NHL Rumor Mill – December 13, 2021

by | Dec 13, 2021 | Rumors | 42 comments

Analysis of a list of suggested Canadiens trade candidates in today’s NHL rumor mill.

TVA SPORTS: asked their NHL analysts for their picks of which players the Montreal Canadiens could move before the March 21 trade deadline and those they keep.

Renaud Lavoie believes the Canadiens should shop goaltender Jake Allen and retain Brendan Gallagher.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Allen is among the few bright spots in an otherwise dismal season for the Canadiens. He’s signed through 2022-23 with an affordable $2.875 million cap hit. Clubs seeking experienced depth between the pipes could have an interest in Allen. However, I doubt the Habs would consider moving him until Carey Price returns to action. Even then, his affordable contract and reliability as Price’s backup make it likely that they’ll hang onto him.

Montreal Canadiens winger Brendan Gallagher (NHL Images).

Teams love Gallagher’s work ethic and feisty style but they won’t be enamored of his $6.5 million cap hit through 2026-27. The Habs would have to pick up a healthy chunk of his annual average value to move him. His six-team no-trade list could also be a bit of a sticking point. Moving Gallagher seems like something that would occur in the offseason than at the trade deadline when teams have more salary-cap space to work with.

Patrick Lalime suggests shopping Jonathan Drouin and retaining Nick Suzuki.

Drouin has had consistency issues but he could flourish on a deeper club. He’s got a $5.5 million cap hit but only one season left on his deal plus a three-team no-trade list. It could be worth exploring the trade market to gauge his value.

Suzuki’s not going anywhere unless he demands a trade. The Canadiens signed the 22-year-old to an eight-year deal that kicks in next season at an annual cap hit of $7.875 million. He remains a key part of the Canadiens’ future despite the recent management change.

Felix Seguin proposed peddling Joel Armia and retaining Artturi Lehkonen.

Armia has three more seasons at $3.5 million annually on his contract. He’s affordable but his streaky play could hurt his trade value. .

Lehkonen is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights next summer who will also be a year away from UFA eligibility. The Canadiens could try to move him at the trade deadline if he’s only seeking a one-year deal. However, they can afford to wait until the summer or next season’s trade deadline.

Louis Jean recommended trading Carey Price and retaining head coach Dominique Ducharme.

Price won’t be going anywhere at the trade deadline. He’s still rehabbing his way back from offseason knee surgery. His $10.5 million cap hit through 2025-26 and full no-movement clause makes it very difficult to move him during the season.

Trading Price might have to wait until the offseason and could require the Habs retaining half of his cap hit. They might also need to get a third team involved willing to pick up half of the remainder for a sweetener like a draft pick to facilitate shipping him to any interested club.

Jean believes Ducharme deserves another chance after having little time to prepare last season and a shortened offseason heading into 2021-22. Canadien executive VP of hockey ops Jeff Gorton said Ducharme would remain as head coach for the rest of the season. Whether he’s still behind the bench next season isn’t a certainty.

Guillaume Latendresse believes Jeff Petry should be moved and Ryan Poehling retained.

Petry has had a horrible season but the 34-year-old defenseman reached 40 points last season for the fourth straight year. He carries a $6.25 million annual cap hit through 2024-25 and a 15-team no-trade clause. Still, there could be a playoff contender willing to bet on Petry regaining his form on a better blueline.

Poehling had difficulty cracking the Canadiens roster in the past but the 22-year-old has shown potential this season. He’s signed through 2022-23 at a very affordable $750K. He’ll be staying put.

Maxime Lapierre felt they should trade Ben Chiarot and hang onto Alexander Romanov.

Chiarot is slated to become a UFA next summer. There’s talk he could fetch a first-round pick. That makes him their most likely trade candidate.

Romanov is only 21 and still has plenty of potential as a top-four defenseman. His future remains in Montreal.


  1. I mostly agree with what the pundits are saying. Except I would trade Lehkonen as well. Certainly I don’t see both Price and Allen leaving. It’ll be up to Price if he wishes to be part of a rebuild over the last few years of his career. If he wants to stay, he will and Allen would probably be traded. If not, they’ll swing a trade for him, likely retaining half his salary, and Allen would share the goaltending duties with Primeau.
    As for Ducharme staying on as coach, that doesn’t look likely. The team just isn’t responding to him. Gorton and the new GM would want to bring in their own guy.

    • I have yet to hear any so called expert provide insight into Edmunson’s back injury.

      Given that he has been out all season and shows no indication of when – or if – he will return, why would the Habs then trade Chiarot? Without confidence that Edmunson will come back and play at his former level trading Chiarot will gut the Habs’ defense.

      • LJ

        I agree—I wish there were more updates regarding Edmundson’s status. I also believe his father’s health is a concern/consideration.

