Latest Canadiens & Canucks Rumors – November 20, 2017

by | Nov 20, 2017 | Rumors | 38 comments

Check out the latest trade speculation regarding the Montreal Canadiens and Vancouver Canucks in your NHL rumor mill.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Stu Cowan reports the ongoing mystery surrounding the supposedly “minor” lower-body injury suffered by Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price is giving rise to rumors the club could look at trading him before his new eight-year, $84-million contract kicks in next summer.

Cowan notes the Canadiens are a “badly broken hockey team” following embarrassing back-to-back losses against Arizona and Toronto. Entering this week with an 8-11-2 record, they’re “ranked 30th in the NHL in offence, 29th in defence, 27th on the power play, 28th in penalty killing and 21st in faceoffs.”

Regarding a possible trade partner for Price, Cowan notes the Edmonton Oilers are in worse shape than the Habs. The Oilers have talented centers such as Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and need help in goal, as starter Cam Talbot is struggling this season.

Cowan’s colleague Jack Todd believes the Canadiens’ 6-0 loss on Saturday to the Maple Leafs likely spells the end of their playoff hopes this season and could also mean the end of Marc Bergevin’s tenure as general manager. If so, Todd recommends wooing Tampa Bay Lightning assistant GM Julien BriseBois as Bergevin’s successor.

NBC SPORTS: Joey Alfieri noted Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos recent speculation suggesting the Canadiens could be willing to consider trading some veterans, such as perhaps captain Max Pacioretty, for prospects and draft picks. Alfieri notes the Habs have a decent core in Pacioretty, Price, Shea Weber and Jonathan Drouin but they’re lacking scoring punch and depth at center and the blueline. Because they carry some key pieces, Alfieri feels rebuilding from scratch might not be necessary, but the roster needs a lot of work.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Be it a complete tear down or a retooling, the Canadiens cannot avoid addressing their glaring weaknesses. Before doing so, however, they must first address their front office talent. Until last summer, Bergevin wasn’t doing too badly, but he bungled efforts to re-sign Andrei Markov and Alexander Radulov and failed to bring in suitable replacements. Given the Habs’ poor draft record over the last decade, it’s also time to overhaul the scouting department.

Regarding the Habs’ core, if they’re going to shop any veterans, Pacioretty seems the likely trade option. He’s eligible for UFA status in 2019 and I can see the two sides parting company by then, especially if there’s new management in place. Pacioretty may be struggling this season but there will be clubs that could be willing to part with a quality asset or two to get him.

As for Price, I don’t buy into the conspiracy theories that the Habs are holding him off the ice in order to find a suitable trade partner. If he’s healthy and back to form, it makes more sense to have him playing to show potential suitors that he’s not hampered by injury.

The Oilers certainly need help between the pipes but I don’t see them chasing Price. And if they do, I don’t believe they’ll part with Draisaitl, and I doubt the Habs would agree to a deal for Price with Nugent-Hopkins as the centerpiece. 

I’m not saying Price can’t be traded, but his full no-movement clause and that expensive new contract makes him hard to move. Toss in his current injury and it becomes almost impossible right now.

Whatever’s going on with Price, be it a lower-body injury or something else, he and the Habs have to come clean. Otherwise, the conjecture will only grow, not just about his injury status but also his future with the club. 

THE ATHLETIC: Mike Halford examines several trade scenarios bandied about of late for the Vancouver Canucks. Defenseman Erik Gudbranson’s status as an unrestricted free agent at season’s end could make him a trade candidate, especially given speculation his asking price could be between $5-$6 million annually. Halford speculates Gudbranson could be moved as a playoff rental to a club looking at a deep playoff run, getting draft picks in return. 

Blueliner Chris Tanev is signed through 2020 and he’s been linked to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the rumor mill. Halford suggests the Canucks could look at striking while the iron is hot, though moving Tanev would adversely affect their defense corps. They could also consider moving a goalie but Halford believes they don’t know yet what they’ve got with their current tandem of Jacob Markstrom and Anders Nilsson. That should dampen any trade talk.

