NHL Rumor Mill – November 28, 2019

by | Nov 28, 2019 | Rumors | 42 comments

Latest on the Canadiens, Bruins, and Sabres in today’s NHL rumor mill

LATEST CANADIENS SPECULATION

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Stu Cowan believes the Canadiens could soon reach an important crossroad that could affect them now and in the future. Mired in a five-game winless streak, there are troubling signs they might not bounce back as they did from a similar losing skid last November. They blew 4-0 and 5-3 leads to fall 6-5 to the New York Rangers on Saturday and seemed to give up during an 8-1 loss to the Boston Bruins.

Is it time for the Montreal Canadiens to consider shopping Carey Price? (Photo via NHL Images)

With the possibility of the Canadiens missing the playoffs for the fourth time in five years, Cowan wonders if general manager Marc Bergevin might use his salary-cap space and prospect depth to make a big season-saving trade. He also mused about whether it’s time to consider shopping veteran stars Carey Price and Shea Weber for younger players and begin rebuilding for the future.

LE JOURNAL DE MONTREAL: cites a report by NBC Sports’ Charlie Roumeliotis claiming Bergevin took in Tuesday’s game between the Chicago Blackhawks and Dallas Stars. He’s also attended several games involving the Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate in Rockford.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see Bergevin making any major moves right now. As long as the Habs stay in playoff contention, he’ll give his players time to work their way out of their current funk.

With over $8 million in salary cap room, Bergevin has plenty of wiggle room to swing a major deal. However, he was in a similar position last season but only made a couple of minor moves. Expectations are higher this year, which could put pressure on him to swing a deal.

Bergevin isn’t trading Price or Weber, but if he decides to go that route he’ll do it in the off-season. Price would have to waive his no-movement clause. Weber lacks no-trade protection but carries a hefty contract (over $7.8 million annually through 2025-16). He could be tough to move unless it’s a one-for-one swap for another expensive player or the Habs pick up part of his cap hit.

The Canadiens don’t play the Blackhawks until Jan. 15. Bergevin has a trade history with the Hawks so we can’t dismiss the possibility he’ll do another deal with them. Chicago defenseman Erik Gustafsson has surfaced in trade rumors earlier this season. He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

The Habs need help on the left side of their blueline but I don’t think Gustafsson would be the answer. He’s coming off a 60-point performance last season but has only eight points in 23 contests this season.

UPDATE ON KRUG

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: With the Bruins re-signing Charlie Coyle and Chris Wagner yesterday, Joe Haggerty wonders where this leaves Torey Krug. The new contracts for Coyle and Wagner mean there’s a little less in the Bruins’ payroll to re-sign the 28-year-old defenseman. They also have Zdeno Chara, Matt Grzelcyk, Jake DeBrusk, Kevan Miller and Jaroslav Halak to re-sign. Haggerty observers the Bruins have lots of talented defensemen who could fill in for Krug if he departs next summer, but none have his offensive impact.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Bruins have over $65 million invested in 15 players for next season. Krug said he’s willing to accept a hometown discount to re-sign with the Bruins, but it will probably be well over his current $5.25-million AAV. With three consecutive 50-plus point campaigns already under his belt, he could get over $8 million annually on the open market.

Don’t expect the Bruins to trade Krug this season. He’s still a crucial part of their push for a Stanley Cup this season. They could get him re-signed before July. Nevertheless, the longer he goes unsigned, the more questions will arise about his future with the Bruins.

 

 







42 Comments

  1. To all American posters here

    To you and your families

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving

    • Good morning… Happy Turkey Day in the USA

      I don’t see Price going anywhere soon…if ever at all. We can argue the cap hit all day long ..and I am still a believer that a top 1 2 3 Goalie in the World should be paid just a top 1 2 3 player in the world.

