inexperienced, but he was sensational. You become a lot better defenceman when you know your goalie is there to save your butt all the time

      • I’d rather not go down the hypocritical road of ifs …. That is pure speculation and impossible to really say…. maybe if Pittsburgh had Price, they may not have had a Malkin , Crosby or Kessel?

      • And in no way shape or form am I dogging Price or Montreal. I’m just saying I don’t believe Price, Lundqvist, Roy , Hayek, Brodeurs are worth 8.5-9-10 per. I wish Talbot was a ranger today, and Lundqvist was choking Dallas, St. Lois, Calgary, insert any other teams name here’s cap hit.

        The only fortunate thing about Lunqvists contract is it will expire at the perfect time for his replacement to take the wheel.

      • Yogi… Murray played far from Great in last years playoffs… he played good enough to win. he stole a couple games here and there but otherwise was equally dependent on the team in front of him as they were on him… rarely was he the absolute star of the game. Ny… I agree that it is a dangerous move to give a goalie what could be 12.5% of your cap space. you have to really rely on several 1st and second contract players all being really decent to make that work.

      • Striker I’m not saying Weber was a problem, I’m saying he was hardly the solution a lot of people thought he might be, with all the garbage about he would be a better leader and the problem last year was the locker room and PK was too loud and yada yada yada… it’s not a very good hockey team it doesn’t have much offence it relies on the worlds best goalie to win that was the issue then the same as it is now so trading a younger player on a shorter contract for an older player on a longer contract doesn’t make much sense especially now when you consider that you are starting to hear about retooling and closing windows and talk of moving Price or possibly losing him? The Habs are all in and a first round out team with one of the games great goalies and Weber, the Preds swept the Hawks and Subban was playing nearly 26 mins a night against arguably the best team in the last decade, do you think Poile regrets the deal or Subban was that much of an issue in Montreal?

      • Shticky.

        As we have discussed repeatedly. This trade still shocks me. I like both these Dman a ton. They aren’t truely comparable. Both are #1’s but not the same type of #1’s.

        The fact Subban has more money owed to him with less term was 1 of the head scratchers for me from Nashville’s perspective.

        Although a Bruins fan I’m wearing my Nashville jersey today & as you can imagine I don’t own a Montreal jersey. Again no team I hate more as a Bruins fan. Been on the losing end of to many playoff games to Montreal.

      • Shticky…! I don’t get the rangers lottery thing? Are we eliminating the rangers from the playoffs altogether? I think this is a first time in history a team wins a 1st round and is eliminated 12 hours after without playing a single game in the 2nd round? …. weird!

      • Nah it was a comment meant for big bear that was referring to how he was yapping the caps won the playoff lottery and got an easy out with the Leafs and the Habs would have an easy time with the Rangers as they were just too deep Rangers can’t win at home …Basically I’m just laughing at big mouth and all his comments over the past few weeks like Poile and the Preds must regret trading for Subban the Leafs, Rangers…it had nothing to do with the Rangers really

  2. SJ lost to Ed not St.L and you can turn any 30 goal 82 pt. forward into a 5 goal defensive forward. Almost impossible to turn a 5 goal defensive minded forward into an offensive gem. This year only 8 players managed to score at a pt/game clip. Less than 20 scored 70 or more pts, yet on this site people seem to think that a 3/4 defenseman is worth far more than a goal scorer. Then they scratch their heads wondering why teams like Mont, Min don`t win

    • I’m not scratching my head I had neither Minnesota or Montreal to win.

      • Both lost to better teams as far as I’m concerned. StL after the coaching change was 1 of the best teams in the league following the coaching change in any almost any catagory you choose to look at statistically.

        NYR had some struggles for stretches this season primarily due to injuries & an aging goaltender but is a far better team than Montreal. They finished with 1 less point in the regular season playing in the strongest division in the NHL.

        The fact anyone expected Montreal to beat NYR is somewhat surprising but again come playoff time anything is possible. It was very close regardless & Montreal outplayed them for significant stretches but couldn’t score. Patches is going to take some serious flack. 1 point? Yikes they’ll want him linched in Montreal.

  3. Funny, I’ve been mentioning Price name on here for awhile now. The Habs are out and the pundits are bringing up Price name. Price will be 30 in August he has one year left on his contract. For me its not about Montreal extending Price a contract. It’s why would Price stay? Out of loyalty , money? I would think Price wants a cup, he has never played in the Stanley Cup final, he hasn’t been able to get the Canadians to the promise land, no fault of his own. I would think Carey would need to see were Montreal is heading. They got some money coming off the books with Markov and Radulov. Will they resign either one? Radulov had a good playoffs but if he wants 5yr at $6m I would walk away.
    I think Carey will wait and see what directions the Canadians go before opting to resign his window is also getting closer to shutting then its to being open for that elusive Cup and the Canadians are more then one player away from being contenders.