More likely trade options could be forwards Thomas Vanek and Alex Burmistrov, with Vanek as the more intriguing candidate. Though the bar’s been set low for the 33-year-old veteran winger this season, he’s on pace for 22 goals and 47 points. If they hit the trade block, Halford believes it likely they could be moved by the Feb. 26 trade deadline. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A lot could also depend upon where the Canucks are in the standings by next February. The Canucks enter this week only one point out of third in the Pacific Division and sit just outside the wild-card berths. If they’re still playoff contenders come February, they could become buyers instead of sellers. If they do sell, I believe Vanek and Gudbranson are the likely trade options. 



  1. Regarding Habs draft record, I’ll admit they’ve botched some first round picks but they draft very well in the second round (ranked 4th overall in games played per pick since 2003, behind Sharks, Red Wings, and Bruins). Trevor Timmins also drafts well in the late rounds, and the Habs rank 1st over all in games played per pick since 2003 (sum of GP = 8142 / 99 picks). Source (2016 article):

    Doesn’t mean their scouting should not be reevaluated, but it’s not as bad as it seems.

    • The Habs haven’t been poor in the draft, Management has had a real issue holding onto it’s best drafted players, and they tend to end up on the losing side of a lot of deals, which just has them bleeding value. Even if they don’t lose the deal outright, they spend assets, and time not accomplishing much, and just doing things for the sake of doing them.

      Subban for Weber was a deal that was a lot of work, and regardless of what you think of either player, when you trade a top pairing RHD who plays all situations, for another player who does (albeit in a different way) all of the same things, you aren’t really going to improve your team by much, but getting the older player really says a lot about current expectations.

      Eller for Shaw, essentially they traded Eller for picks, then traded roughly the same value of picks for Shaw. They go for a fiestier winger, but who is overall less effective than Eller, forget about the fact that Shaw doesn’t bring anything the Habs needed, and now they are facing issues with center depth.

      Beaulieu being traded so they could protect Jordie Benn makes no sense. The Habs expansion strategy was terrible. They would have been better off protecting Beaulieu, they lose one of Benn or Emelin, but are up a defender from where they are, which is one of their current issues. Also, protecting Shaw over Hudon was awful. They lucked out that Vegas picked Emelin, but Shaw pretty much had protection in his awful contract.

      They traded Sergechev for a winger who they hoped could play center. Again, the trade isn’t bad in terms of pure value, but given the loss they faced on the blueline, and that their drafting prowess is one of their strengths, moving your most valuable asset without getting exactly what you are looking for is not a smart move. Also, the fact that they had to add a conditional 2nd is pretty weak, doesn’t look like they will have to fulfil that, but mostly because Sergechev is making the trade look terrible on it’s own.

      The issue has been the Habs have made moves, but have never been in a position where they trade from a position of real strength to fill a weakness, or just make a pure addition in any way. Their deals tend to leave a hole at least as big as they one they tried to fill, and leave them older than they started out, but not really being any better.

      • Careful, Big bear may be viewing your post! You know how he feels about roasting other teams but not his own Habs.

      • The biggest issue I have with the Drouin deal is that they didn’t solve the issue at center (or wing with the way Drouin is deployed) but created a hole on defense.
        As you said Danny, value wise this deal makes sense but it made the habs weaker

      • I agree Taz. Deals need to be evaluated based on what information was known at the time, and what they were supposed to accomplish. The fact is Bergevin spent a fair amount of time and got to announce some blockbuster deals and signings, none of which really helps the team, or addressed any real issues. That’s a lot of wasted effort. Sometimes a deal can be bad just because of optics as well. Weber for Subban was never going to make a big difference just simply because they are both very good at their position, so there wasn’t a lot of improvement to be had. However, Montreal got the pedigree and older player, so it signals lets win now, but there was nothing else done to really push that agenda.