      I went through all teams #1 Goalie situation..and in my opinion the lasy half of the league has what they CALL a starting goalie or #1 Goalie ….but woudl most likely want a new #1 goalie …LOL.
      On the other side of that coin …almost “EVERY ” team needs a back up or woudl like a better back up …so I will cut to the chase here …

      Who in the world would be a better alternative than Carey price over the next 3 years or so …there is NO ONE!

      While I think Keith Primeaus son
      ( Cayden Primeau ) is the next heir apparent …to Price he is still at least 2 – 3 years away …

      I do not want to be the GM who trades the face of the franchise and replaces him with a lower cost filler …being a former Junior goalie myself i watch all goalies very closely …there are not very many goalies lighting up who are coming up right now …

      I ve been pumping Sergei Samsonov tires for 3 years now and even he is struggling in his first season at times …and looks a bit smaller in the net ..which I am sure has mad e Washignton re think the Holtby signing A LOT MORE as well!

      When thinking of trading Carey Price …just think of one player to put things back into perspective about that kind of decision..
      …Marc Andre Fleury !!!

      There is no one to replace Price he is going no where soon….Just like Lundqvist was traded 13 times over the past 3 years ….IMO ..Gobble gobble !

      Cheers

      • Hi Kal El

        With you

        The only team I could see anywhere near interested in trading for Price(and it would be a long long shot) is Sharks

        They are in a win now mode and Jones not cutting it; and Sharks as at now …..are on the outside looking in…. the thing in Sharks favour is that they have now won 8 of 10

        This deal (if it ever happened) would have to be epic along the lines of

        Pickle(and he’d have to agree) & Jones

        For

        Price + + +

        Me thinks Price a Hab for a few more years

      • Someone needs to remind Price he’s a top 3 goalie in the world. Look at his stats.

        Today ranked 45th in gaa and save %.

        Down year?

        Last year he barely broke the top 20.

        2 weird fluke years in a row?

        The year prior he didn’t break the top FIFTY in gaa or save %.

        Carey Price is nowhere NEAR a top 10 goalie in the world.

        And his contract may be the worst structured deal in the nhl.

        Welcome to Montreal Carey Price! Make yourself at home.

      • @ PENGY

        Hillarious Pengy …

        The Sharks were my most interested team in my mind as well…but its going to be more than Pickles and a draft pick player that’s for sure ..

        When trading Price ..it has to be a situation that will give the Habs a FUTURE set of players that will be in the forefront of the next generation Habs teams ….or no deal !

      • @ NYR4 life

        Shocked on your view …on Price ..so many intangibles over the past 8 years in the league to just discredit him as you have …not only 5 years removed as voted the best player in the world of hockey ….

        here is his defense core ..LOL …outside of Weber …who wasn’t there all last year mind you …

        Weber – missed all last year
        Petry ..3 – 4 d man
        Chiabot 4 – 5 d man
        Metes – practically a rookie
        Fleury – a rookie
        and some guy named Mike Reilly ..LOL

        No Druion next 8 weeks …
        Suzuki
        Kotkaniemie
        Cousins
        Lehkonen

        most 1st and second yer players …

        What the hell is Carey price going to do with that and where are the Habs going with that roster the last 3 years???

        Come on dude….you know this !!

      • Lmao… only 5 years removed?

        Look at Lundqvist defense and goal support in the Tort coached years. Then tell me the difference.

        Come on dude…. don’t be such a homer.

      • Funny, I tweeted this out yesterday that Sharks were my pick, as well. I saw it as something like:

        To MTL: Jones, Vlasic, Labanc & good prospect ($13.5M cap)
        To SJS: Price & pick ($10.5M)

        SJS upgrade in net and get much-needed cap space while getting rid of a bad contract, Habs fill a couple of gaps in their roster and get a prospect, while moving Primeau’s timeline up a couple of years (which is a good thing)

      • At $10.5 Mil a year cap hit, large chunks-at-a-time, contract that runs until he’s close to 39, and with all kinds of indications that he’s starting to show signs of the wear and tear already, there is NO way another team gives up anything substantial for what would be an albatross contract. Not going to happen. Not now. Not at the trade deadline. Not ever.

