Latest on the Canadiens and Coyotes – November 21, 2017

by | Nov 21, 2017 | Rumors | 30 comments

Updates on the Montreal Canadiens plus the latest on Arizona Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson in your NHL rumor mill.


FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites NHL insider Darren Dreger’s Monday morning appearance on Toronto’s TSN 1050 discussing the latest Montreal Canadiens trade speculation. Despite all the recent chatter, Dreger doesn’t expect the Habs to do very much.

While teams remain interested in winger Alex Galchenyuk, Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin is reluctant to give up on the youngster. Dreger acknowledged the whispers of captain Max Pacioretty being shopped could grow louder if the club fails to improve but doesn’t see Pacioretty’s situation as comparable to that of Phil Kessel’s during his final season with the Leafs. He also thinks Bergevin isn’t in any danger of being fired.” I believe he’s safe as general manager of the Habs.”

Dreger’s colleague Bob McKenzie, appearing Monday on Montreal’s TSN 690, also believes Canadiens ownership hasn’t reached the stage yet where they’re ready to relieve Bergervin of his duties.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Responding to speculation suggesting Edmonton as a trade destination for Canadiens goalie Carey Price, David Staples says such a move wouldn’t make sense for the Oilers in terms of managing the salary cap and building a winning team. Given the expensive contracts of such notables as Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Milan Lucic, the Oilers cannot afford to take on Price’s $10.5 million annual cap hit on his upcoming new contract.

Staples also doesn’t see the Oilers giving up Draisaitl. If they opt to move center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and his $6 million annual salary, Staples believes it could be for a more affordable return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: All the Canadiens trade chatter is currently based upon media musings. No one’s citing any sources claiming Galchenyuk, Pacioretty or Price are being shopped. In most trades, of course, we usually don’t have any inkling ahead of time that the move is coming. While I think Bergevin is shopping around, I feel his intention is not to blow things but to find help for his struggling roster.

Unless Price wants out, and I don’t believe that’s the case, he’s not going anywhere. If Pacioretty gets traded it’ll likely be in late-June, when teams have more cap space and willingness to make significant moves. Galchenyuk could be moved by the Feb. 26 trade deadline if the Habs are out of playoff contention by then, but I can also see Bergervin waiting until the offseason to make that deal.

Yes, things can change over the course of the season. Bergevin could lose his job and his replacement could have very different views on how to reverse the club’s fortunes. For now, however, the Canadiens probably haven’t reached that point yet. 



TSN: With the Arizona Coyotes in town yesterday to play the Toronto Maple Leafs, Bob McKenzie was largely dismissive over recent speculation suggesting the Leafs pursue Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson by offering up Nylander. Despite the Coyotes’ struggles, McKenzie notes the blueliner remains upbeat over the club’s future and of re-signing with them.

Based on his information, McKenzie said there hasn’t been a single conversation between the Coyotes and Leafs regarding Ekman-Larsson. If the two clubs were discussing such a deal, he doesn’t think the Coyotes see Nylander as an NHL center. For that matter, he doesn’t believe the Leafs want to move any of their top three young forwards.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I recommend reading McKenzie’s article in its entirety, as he lays out a lengthy and convincing case for rejecting the Ekman-Larsson to Toronto speculation. Sure, it’s possible things could change over the course of the season that could make that proposed deal a reality.  But as things stand now, the Coyotes apparently want to retain Ekman-Larsson and he would like to stay in Arizona. If the Leafs want a top-two defenseman, they’ll have to look elsewhere to find one this season. 



  1. Dear Peter; DeBoer, Donskoi sits 10th in TOI/GP at forward at 12:56, that’4th line minutes, 11th in PP TOI/GP barely clinging to even 2nd line PP time but sits 3rd in points, 2nd in goals & tied for the 2nd best +/-, generating 2 shots on net per game in a limited role. You may want to consider giving him some better quality minutes but more importantly he should be seeing at least top 6 TOI/GP at forward.

    Why coaches get so set in their ways when all evidence even the eye test say otherwise makes no sense to me.

  2. doesn’t make sense oel to leafs… zona would need a young up and coming d man in the return and leafs don’t really have that in spades. gardiner and nylander for oel? maybe duclair goes back other way as well? I don’t see a deal with these teams… and no Toronto fans, oel wont go for picks and prospects… zona has enough of those they need young nhl players.

    • for example from the pens I would see Jake G, Olli Maatta as the base for a deal for oel. Young nhl’ers.

    • If Arizona goes for it he is the perfect fit for the Leafs and who better to mentor Reilly and our up and coming Swedish dman Liligren when he gets up to the big club.