        Reminds me of arguing about the dead horse that is the Kessel deal. That deal never made sense, but it isn’t because the picks turned out to be Seguin and Hamilton, that’s just rubbing salt in the wound. It didn’t make sense because a team that just finished in the bottom 10 in the league needed a center so they traded their next 2 firsts, without lottery protection, for a winger. If the picks ended up being Gudbranson and Strome, that wouldn’t have made it a good deal, Toronto can’t win or lose the deal just because of Boston’s lottery luck or ability to make good or poor draft choices. They lose the deal because it made no sense in terms of where they were as an organization, what their needs really were, and what it signified to their fans.

  2. Radulov for sure should have been signed by MTL. I also think a Markov deal could have been worked out.

  3. With yesterday speculation that the salary cap could go up by $4 or $5m does this make it easier to trade Price?

    • Thoughts….since Montreal seems to be a badly broken hockey team and the rumors are floating about for a rebuild…WHAT ABOUT MAX Pacioretty to the Penguins for Brian Rust, Olli Matta and a #1 pick. This gives the Canadiens two young players they can build around. (salaries match up)
      Pacioretty $4.5 against thE cap Matta 22 AT $4.1 Rust 25 AT 640,000…AND PACIORETTY SIGNED THROUGH 2020 GIVES THE Penguins A SNIPER TO PLAY THROUGH THIS 2, 3 YEAR WINDOW FOR THE PENGUINS

      • as a pens fan I just threw up in my mouth a little (or was that the sams club sushi I just ate?). pens move their best playing d man right now (with no depth replacement in the system), their 1st, and a solid middle six winger for a guy who, while would be nice, isn’t what they need right now which is more center depth? a million no thank yous to that one.

      • The Penguins have plenty of snipers. But to be honest this deal sort of makes sense. You are correct in that Pittsburgh still has a 2-3 year window for more Cups. Pacioretty, like Kessel, is not a go-to guy. I think he would do well in Pittsburgh.

      • The Pens are very high on Maatta, everyone tries to trade him because he isnt fast like everyone else on team. I just dont see Pens making that deal but i do agree that Pacioretty would be a great wing for Geno.

      • IF, and that’s a big if, Montreal is gonna blow it up, they should be looking to just maximize return. To do that, they would have to look at taking back non-roster assets, as good teams don’t really want to move out players they currently depend on. If Pittsburgh’s window is short, they need to keep their D intact. Patches would be a great addition, but he can’t come with a big subtraction like that.

      • Pens fan here too … and just whom replaces Ollie? We are thin enough back there with him. A better solution is to call up Sprong and put him in a top 6 role. And for Sullivan to wise up and start rolling 4 lines.

      • You can never say never but I would be shocked if Pit trades Maatta in the next 4 years.

        As always with a few very rare & odd exceptions these assets only move in extenuating circumstances & none exist.

        Maatta is a solid young developing Dman that just keeps getting better. Now if he can just stay healthy or relatively so.

        Pit doesn’t need Patches. Let’s get Sprong into the NHL.

      • sprong coming up AND if he plays well in the NHL opens up horny/rust/sheary to move for a third line center. if sprong can play top 9 wing in the nhl it gives pens rust/sheary/guentzel/sprong/horny/hags/kessel… 7 players for 6 positions… depth is great but not when sheahan is your top 6 replacement for when malkin and Crosby get hurt.

      • Pittsburgh does not need any more wingers. They have a young sniper wasting away in the AHL.
        Getting another one just blocks him even more. We need a 3C and a 6D, those are priorities. Rutherford needs to get creative like trading Haglen to Edmonton for Strome or send Hunwick back to the leafs for Aaltonan or both actually. See if Florida wants Greg McPlug back with something else for Alex Petrovic. The team needs to get younger. Forget Patches.

  4. The Habs first move has to be the firing of their GM. He has dug them into a huge hole.

    • Let him dig the hole and jump in! He has totally messed this franchise. But you can’t say he hasn’t tried. He is the “Casey at the Bat” type of manager that we all enjoy watching because he is not afraid of taking the big swing; he just seems to miss a lot!

