NHL Rumor Mill – November 12, 2018
Should the Canadiens consider trading Carey Price? Could the Rangers’ surprising play make them rethink moving Kevin Hayes? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.
SHOULD THE CANADIENS TRADE PRICE?
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Following the Canadiens 6-5 overtime loss to Buffalo on Thursday, Brendan Kelly believed management must find a way to help struggling goaltender Carey Price or consider trading him. Price, the NHL’s highest-paid goalie, had the worst season of his career in 2017-18 and is showing signs of collapsing again this season.
“First, they need to find out what’s wrong upstairs with their $84 million goalie and do everything possible to fix it. That’s to help Price, the person. But to help the team, I think you have to consider sending Price elsewhere. You might finally get that No. 1 center and, just as importantly, you’ll take so much weight off of his shoulders.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Many will scoff at the notion of the Canadiens putting Price on the trade block. After all, he’s in the first season of an eight-year, $84-million contract (much of that front-loaded) with a no-movement clause. That makes him very difficult to move, especially during the season.
Still, there’s no question Price’s play isn’t at the level that earned him that big contract in the first place. For the first time in years, the Canadiens are winning in spite of Price, not because of him.
I don’t expect the Habs will seriously entertain the notion of trading Price. However, if his problems persist some pundits might take up Kelly’s suggestion that a change of scenery might do him good.
SHOULD THE RANGERS RETHINK MOVING HAYES?
NEW YORK POST: Brett Cyrgalis wonders if the Rangers’ improved play of late might affect the club’s plans for pending free-agent center Kevin Hayes, who’s playing very well thus far this season. While his trade value is rising, Cyrgalis suggests his play might convince management to consider re-signing him. “Then what’s rising is the money and term the club will have to shell out to keep this Boston kid on Broadway.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hayes frequently surfaced in the rumor mill in recent weeks, with some observers suggesting he should be moved as soon as possible while his value is high rather than waiting for the trade deadline. Of late, however, some feel it’s too soon to suggest Hayes is on the block.
If the Rangers continue to improve and are a playoff contender when the calendar flips to 2019, management could face a tough choice. Do they overpay to re-sign Hayes, keep him for the rest of the season and risk losing him to free agency for nothing or stick with their rebuilding plan and trade him?
NO GOALIE CHANGE COMING FOR FLYERS
COURIER-POST ONLINE: While the Philadelphia Flyers have dress four goaltenders for their games this season, Dave Isaac recently reported not to expect them to go shopping for help between the pipes. Injuries to Brian Elliott and Michal Neuvirth forced the Flyers to pluck Calvin Pickard off waivers.
“There’s not a whole lot of guys just laying around and there’s not a whole lot of guys you’re gonna get for less than three or four pieces if, in fact, you get a guy,” general manager Ron Hextall said. “It’s not as easy as we’d all like it to be just to parachute a player of any position in for a short period of time or you try to upgrade.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hey, the Montreal Canadiens might have a goalie they’re willing to shop…Kidding! Just kidding. Settle down.
Hextall didn’t rule out upgrading his roster whenever an opportunity presents itself “within reason.” In other words, he’s not going to give up one or two good young players for short-term help.
As Hextall pointed out, there aren’t many options available to the Flyers. They’re also looking down the road for when promising Carter Hart is NHL-ready and don’t want to invest in an expensive long-term veteran option. It looks like they’re going to stick with their current goalies for the rest of this season.