NHL Rumor Mill – December 3, 2021
What does the future hold for Canadiens’ Jeff Petry and Ben Chiarot? Are the Senators shopping for help? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.
LATEST CANADIENS SPECULATION
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Stu Cowan wondered what effect the Canadiens’ recent management changes will have upon Jeff Petry’s future with the club. The 33-year-old defenseman is in the first season of a four-year, $25 million contract.
Cowan speculates Petry could be one of the players the Canadiens move if new executive VP of hockey operations Jeff Gorton decides to rebuild the roster. The blueliner carries a 15-team no-trade list. His struggles this season could also make him difficult to trade.
TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports he’s spoken with several playoff contenders who value Ben Chiarot. The 30-year-old Canadiens blueliner is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. The Habs could try to re-sign him but LeBrun believes he could be moved by the March 21 trade deadline.
Chiarot carries a 10-team no-trade list submitted last summer. LeBrun believes the lack of quality rental defensemen could make Chiarot a hot commodity and perhaps fetch a first-round pick.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chiarot’s UFA status means he’ll move before Petry by the March trade deadline if Gorton decides to rebuild the Canadiens roster. While they could get a first-rounder for Chiarot now, that might not be the case closer to the trade deadline.
Several notable blueliners, including Dallas’ John Klingberg, Seattle’s Mark Giordano, Anaheim’s Hampus Lindholm and Josh Manson, and New Jersey’s P.K. Subban are also pending UFAs who could become available in March. If that happens, the Habs’ chances of landing a first-round pick for Chiarot get slimmer.
I can see the Canadiens shopping Petry in the offseason if Gorton decides to shake things up. That’s when teams have more salary-cap space and a willingness to spend. Petry’s had a difficult season but his four consecutive 40-point seasons between 2017-18 and 2020-21 will tempt teams seeking an experienced puck-moving blueliner.
WILL A TRADE HELP THE SENATORS?
TSN: Darren Dreger believes Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion is looking for some help for his struggling club. However, it appears it will be up to the current players to find a way out of their current situation.
The Senators have a gaping hole at center with Colin White and Shane Pinto out with long-term injuries. They also need better goaltending and are weak defensively. Dreger believes a trade can’t cover all of that up with a trade or two.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Senators’ last-place status in the standings won’t push Dorion to make a move simply for the sake of doing so. The club has assets to make a deal for help at forward but it’s difficult to find at this time of year without paying a big asking price.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: We can’t rule out the possibility of a trade but no one’s going to toss Dorion a lifeline here. Teams will be happy to make a trade with the Senators GM if they feel they can fleece him for one of his good young players.
It’s the same issue facing the Canadiens and the Vancouver Canucks. That means the fans of those three clubs are in for a long, miserable season with little or no help coming from the trade market.