        I’m not sure if there are too many burnt bridges in St.Louis, but I would love to have him back on the Blues, if healthy.


      • Yes, I had heard Edmunson’s dad has cancer. Of course that has to weigh heavily on him, but were that a barrier to his playing I would think he would have entered the Player’s Assistance program and I have not heard he has.

      • Why would the Habs trade Chiarot? Very simple. They are a bad team right now and need to make big changes, including bringing in prospects and trading for pucks. Some veterans will have to be moved out. As a pending UFA, chiarot is their best trade chip. Don’t worry about gutting the D. It’s already gutted.

  2. Slow day…

    • Slow day? Not in Vancouver. Sportsnet 650 is planning a parade and getting ready to hang a banner from the rafters.

      Pettersson gets his first 5 vs 5 goal of the year and Corey Hirsch goes off about how “hes feeling it”

      4 game win streak, 3 games under 500 and the ballwashing Vancouver medias ready to put Pettersson and Boeser in the hall of fame and give Tyler Myers the Norris.

      You really have to hear it to believe the tripe and drivel these drones spew.


      • Yes, I read your drivel here julliebean, so I can believe almost anyone can go over the top.

  3. These are the type of pundit and talking heads commentary that make me laugh.

    Every player can be traded, every player has a value to somebody and its the GMs job to piece it together.

    Where does one begin to evaluate when no names are mentioned?
    Is any Hab playing like an untouchable this year? None at all.

    Has the team played with remotely close to the expected lineup this year? No.

    I used to know all the players without their names on the shoulders by the way they’d skate and shoot, now I don’t recognize most of them, the daily lineup list is who is not playing. The Cap Hit of players NOT playing reaches the cap floor.

    Side note, I hope all the Hab fans out there who were complaining about Romanov not getting ice time in the playoffs see why.

    He’s a very good young D who continues to improve and will be top 4 D but coughs up the puck too often for now. What was visible last year should be visible to all with his increased ice time.

    Gorton has to evaluate all the players, most of whom are playing out of position before thinking of trades.

  4. I can’t wait to see what Zucker and Debrusk are landing today.

    • Debrusk for Roussel.
      Zucker for McDavid. Oilers holding 50%.

      • That sounds about right. But since Pittsburgh is willing to take Mcdavid off Edmontons hands at only 50% , not 75% involving a 3 way deal, Edmonton would probably have to add Draisaitl and 3-4 first round draft picks.

      • Roussel should be coaching 3rd grade hockey in a foreign country. Even then, he would be grossly, grossly overpaid.

      • Sop for gods sake go back to bed it’s nearly 2 o’clock!?

    • I can’t wait for Captain useless stupid ass opinion…:)

      • I can’t wait until bng sees a game outside of Pittsburgh. And maybe sees actual value of a player like JT Miller Vs a Jason Zucker.

  5. Suzuki has to stay… absolutely foolish to move him

    Chairot at TDL seems almost certain…. A first IMHO, is only coming from a team in absolute need AND who has a very string belief in getting to SCF…. basically 1 or 2 teams …. Maybe

    • @ Pengy…If the Penguins could get only one of these two players from the Canadiens who would you take and who do you feel we need more?

      Winger Brendan Gallagher

      Defenseman Ben Chiarot

      I say Chiarot– I don’t trust Letang, Rydwhedel or Petersson when it’s playoff time they lack physicality.

      • Hi BNG

        Love both… but with Gallagher having so many more years; my choice would be Chairot

        Yes brings size and grit

        I DO have confidence in Tanger for playoffs

        Pettersson has been a nice surprise improvement this year

        He and Marino balance each other well

        I do NOT have confidence in Ruhwedel come Playoffs

        I don’t know why Sully doesn’t rotate Freidman in … even if it was every third game

        Chairot will cost big in futures (picks/prospec)

        Pysyk should be had easily for a 5th…. Much better than Ruwedel; comes with added bonus that he plays both RE and RD equally

        Colin Miller (50% retained) would also be s huge upgrade over Ruwedel

        Demers is still not declaring retirement … a phone call … League min…. A possibility

  6. The Habs need a full blown rebuild. Gorton needs to decide who will be of use in about 4-5 yrs assuming a successful rebuild (and yes, I am aware that there are no guarantees). Everyone else should be traded for future assets, if possible. Price and Edmundson were supposed to be out for only a few weeks but after the horrible start, I am sure management told them to take their time as the season was already over. I’m sure management has told all players that are injured to take time off/get surgery. The more games they lose, the better the draft choice. They have a shot at Shane Wright this year and Connor Bedard next year if they can get rid of as many veterans as they can and play the rookies. As far as Romanov, is concerned, yes he is young and is prone to mistakes. Hopefully ice time will help with that. I am one of those fans who was calling for him to play in the playoffs last year as I observed that Merill and Gustafsson were no better. The experience would have done him good and made him a better player. What I find funny about the previous management is that 2 years ago when he was not eligible to play in the playoffs, GMMB decided to eat up a year of his entry level contract so he could PRACTICE (ala Allen Iverson) with the team. This year, when he could actually play him, we chose to have him watch. Brilliant!