    • Chrisms…you have to give someone good to get someone good that’s how it works……olli Matta is young and talented but slow…he would fit better in a system that isn’t speed oriented. he gets toasted a lot and you make a deal before hand to acquire a d-man before you ship him off..Brayden McNabb 26, big, strong can pass, and clears the front of the net unlike most Penguins d-man. MAke a deal to get him he is ouR Ron Hainsey this year except 10 years younger bigger faster and better. Brian Rust is good but we have SPRONG, Archibald and ANTON Reese coming soon. EHAT DOES rust have 3 4 goals Pacioretty is a pure sniper signed until 2020 which is about the window for the Penguins right now. GeTTING mCNABB WITH cOLE AND dUMOLIN GIVES YOU A DEFENSIVE GUY TO PAIR WITH offensive players lETANG &SCHULTz




      • Those are the most f’d up lines I have ever seen. Crosby, Malkin, Sheahan are all wingers now? Zaripov? Another old winger we don’t need. Never played in the NHL but he’s just going to jump into the top 6, and play centre?!? Wow!

  5. The only thing worse than the Habs this season would be what they’d become if they let Bergevin helm the rebuild


  6. And given the Habs’ front office, I’m inclined to believe it’s poor farm system and poor player management rather than poor drafting that is the issue

    • 100% right on the front office and the farm team/ “development” aspect of the Habs.

      The AHL coach, stefan Lefevre, is worse (it seems impossible!) than Therrien was. Nepotism also there in the rat of the staff.

      Lyle repeats this Draft stuff – that the Habs draft badly:
      Poehling 2017- doing great
      Sergachev 2016 – !!??!!
      Juulsen 2015 – doing great
      Scherbak 2015 – looked NHL ready this year before being injured.
      McCarron 2014- is what he is, #28 pick, we’ll see
      Galchenyuk 2013 – has looked very good, but, you know, he didn’t play “da system”, so acrewed over from year to year

      I think that’s pretty good.

      Bergevin has so many mistakes under his belt.

      Yeah, a couple of solids (Danault for eg), but over all a disastrous performance.

      This is what you get under montreal’s version of the Peter Principle: a smiling nice guy who dresses well, has fulfilled a few minor roles in management with his former team as a player – no real proof that he can do this job.

      However he has the correct ethnicity.

      • Personally, even from Day 1, I’ve thought Bergevin’s errors can be attributed to the fact that *HE* made it to the NHL on hard work and not skill, so he grossly overvalues low-skill, high-workrate players.

        He continually trades for/signs decent 3rd & 4th liners and undervalued #5 & 6 Dmen, but at the expense of getting any top-end talent, and then needs to put these players in roles they are massively underqualified for. I love Danault, but a 1C he ain’t! (at least not on a good team 🙂 )

        Now the Habs are stuck with a roster over 50% of which are pluggers that can’t score and are so easily replaceable as to have no trade value.

      • McCarron will most likely not be an NHL player, if you’ve watched him skate he’s a little sluggish and he doesn’t have the hands or hockey IQ to make up for, it’s like Jason Allison 2.0 out there.

      • You are, the real issue is in player development. MCarron is an example. He will never be at #1 top six guy. He could be at servicable NHLer but needs to be developed. Beaulieu is the same. He has the tools to be a 3-4 D but has been poorly developed. We’ll see if Sabres can save him. The development core needs to be revamped.

      • Paddy,
        I like your assessment of the way Bergevin has built his team, and I think its bang on. He overvalues grit, and traditional looking work ethic. The truth is though, that there are very few good NHL players who don’t have work ethic. The idea that players with natural ability can coast is long dead. NHL players that make it today all work hard, but the work doesn’t necessarily translate to hits and blocked shots and PIMS, but this isn’t the way Bergevin sees work.