      • Thanks Pengy.

        Why would the Sharks do that? Getting Price doesn’t really bolster the “win now” mentality displayed by the Sharks. Why? Cause they can’t score, for one. But they can score, they just don’t. There are much bigger issues afflicting the team in San Jose. Yes, goaltending is an issue, so is the play of the top 4 in front of their own net. Carey Price, or any other goaltender won’t solve that. Nor will it solve the seemingly lifeless play of one of the best teams on paper. Sharks are reaching a point of do or die. They missed the playoffs for the first time in a long time couple years ago. Beginning to fear they may be headed in the same direction this year.

      • As I said a few weeks back dpf, I selfishly hope the Sharks continue to stumble just when it seems they’re getting untracked. With Ottawa headed for a lottery pick of their own, the fact they own the Sharks # 1 (not lottery protected) in the Karlsson trade (-4 last night) makes the potential a dream in technicolor. Two lottery picks in a deep draft.

        But reality says they’ll straighten things out as we hit December. Like the Leafs with all their warts, they are simply too good to stay out of the Top 8. Not good enough to go anywhere in the playoffs, mind you, but still a playoff team.

      • @NYR4LIFE: I think just looking at the stats would be naive, would everyone agree? I am not a Habs fan, but it’s plain to see that without Price we would be talking about a near lottery winning team and not a playoff team. I wouldn’t trade him, regardless of his contract.

      • Stu Cowan is a beat writer that has to push columns out every week. On top of that he doesn’t know s**t from tar. He can report events, but can’t analyze them.

        In a previous column he suggested the Habs were tuning Julien out. Yeah, right.

        The Habs are in the middle of a rebuild, with a few solid but aging stars while trying to break in very young players. Kotkaniemi is just 19, Suzuki and Fleury are rookies.

        The fact that an unheralded rookie made the starting D will tell you that the Habs continue to struggle defensively.

        Yes, Bergevin has 8 million in cap space but he would have to include players to get a good D, and no one is giving them away. Sit tight, Habs fans. This season, and maybe next, will be turbulent.

      • I was curious to see the InGoal Magazine goalie ranking article that Ray Bark referred to, if for no other reason than not having to infer from his listing who the three worst goalies are. I had no luck, but I did find a story that might hearten Carey Price backers. It’s titled “The Deeper Numbers that Justify Price’s “Best Goalie” Selection by the Players.” It was published on March 20, 2019–a bit old but still relevant, I think.
        https://ingoalmag.com/news/the-deeper-numbers-that-justify-prices-best-goalie-selection-by-the-players/

      • Francis S, I didn’t word that well.
        When you read the IGM article about who should win the 2018 Vezina, he gets into the detail about how they came about ranking goaltenders. I remembered reading it a while back, so read it again.
        In the end it basically came down to who makes the tough saves more than the rest, at least among the top guys. Normal save % was misleading as it doesn’t measure the difficulty of the saves.
        He referenced where he got his data, so I went there, picked this season and the last 2, sorted by the tough save %.
        Best goalies in their opinion are Bobrovsky, Gibson and Rinne in 2018. Price had a so so year then as well.

      • The acid test will come tonight when they play at home against NJ. They lose that and the free-fall is on in earnest!

      • Mws,

        I’m looking WAY beyond stats… as I clearly pointed out. His contract structure, his cap hit , his injury history combined with his less than average stats makes him about impossible to trade.

        How did you only read “stats” there? I don’t think I could have broken it down any clearer?