    • HM67, I had to check the bottom of the standings after you said they have a shot at Wright, and ya, they do. Knew they were struggling with injuries etc, but wow.
      For some good news, like you said, good year(s) to tank.

  7. A reminder regarding the entry draft and tanking for #1.

    Finishing in last place gives odds of 18.5%, Detroit fans will confirm.

    • Fair enough HF30, but it is still the best odds vs other lottery teams. And a heck of a lot better than the other teams in the back half of the lottery, or zero if outside bottom 11.

      Also picking in the top 3 (only top 2 picks are eligible for the lottery) will almost always get you a very good player, with a few exceptions like Yakupov draft.

      Bottom line is if you want to rebuild, you want high picks. Odds improve the worse you finish.

    • In this years drat, supposedly, anybody in the top 10 is a real player.

      The Habs are having a Joe Btfsplk of a season and it isn’t by design so I don’t believe tanking for Wright is in the cards.

      All that’s left for Hab fans this year is to watch the tweaks, the systems and development of players, if they have any understanding of the game 🙂

      Once Gorton gets a read on the team and does some hiring we’ll get an idea of what’s to come.

      • You’re right, the tank isn’t by design as GMMB was signing free agents in the off season to make another run in the playoffs. For those of us who really don’t understand the game, just watch it, what I have seen over the last few seasons is a core that got Therrien and Julien fired for multiple losing streaks and let’s face it, if Molson wasn’t still paying for Julien, Ducharme would be gone as well. For those of us who just watch the games, the playoffs last year was the anomaly. But for covid this team was not going to make the playoffs in 2020 or 2021. So in my mind they are playing the way they should be and that’s why a rebuild is needed.

      • What happened last year wasn’t an anomaly, it’s exactly what happens when a team plays well – within its system and fortune as in being lucky such as facing some teams without that team’s top line players, or getting a bounce going their way like it does to all teams that get on a heater. All teams are closer to each other than we give credit for. The Habs proved that when a team is playing hot and gets the right bounces, anything can happen.

        I guess on can argue how sustainable this is and that it might help evaluate any team based on their play and events/effects that happen during their games in this hot run.

        Montreal’s biggest issue is getting value, even if a return is less than a desired quantity but as long as there’s value in a move they should do it. Basically I think expectations should be lowered when it comes to the returns a player brings. Some will net you more than you ever thought and some you’ll be sure you should of got more… but watching the process is like looking at a puzzle and see how the pieces fit long term because the short term…well anything can and will happen.

    • HF30, getting Gorton was a good move by Molson. Did some good work in NY and even what he did in BOS as an interim GM over one off season was impressive.

      Not sure what MTL does. To me this looks like a rebuild opportunity, but not sure he does.

  8. Captain Useless…I obviously forgot to mention that we would add in a Zucker for J.T. Miller but Rutherford will wheel and deal count on that..pretty much like we count on nothing from you.

    • Well I’m pretty positive Vancouver has zero interest to take Zucker who is grossly underperforming and overpaid for that gross underperformance as the primary piece in a trade for their most productive forward over the past three years.

      Let me explain in a way you may understand. How about Debrusk for Crosby? And throw in a few scraps. Moore= Petterson. Interested?

      Nah, gross overpayment? Yes.

      • Zucker is 29 a month from 30. He’s on pace for 12 goals this year not 18. Which will put his 20 goal days 2 years in the rear view mrror.

        The players mentioned are 4-5 years younger, more productive today

        Petersson , maybe .

        Boeser is on pace for 23-24 goals. Not a chance.

        Miller, not a chance.

        What are the other pieces? They’re not taking 2-3 problem children for Miller.

        Why would they? Unless Rutherford is looking to collect unemployment?

        Miller starts with a Guentzel or possibly Rodrigues. Although I believe Rodrigues comes down to earth.

      • Cmon Captain. Miller for Zucker plus whatever that maybe might work.

        Crosby for De Brusk your just being silly.

        535 GP 152 G 132 A 284 Points
        586 GP 146 G 237 A 383 Points

        Miller has played 40 more games and Zucker still has more goals. Miller is the better playmaker Aand Zucker is the better goal scorer.

        Like i said he could help someone and in the case of Miller we would have to add but it isn’t debrusk/Crosby as you tried to compare stats are close

      • Crosby for Debrusk is a hyperbole.

        Let’s look at a smaller window.