      In Matthews absence our pp went 2/13, clearly, Matthews drives our pp and not our defense or Nylander for that matter and OEL would be huge there and 5v5.

      Nylander had 1 goal and one assist in Matthews absence and the 1 goal was in OT which Willy will always shine in as its 3v3.

      This is a win for the Leafs if they have the guts to do it.

  3. One point that has to be made about OEL is that not only do the coyotes have tons of cap Space they will need to reach the floor when Datsyts contract runs out and even Pronger’s contract runs out. They will have legitimate money to spend on players. So signing him to a long-term contract is not a issue with money. It becomes an issue if he doesn’t want to commit long-term to losing franchise. But everything we have been told he is happy living in the desert. who blames him, nice weather there with little pressure.

    • Datsyuk’s contract ran out last year

    • So did Pronger’s.

      No team has yet had any issues making the cap floor. All this stuff about teams doing so in these types of scenario’s is BS.

      They take bad cap hit contracts not to hit the Cap regardless. Arizona’s cap hit last season was 75,286,038 before claiming $2,286,038 in LTIR according to Capfriendly.

      81.688 mil on before bonus cushions & LTIR.

      Factor in Datsyuk’s & Pronger’s cap hits & Arz was still well above the cap floor with out them.

  4. I’m old enough to remember the brutal draft record of the years of losing teams in Toronto….Rob Pearson, Scott Thornton, etc. All those picks lead to nothing. Toronto finally has an incredible core of Matthews, Nylander, Marner and Rielly with a secondary layer of Kadri, Zaitsev, Brown and Hyman. Why would they squander a core and create a hole to fill another hole. They need a seasoned tough defensemen that can actually skate, and a power play specialist defensemen that is not a defensive liability, and a second line centre.

    There is no need to hand over huge assets to plug any of these three holes. Unless they plan on losing to get high draft picks over the next 5-7 years, it will be unlikely they would be able to draft players of that calibre.

    Toronto needs to learn from its past. Draft well, protect your core, build around your core, eliminate dead weight and their inflated contracts, manage finances wisely under the salary cap, and develop a culture of winning.

    • Thank you, Frank – every Leaf fan needs to repeat this formula daily.

    • Second line centre? How is Kadri not capable in that position? 61 points last year and 19 in 22 this season. Seems like he is handling himself just fine.

      • If he could win faceoffs consistently he’d be a damn good second line center.
        He’s bad at taking faceoffs in his own end, bad in the offensive zone and props up his won/loss record in the neutral zone where faceoffs arent as important to win, because if you win or lose them, there isnt as much urgency of scoring or being scored on.
        Also lately, Babcock has him taking less faceoffs.

    • Frank, this is exactly what Leaf fans want. They want our management to improve the team not devastate it by adding one player as many on this board think the Leafs should do. I could care less if we get Larson. Our defense right now is no worse then Pittsburgh has been the last two years – both cup winning years. We have prospects coming that hopefully will make the defense better down the road. As well, I trust our management will make one deal prior to the deadline that will improve the team for a good playoff run. Go Leafs Go!

    • They need Hjallmarsson more than they do OEL , and it will come cheaper

  5. Frank,

    They are doing exactly what you suggest. Well stated.

  6. There’s no way Nylander or even Marner are getting traded, they and Matthews are the MAIN building blocks for the Leafs future. OEL can rot in Arizona if it takes those options to acquire him…I know that’s what it would take, because so, OEL can stay there being basically invisible his entire career.

  7. I can see the Leafs talking to Arizona but not about O.E.L., but rather about Demers. I know there was some talk about the Leafs having interest in him before the Panthers shipped him off to Arizona. Not sure what Arizona would want back.

  8. OK suspect I’m gonna get roasted for this but if Taylor Hall can’t fetch OEL then there is no way in hell that Nylander or Marner gets a young #1 D man.

    I know they are both all shiny, new and exciting but they are a lot more potential than real production so far. Marner had a good year last year, this year he’s bounced around the line up has a respectable 16 pts through 22 games and is a -4 on a winning team. Nylander has 14 points and has already had some concussion problems.

    If I’m Zona I take a hard pass on Nylander of OEL unless there is something of major significance added. A scoring winger just isn’t worth a number 1 D man, particularly one who’s only 26.

    • Not roasted from me, Styx. I actually think OEL for one of those guys would be pretty fair, but certainly not a “Leafs would get ripped off” reaction; they wouldn’t.