  2. I believe Krug stays for the full year and I still would not be surprised if Bruins look into Hall (if available) at TDL

    Things are tight for Habs but certainly not in panicville right now… tweaks maybe. The greater move might be at TDL… I believe Habs will be tight either side of the bubble come TDL

    Using the space now for a big trade might just come back and bite them IMHO

  3. I still believe both Toronto (already back in) and Tampa Bay will wind up somewhere in the Top 8 when the season ends along with Washington, NYI, Pittsburgh, Boston – none of whom are dropping out. That leaves one of 3 who won’t be there – Florida, Carolina and Philadelphia. My bet is inconsistent Philadelphia. Montreal is in free-fall.

    • Hi George

      I have no doubts with Bos winning the Div and Wsh off to a good start so they may very well win the Metro

      But there is such a clog in standings of the next grouping ; and with a mis-match in number of games played; plus hampering injuries…. it is still possible for any one of (or more) Bolts, Leafs, Pens, Isles, to miss the playoffs while one or more of Panthers, Flyers , Canes or Habs get in… even outside shot at Sabres

      All I truly have 100 % confidence in is Devils , Wings, Wild, Kings not making the playoffs…. that’s it

      You are probably right; I’m just a little more skeptical

  4. Carey Price is un-tradeable unless there is a heck of a sweetner included and the Canadians hold half of his contract. Who in their right mind will pay 10.5 mill per for the next 6 years on a goalie that has only gone past the 2nd round of the playoffs once in his career, remember the last time the Canadians had success in the playoffs it was Halak that took over for Price.

    • @ Dr Pepper

      Good morning …

      while I understand your view here …on playoff ” success ” One has to remember that this is a TEAM …are you saying that over the past 5 years Carey price has not been the best goalie in the world or at least 1 – 2 in off seasons..minus his injuries facts and players and coached around the league will say he is …also …just to be sure here …if the Canadians had the same 4 line Roster you believe that other goalies in the league that have graduated past the 1st or second round would have been better on the Habs and brought them further if Price was not the goalie …

      i.e Here are the goalies that have appeared in playoff runs along the last 5 years ….put anyone of these guys on the Habs roster I just don’t see them making any difference …as all those teams are better and they went no where either …most years !

      Rask
      Martin Jones
      Brayden Holtby
      Freddie Anderson
      Matt Murray
      Sergei Bobrovsky
      Thomas Gries
      Henrik Lundqvist
      Brian Elliot
      Ben Bishop
      Marc Crawford
      Jonathan Quick ( MAYBE )

      In closing there have been a number of and a handful of GREAT players Hall of Fame players never to have won the cup …even though they are in the top of the BEST EVER category all time…doesn’t mean they weren’t a BIG part of or an elite player to that franchise in there tenure.

      we have become a disposable society …however players mean more to an entire franchise and fan base than we give credit for …only 1 teams wins the Cup each year…

      and as the saying goes ……

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4usE2RePqo

    • His contract is even worse than that 10.5. He’s owed about 44 million in signing bonuses over the next 6 years and 10 in actual salary.

      I’m pretty sure since those bonuses are paid out at the beginning of each year, nothing can be retained. I could be wrong but I believe it can’t? Who in their right mind is signing up for that?

      And what contender has that kind of cap space?

      Horrible structured contract, nmc, and his numbers aren’t even in the top 20. Welcome to Montreal Carey Price! Make yourself at home…,

      • @ NYR4Life

        I can unequivocally say …

        that if the league knew that Carey Price was available VIA trade …
        That EVERY TEAM would be interested !
        1000% …every single team !
        Whether you feel he and or his contract is not worth it ..that is not the sentiment around the league by Managers & players alike !

      • Nothing can be retained…. I meant on the actual dollars involved in those signing bonuses.

      • Kal el,

        I don’t think there would be 3 teams interested. Every team? That’s a little absurd. And beyond wishful thinking.

        Capitals, nope, Rangers, nope, Florida, Tampa, Nashville, Boston, St. Louis, LA, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Islanders…, nope.

        Winnipeg, Chicago… Philly? Nope…

        I don’t think you’ll find ONE single person on this board or anywhere outside Montreal that believes “every team” would be interested.

