NHL Rumor Mill – November 30, 2021
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Stu Cowan reports Canadiens president and co-owner Geoff Molson didn’t rule out the possibility of a rebuild if that’s what is recommended by the new executive VP of hockey operations Jeff Gorton and whoever the club’s next GM might be.
Long-time Canadiens winger Brendan Gallagher doesn’t seem certain he’d want to stick around if a rebuild is in the cards. “This is my 10th season now, and I’ve always come in with the expectation to win,” said Gallagher. He said he loves the team and the city and hadn’t thought about what he’d do if the club undergoes a roster teardown. Gallagher felt that was a conversation that will have to be had down the road.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gallagher signed his long-term contract with the Canadiens based in part on former GM Marc Bergevin’s belief that the club was in a position to win. The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun suggests a rebuild could complicate things for Gallagher and other Habs veterans on long-term deals like Jeff Petry, Josh Anderson, Tyler Toffoli, Joel Edmundson and Mike Hoffman.
It’s easy for fans and pundits to speculate a rebuild is coming but we don’t know what plans Gorton and the Habs next general manager will have in store. Nevertheless, it will be worth keeping an eye on this situation and how it’ll affect players like Gallagher.
NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Nick Goss cited a report by TSN’s Ryan Rishaug indicating Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk has requested a trade. The 25-year-old winger has struggled with his offensive consistency in recent seasons.
DeBrusk’s agent, Rick Valette, said it’s felt a change of scenery would be beneficial. Rishaug said the winger will remain with the Bruins while the club tries to facilitate a trade.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: DeBrusk frequently surfaced in the rumor mill over the last two years but this is the first time he’s asked to be moved. Management seemed reluctant to trade him over concerns he might blossom elsewhere. They remained patient but it’s apparent he’s not getting any better. Perhaps a move to another club with a different system and teammates might help him improve his play.
DeBrusk will likely have low value in the trade market. He might fetch a third-rounder at this point, though the Bruins might try to swap him for another player who’s also in need of a change.
THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reported Evander Kane’s agent, Dan Milstein, has been given permission by the San Jose Sharks to speak with other NHL clubs about a possible trade. He added several teams have expressed a certain level of interest in the 30-year-old winger.
LeBrun said one proposed idea could be a three-team deal in which Kane’s $7 million annual average value is divided three ways. Under that scenario, the Shark would absorb $3.5 million, then a middle team absorbs $1.75 million, leaving the third club only having to take on $1.75 million.
However, LeBrun believes whatever club becomes Kane’s next destination has to have a strong dressing room culture and structure in place and be confident in helping him get his career back on track.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane’s off-ice issues are well-documented and his $7 million annual salary-cap hit through 2024-25 are major stumbling blocks in an attempt to trade him. Nevertheless, he remains a talented scoring winger. A club that fits LeBrun’s criteria could be willing to take a chance if they’re only paying him $1.75 million annually. Whoever the middle team would be in this deal will need a suitable sweetener to take part in this deal and carry $1.75 million in dead cap space for four seasons.