      In a salary cap world, having a young, cost-controlled (to a degree) player adds a lot of value, so one of those guys could fetch a #1 dman like OEL, who will cost a lot more, sooner.

  9. The only way I see Nylander and Gardner going for OEL is if the Coyotes include Strome and the Leafs add a mid round pick. Personally I don’t see OEL as much as an improvement on Gardner. Would sooner get a Gudbranson, Manson, Dumba, Trouba or even Petrovik but all those deals are probably an off season deal?

    • Tug, to me the Leafs are not dealing one of there three young studs and not adding Gardiner to one of them for Larson, if that’s what the deal takes – guess what – we pass. For all you guys suggesting it, I can’t see the Leafs doing something like that – we don’t need Larson at that expense.

      For the guy up above commenting on Nylander’s concussion – he had one at the WJC three years ago – none other that I am aware of as as far as I remember – it was minor. As for Marner being moved around the lineup- teams juggle lineups all the time – guess what – part of the game.

      Thank you.

    • How can you include Gudbranson, a 3rd pairing D man at best in the same sentence as Manson, Dumba or Trouba.

  10. If you’re not willing to talk Nylander or Marner, you probably shouldn’t be talking OEL, Trouba, etc.

    I get Mathews being an untouchable guy in the eyes of fans. But if you think you’re getting a guy like OEL , Trouba, etc for expiring guys like Bozak or JVR with an added random pick…you’re sadly mistaken.

    Sure, you’d be giving up a “core guy” but you’re getting back a core guy that always has more value than a winger.

    • NYr4life, there are no Leaf fan’s here talking about acquiring Larson. Leaf fans are telling you guys we don’t want him at the cost of one of our core players. No Leaf fan here is expecting Larson for JVR or Bosak, so I don’t know where you are getting that from – it sounds like it’s coming from you.

      From my perspective Larson is going to cost a boat load of dollars in 2 years and I honestly don’t think he’s worth it. Some GM will pay, they always do at UFA time as NY did for Shattenkirk.

      • Trekkie,

        I’ve been coming here for years. I’m not picking on anyone in particular, but there has been this type of Bozak for OEL trade ideas from more than a few leafs faithful. I’m also not saying they are the only fan base to do so… plenty of delusional Ranger fans in the world…
        But to say there are none? You obviously haven’t been coming here long or just don’t read every day.

        Not sure what Larsson or Shattenkirk have to do with the price of milk? If we’re going for Shattenkirk was overpaid, … he left a ton of money on the table. I’m no fan of the signing. But he got less than market value. And he’s contributing.

        Again, my point… you can’t expect teams to give up on guys like OEL, Trouba without paying a significant price…
        Honestly I don’t believe either guy would land either on their own.

        I get not wanting to give up talented guys… but when have wingers ever really held value like a #1 d-man?

        The price is gut wrenching. As a NY fan, I wouldn’t want to give up a guy like Miller, Kreider, Buchnevich… but I fully understand that it is at least the starting point ( ++) in a serious conversation .

      • Larsson still has 3 years remaining on his contract after this season.

      • Sorry, your speaking to OEL. Ekman-Larson, got confused their & thought you were addressing Larsson who moved for Hall.

        The only way I see Arz moving OEL is if he’s not extendable on July 1st & I’m sure some discussions about his interest in doing so have been broached by Arz.

        If he has no interest in doing so then they auction him off to the highest bidder this summer when everyone can bid.

        I would still prefer Trouba to OEL who strikes me as quite 1 dimensional but having only played in Arz who really knows.

  11. NY – no issue and sorry if I came across strong. Arizona has every right to milk Larson if they do intend to trade him, I certainly would. Also, I can see guys saying Bozak and a fourth for your best player, so forgive my comment there.

    The Leafs did what they did in draft, selected Nylander as they felt he was the best available at that time and Marner over Hanifin as they felt they got the better player. When Marner was selected, the D prospects here were bare. We still picked him over Hanifin. I was POed at the time, not anymore.

    Larson is nice, he will cost whoever trades for him 8+ and term or via UFA 8+ and term. Our three 20 year olds are under control for a number of years – not to say they won’t be treated fairly – but I don’t think we have to do what Chirelli did – we’ll see how that part plays out. Thanks for your comments and understanding that some of us Leafs fans aren’t pitching Larson for picks and prospects. I’m ok that we are not going to get him. BTW – I was at the Leaf/Ranger game (game 2 for us this year) what a game.

    • Striker, that’s incorrect. He’s UFA after next season

      • Sorry, I thought you were speaking about Larsson not Ekman-Larson.

      • Me too. My bad.