    • I think you`re 100% right Caper

    • All they have is Price, this team is all goalie, nothing without him, trade him, flush the rest and start over. That’s what they should do, I hope they still chase the dream though, make a bigger mess out of this big mess, lol this is perfect

      • Ya I agree, but is Montreal willing to do that. Reality says no

      • I think Montreal does need to re-build, or maybe a mini-rebuild, but the problem is Bergevin seems to be down a certain path that he carved out with the Weber trade.

        The Habs, before this season had holes, but they had a lot of value in guys around 27 or younger, with an all world goalie. That shift from Subban (their best skater) to Weber aged the core and has them tied to that path with a very difficult contract to digest in the coming years.

        Looking to trade guys like Galchenyuk and Beaulieu seems counter intuitive, although I don’t think it’s wrong to expect it as Bergevin only has certain assets with value he can trade to try and get the scorer he desires, as I don’t think he can sell ownership on a rebuild after the moves he has made without probably costing himself his job.

    • Montreal’s prospect cupboard at forward is empty. They can’t score now & Bergevin thinks you can check your way to success. There is no easy or quick solution to what ails Montreal. Radulov even at 6 is to much for me. Lehkonen is going to be a great hockey player & help but how does Montreal ice 2 quality scoring lines? Even with Radulov they are at least 1 player short & that leaves virtually nothing for a 3rd line.

      Moving, Beaulieu, Juulsen & a pick might get them Duchene. That would help but with Markov gone can Montreal afford to lose Beaulieu? Price is going to command Lundqvist monies to resign. Where is Montreal getting the money to fix what ails them. A rebuild or a retooling is very close at hand.

      This just isn’t a good team.

    • Pacioretty to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for the rights to Kovalchuk.
      Kovalchuk LW
      Galchenyuk C
      Radulov RW

      Hall LW
      Pacioretty C
      Palmieri RW

  4. Let’s Go Oilers, how about all the Oil hatters now.

  5. Haters sorry typing this at church.

    • Sin on you, typing haters at church…now head straight to confession, even if your not Catholic.

  6. Also as far as the habs go, get rid of Burke 2.0 aka brevegin if you want to win. All he traded for is big “tough” and “gritty” players.
    They don’t win come playoffs, you need guys who can score want to win, and are will to go to the hard areas, even if they are small. Just take a look at Pittsburgh or even Toronto to some degree. Their speed, skill and talent are winning them games. Actually their size might be winning them games in that they are smaller and quicker than their opponents!

  7. John Stevens new head coach L.A.

  8. If Price became available the Isles should jump on that. He knows the Eastern Conference and would take a big question mark out of the Isles to do list.

    Lyle is the Peter Luukko rumor true about being next Isles president?

    • The Luukko rumor has kicked around for a few months. Nothing really heard one way or the other.

  9. Pominville only has 2 years left & Minnesota will have no choice but to bite the bullet & buy out the 10 mil remaining, that’s 1.7 & change in cap hit over the next 4 seasons freeing up almost 4 milllion in cap space but more importantly getting his NMC off the books for expansion.

    No team has positioned themselves worse for the pending expansion draft than Minnesota. Minnesota has some serious trades to make pre expansion to mediate the lose. Even then they are still going to lose a very good quality forward or potentially Dman.

    Even if they can strike a deal with Vegas the cost will be a 1st+ considering the quality of player Minny is confronted with exposing & their late draft position.

  10. Lyle.

    If Kovy returns how does this effect his contract buyout? How can NJ be paying cap recapture penalties & him being signed to a new contract at the same time? Just another thing the NHL & NHLPA hadn’t foreseen?

    This is just wrong for me.

    • Kovalchuk wasn’t bought out. He retired, his contract was terminated and the Devils are tagged with a $250K annual salary cap recapture penalty through 2024-15. He can re-sign a new contract with them.

      • Thks Lyle

  11. how about a mtl and philly trade involving price and giroux along with other pieces…thoughts?

  12. I have really enjoyed the playoffs so far. Edm & Toronto fans have be be very happy & excited for what the future holds & as much as I had Washington to beat Toronto I would be just as happy if they came back & advanced. They are fun to watch & it would be great for the game to have this team succeed. Youth, speed, skill & passion are great qualities to put on display.

    At the same time, as frustrating as it is to lose in the 1st round & someone has to lose, only the Anaheim series was dominated by 1 team & that was with out their #1 & 3 Dman. Even though 2 other series ended quickly they were far closer than the games played shows & fun to watch, many of those games could have gone either way. How big was Klefbom’s goal in game 5? Huge, essentially decided the series.

    Parity is alive & well. The difference between being a really good team & an average team is nominal in today’s NHL. The fact we have at least 1 Canadian team advancing maybe 2 or 3 is very positive to the NHL’s revenue stream as is NYR, Anh & Pit advancing so far in the US. These are important markets for TV ratings.

  13. How about trading Galchenyuk and Beaulieu for TAVARES??