        The team plays this way too, they carry the play possession wise, but it’s like watching a team getting a lot of “good 4th line shifts”. Lots of shot attempts from wide angles and the blueline, but given that their shooters aren’t the most talented bunch to begin with, they would likely need to outshoot teams by an absurd margin to win this way.
        I really like the addition of analytics to hockey, however I think people jumped on and then off the bandwagon so quickly they missed a lot of the great things being done, and the work that has been done to track what is really happening in a game. If you look through the analytics on natural stat trick of what happened to the Habs on Saturday night, it really shows you why they are going to have a tough time making the playoffs.

        They won the Corsi battle, but when you dig into some of the other stuff, it’s easy to see why they got steam rolled. First off, they basically peppered the leafs goal from everywhere in the first, but didn’t generate a lot of high danger chances, and the Leafs played a boring road 1st period. Then the Leafs got up a couple of goals quickly in the 2nd, then survived a flurry of shots as the Habs pressed back. The Leafs then just steamrolled the Habs in the third, just hemming them in and outchancing them badly, and ended up running up the score. In the end, the Habs had better possession numbers, but the Leafs got more scoring chances, and high danger shot attempts. When you look at the heatmap, it’s clear to see why the habs lost so badly. The Leafs got the vast majority of their shot attempts from the slot, directly in front of the goalie, while the habs just threw picks on net from everywhere. When Weber is your most dangerous shooter, you aren’t hard to defend against. In the end, if you play a team that has better shooters than you, and you are trading chances, but theirs are coming from in close and yours are from the blueline and the boards, you aren’t going to win often.

      • Danny, great to have that stats site – I’d never seen that one. Thanks!

        And yes, easy for Corsi to feel false because it doesn’t take quality into account. Habs lead the league in shots… and “goalies having great games against them”. The truth is, it’s a lot easier to make 40 saves when the shots are low quality, taken by players that aren’t great snipers to begin with.

        All that said, I think Julien’s not doing a bad job – he just doesn’t have the horses to make the team competitive.

        Habs are in rough shape for a few years, for sure.

  7. Hard not put put the axe to bergervin’s neck.

    If Duchene doeant pan out i can see simikar happening in Ottawa.

  8. I see a trade developing between the Habs and Oil looking like this: Mtl trades Pleks, Gallagher,ideally Price but it will be Lindgren (once Price is back) for RNH and a lottery protected 1st. Or something close to this. Thinking being Mtl needs a center(RNH), Oil needs a RW and a goalie. Pleks will be useful defensively in the playoffs and is off the books next year and has a cap hit like RNH, Gallagher is signed and affordable plus tight with Lucic. Obviously the details are in needs of refining but I think the bones are there, IMO

  9. If MB kept his hands in his pockets for the last 2 years, and still lost Elemim to LV

    Beaulieu- Mete

    And still have cap space because they never signed Alzner

    This D by doing nothing but status quo.

    • As a Habs fan… ouch. 🙁

  10. I agree with you Lyle that the Habs need to come clean regarding Price’s status with the team, but didn’t they do that with Subban? I am not sure it would be taken seriously if they did.

  11. To MTL: Strome + RNH
    To EDM: Pacioretty + Juulsen

  12. how about price to philly trade for giroux

    • Mtl would do this, and bring up Fucale (not ready though) but Hextall and Philly have some good young goalie depth. Won’t happen.

  13. This trade is useless for both teams. For starters Talbot came off a heavy workload season and could be fatigued. Chances are he is still a quality goalie – no need to make a trade right now.
    The biggest thing for both of these teams is that they need puckmoving D as well as D depth. Markov leaving has hurt the Habs significantly and they haven’t replaced him (it was right to let him walk, but wrong to not replace him with someone cheaper/younger). Sekera’s injury is being noticed in Edmonton with the still obvious lack of D depth that has hurt the team for years. Neither team can move the puck out of their zone and trading quality forwards (or goalies) is going to be irrelevant to help that.