        The last 3 years, Miller is 16th in points, 30th in goals and 16th in assist in the NHL.

        Last 3 years Miller has 51 goals. going back 4 years Zucker has 54.

        Zucker doesn’t even crack the top 50 in any category over that same timeframe.

        Vancouver is not trading a more productive guy for a guy the same age not producing at the same level.

        Why would they? Miller is slightly younger, slightly cheaper and much more productive right now.

        If Miller actually does hot the market, they would and will do much better.

        There would be zero want or need to move Miller for that kind of Return.

        You can base value also on the fact that Zucker is in literally every trade proposal from Pens fans getting rid of him, while Miller is on every trade proposal from other fans wanting him.

        No gm or casual fan sees Zucker as the same or better than Miller.

        If he were such a find / keeper, why is every fan wanting anything they can get in return?

      • Have you seen a lot of trades that sends a teams best player for a reclamation project player costing more?

        I seriously can’t think of one scenario unless it wasn’t by design.

        Forsberg for a heap of scraps and Jones for Johansen?

        Neither were that kind of trade when they happened.

        And both of those trades would have the gms taking a mulligan / do over of hindsight allowed it.

      • For a B’s fan perspective on your debate;
        I have thrown out the DeBrusk and 1st idea for Miller, and also suggested the B’s likely need to add, but seems pretty fair IMO.

        Wouldn’t trade DeBrusk and a 1st for Zucker.

        Don’t think VCR is looking to trade him, his name just popped up in the rumors section a couple weeks back. If they were, they would likely want a young C in return, or a quality young D man. BOS has neither of those they would be willing to or can afford to trade, so not likely coming to BOS either.

  9. Captain Obvious…I live in L.A so i see tons of games.

    Jason Zucker is a solid player a 5 time 20 goal scorer and you dont do that by luck. He is on pace for an 18 goal season this year.

    He just hasn’t gelled with Sid, Geno or Carter for whatever weird reason but he been productive… A great locker room guy

    He can help someone and maybe a change in scenery (as popular of a player as he is new surroundings)

    Yes we would have to add for a Miller swap.maybe we can throw you in the deal..

    Rutherford now in Vancouver fought for 2 years to get Zucker in Pittsburgh don’t rule out him going to Vancouver.
    Boeser strugling Petersson struggling he would be a good 2nd 3rd liner for them..

  10. There is something the Canadiens can begin planning for that is way overdue.

    There are existing TESL/FSL University programs as well as a cottage industry that should contact and make a deal.

    Companies have government contracts teaching Federal and Provincial civil servants on-line all year round.

    It would be a win/win/win for the company, the team, and the players/executives.

  11. Captain Obvious I never mentioned trading Zucker for Boeser, Horvath or Petersson YOU DID so please read first.

    I messaged you the stats they are close with Miller playing 40 more games than Zucker who still has more goals than Miller with Miller having more points.

    I said Miller because Zucker is 29 and Miller is 28, the contracts are similar Miller 2 years left at $ 6 million and Zucker 2 years left at $ 5.5 million.

    Boeser is way too expensive and a UFA and we need Miller more because he is well rounded player.

    • Miller has 2 years left at 5.25 and is there most productive player over the last 3 years.

      The only Canuck fan I know of here is Ron Jull, I believe.

      I’d love to hear a Vancouver fan weigh in, or someone else like me with no horse on the race.

      • CO, not a current Canucks fan but grew up as one in Vancouver, still, no horse in this race.. but to me, Miller seems to be what scouts say of certain prospects, “the kind of player you win with” .. not in Vancouver, but in the right environment (like Tampa).

        He has the intangibles, just a reliable hockey player with a touch of offensive punch and defensive acumen. Perhaps like Nick Foligno in his best years in Columbus.

      • Look seems like we have heard different things but i know they srent cb happy with Boeser and Millers name has popped uo.
        Rutherford today said he will evaluate first before making any decisions

        Zucker plus a 2 round and a third round pick ??

  12. After all of the talk about a Miller/DeBrusk swap with extras included, why not resort to the classic “better forward and worse d-man for worse forward and better d-man” deal…

    J.T. Miller and Tyler Myers to Boston for Jake DeBrusk and Brandon Carlo – if the Canucks agree to take on Tomas Nosek’s contract and retain around $1m of Miller’s for this and next year, dollars would fit for Bs.

  13. Montreal might be able to trade Chiarot (retain $1.75M) and Lehkonen(retain $1.15M) to the Avs for Girard. Avs want a shut-down LD and a scoring forward and rid themselves of Girard’s cap hit. Montreal gets a puck moving D on a good contract. This gives the Avs more cap flexibility for next season and a tougher team to score against. I don’t know if Lehkonen would qualify as a scoring forward, but the term and cap hit would be favorable if the Avs still have to shop for another goalie or what else may come up.