      • And how could you say “unequivocally” so there is absolutely zero doubt that every team would be interested?

        Lol. You’d have to be the gm for every team to use that word….

        Just look at capfriendly and look at his stats. Then look who other teams have or have coming in net.

      • Here is a list over of guys who IMO (and In Goal Magazine) have been better than Price the last 2 years plus this season. Just the guys who have played regularly, 100 games plus. Since the Habs haven’t been good I based it on high danger scoring save%. This takes into account everything from where the shot came from, who took it, rebound, deflection, cross ice pass etc. They are all pretty similar with regards to the expected save %. So this is what separates the best.

        Bobrovsky
        Gibson
        Rinne
        Rask
        Bishop
        Lundqvist
        Jones
        Mike Smith
        Kuemper
        Jones
        Hellebuyck
        Lehner
        Vasilevsky
        Halak
        Markstrom
        Allen
        Quick
        Varlemov
        MAF
        Howard
        Holtby
        Allen
        Anderson

        Only 3 are worse.
        I like Price and he was one of the best. Played great for Canada when it mattered most. Seems like a great guy, but he simply hasn’t played well recently. The evidence is pretty clear.

      • @ NYR4Life

        Ok…understood……

        Gobble till you wobble

      • Ive said it before, kal el played juniorC goalie so he knows his stuff lol

        /s

      • My understanding is that if a team retains salary it is based on the remaining salary at the time of the trade which includes base salary + bonus salary. At the end of this season Price will have 44 million in bonuses + 10 million in base salary left for a total of 54 million. Assuming he was traded at the end of the season and before his next bonus was paid then if Montreal retained 20% they would be retaining 20% of the 44 million and 20% of the 10 million which would be 8.8 million + 2 million= 10.8 million. The amount of contracted bonus and base salary per year would be reduced by 20% for each year.

  5. Yeah Happy Thanksgiving to all wonder why lyle who runs this site never wishes us one? Aye?Eh ? Or whatever ? Really?

    • I do every year, Pete, and already did over in the Morning Coffee Headlines, but I have no trouble doing so again. Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers!

    • It’s called “reading” Pete. I learned that the hard way by tossing out a comment about something “missing” when it was right there under my nose.

      By the way did you pop in here on Oct 14 and wish us Canadians a Happy Thanksgiving?

  6. Maybe NJ wants Price instead of Schneider? LOL

  7. With Boston, after the 2020/21 (say that 5 times fast LOL) season Rask is also becomes a UFA. I think at the trade deadline the Bruins will look to trade Halak.

    • KevJam, I don’t think they can risk it in Boston. They are in it to win it this year. I sure wouldn’t want to have my playoff chances go up in smoke if Rask got hurt or got into a slump.
      What they do after Rask and Halak is a question.
      Not much in the system on the goalie side.

  8. Scarey Price and his massive cap hit are virtually untradeable. Over hyped, injury prone and vastly overpaid for his results.

    To Toronto : Price, Weber, 2nd rd pick in 2020

    To Montreal : Nylander, Barrie, Anderson

    • Employing your own logic, Ron, why would Toronto accept an injury prone, massively expensive goalie in a trade?

      • I think that was pure sarcasm

    • Yeah, not going to happen!

      The Habs would have to retain and include their next two 1st round picks!

      The Leafs would also have to acquire Anderson from the Sens too. 😉

  9. Carey Price has not really be the same consistent superstar that he was 4 or 5 years ago. His contract is one for a goalie who is winning games by himself. I really don’t think there is a team beyond perhaps the new Seattle team that will have the cap space to take on Price without the Habs eating a big chunk of salary. Montreal CAN do that, but it will need to be a ridiculous offer if Bergevin is to sell the salary retention to ownership. Webber is an easier sell, but again, with his injury history and age, le Habs likely would need to eat a chunk of salary.