NHL Rumor Mill – October 17, 2019
Are the Canadiens scouting the Sharks’ Marc-Edouard Vlasic? Could the Devils poor start affect Taylor Hall’s contract talks? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.
CANADIENS EYEING VLASIC?
TVA SPORTS: cites a report by The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz observing the Montreal Canadiens have heavily scouted the San Jose Sharks. Canadiens coach Claude Julien said his club seeks a top-four, left-shot defenseman.
Kurz refers to Sharks blueliner Marc-Edouard Vlasic. The Montreal native carries a no-movement clause in his eight-year, $56-million contract that runs through 2022-23. He’s currently pointless with a plus-minus of minus-eight.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Canadiens are scouting Vlasic they might not like what they’ve seen thus far. He’s struggled but so has the Sharks as a team. They’ve won three straight but dropped their first four contests.
If Vlasic won’t waive his no-movement clause it’s a pointless exercise trying to acquire him. Just because he’s from Montreal doesn’t mean he wants to play there. Many Quebec-born NHL players haven’t been keen to experience that fishbowl existence.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM FRIEDMAN’S LATEST “31 THOUGHTS”
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports there no reason to believe the New Jersey Devils aren’t considering any option other than re-signing Taylor Hall to a long-term extension. The 27-year-old left-winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July.
It remains to be seen what Hall wants to do. The Devils know being a consistent playoff contender could be key to determining his future.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Devils don’t turn things around soon they risk falling into an insurmountable hole this season. That could affect Hall’s decision. If he’s not under contract as the Feb. 24 trade deadline approaches and they’re out of the playoff race by that point, GM Ray Shero could entertain trade offers.
Friedman also believes the Canadiens looked at Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Juuso Riikola.
The Buffalo Sabres are looking to move a defenseman. Friedman thought the Arizona Coyotes could be an option with Niklas Hjalmarsson sidelined for three months. Given the Coyotes’ salary-cap constraints, a big move isn’t likely.