NHL Rumor Mill – January 31, 2022

by | Jan 31, 2022 | Rumors | 25 comments

Could the Canadiens trade Jeff Petry or Brendan Gallagher? What are some possible trade targets for the Bruins? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.


LA PRESSE: Guillaume Lefrancois reports Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes said he was willing to trade Jeff Petry if it works out for both sides. The 34-year-old defenseman has not requested a trade but he’s struggling through his worst season on the ice while his family has returned to the United States due to the COVID measures in place in the province of Quebec.

Montreal Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry (NHL Images).

Hughes met with Petry during the club’s recent road trip. He told the blueliner he was aware of what was happening in his life, saying if there’s a chance it will work out on both sides to trade him they would do so. Until then, he expects Petry to play his best for the Canadiens.

Lafrancois suggested Hughes might want to do Petry a favor by trading him to an American club. However, his $6.25 million annual cap hit through 2024-25 combined with the flattened NHL cap makes that contract difficult for some teams to absorb.

Hughes also mentioned he’d like to add more leadership to his roster. Ideally, he’d like to add another center to provide support for Nick Suzuki. Francois suggested it would be interesting if the Habs GM pursued former client Patrice Bergeron during the offseason. The Boston Bruins captain is an unrestricted free agent this summer.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Stu Cowan suggests Brendan Gallagher faces an uncertain future with the Canadiens. Though he’s in the first season of a six-year, $39 million contract, Cowan believes it would be understandable if the 29-year-old winger didn’t want to stick around for a rebuild at this stage in his career.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Petry certainly seems unhappy this season. There’s also conjecture he hates playing for Canadiens coach Dominique Ducharme. It was telling that he no longer had the assistant captain’s “A” on his jersey when the Habs played the Columbus Blue Jackets last night. The blueliner was also singled out by the press and on social media for not coming to the defense of Sam Montembeault when the Canadiens goalie was run by Edmonton Oilers winger Zack Kassian on Saturday.

The decline in Petry’s performance would hurt his trade value but I daresay there would be teams willing to gamble on a change of scenery helping him regain his usual 40-point production. However, his contract is a serious sticking point. In addition to his cap hit, he has a 15-team no-trade clause and a no-movement clause to prevent any demotion to the minors. The Canadiens will either have to retain some salary, take on a toxic contract, or try to spread around that cap hit with a three-team deal.

Gallagher is in the same boat contract-wise, though his no-trade list consists of six teams. His feisty style would be enticing for some clubs but not his $6.5 million cap hit through 2026-27.

The bottom line is it will require considerable management skills by Hughes and hockey ops VP Jeff Gorton to swing deals that move one or both players without leaving the Canadiens carrying too much dead cap space.


NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Nick Goss listed five forwards he believes the Bruins should target before the March 21 trade deadline.

Topping his list is the Vancouver Canucks J.T. Miller as he’d be a great fit as the Bruins’ second-line center. The cost would be high, leading Goss to wonder if they would consider parting with Jeremy Swayman or Mason Lohrei as part of the deal for Miller.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear in mind Miller is signed through next season. The Canucks could listen to offers but they’re under no pressure to move him now. The Bruins lack sufficient asset depth to win a bidding war for his services against clubs like the New York Rangers, who have more cap space and promising young talent to draw upon for trade bait.

Goss also listed the Arizona Coyotes Lawson Crouse and Phil Kessel, the Vegas Golden Knights’ Reilly Smith and the Columbus Blue Jackets’ Max Domi.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those players could be more realistic trade options for the Bruins. Kessel, however, has an eight-team no-trade clause and might not prefer returning to Boston. Crouse would certainly be more affordable as a depth addition plus he’s a restricted free agent this summer.

Smith lacks no-trade protection and could be a good fit. Like Miller, however, there could be other clubs who could outbid the Bruins. Domi’s inconsistency has been an issue throughout his career.


  1. It would be interesting to see Montreal pursue Bergeron? What are the odds of Bergeron playing out his final days for a team that hasn’t won more than 1 consecutive game this year?

    Blame Price and Weber absences all you like. This team is not much better than what the standings show. With or without Price and Weber, or Bergeron for that matter!

    I doubt Bergeron has any interest in fading away in Montreal for a leadership role.

    • Couldn’t agree more. Yea, he was his agent. Was is the key word. This is just more of the same kind of thing we see out of Toronto from time to time – home-town boy would jump at the chance to play for his home-town team.

      Rarely does that occur – especially when the team is currently holding up the rest of the league.

      But I suppose it makes interesting reading or listening for the gullible.

      • Well George, I think the fact that so many kids from the GTA end up in the NHL also plays a part in those tiresome conversations.

      • Oh no doubt, FD – but that doesn’t make it any less annoying when it’s based on nothing more than whimsy on the part of the “journalist.”

    • And before someone jumps all over it, I know Ancienne Lorette is closer to Quebec City than Montreal – in this case “home-province boy.” Same difference.

      • St. Patrice cheered for the Nords growing up. I do believe, he hates the Habs. Like all good Nords fans should.

    • Price, Webber, Savard, Edmundson, and Perreault (only 14 games this season). It would be hard for a team that was built around their goaltending and defence to duplicate what they did last season when they are missing three of their best d-men and their star goalie. Not too many teams have the depth to overcome those injuries.
      It’s also no wonder why the young forwards are struggling considering they are missing the d-men that can get them the puck in transition.

    • Captain 0.. That would be interesting the Habs pursuing Bergeron and they also are interested in Kris Letang..
      Letang said if the Penguins don’t want him and don’t resign him he would love Montreal.

      That may be a reality Letang wants a raise and wants to play to 40… Penguins aren’t giving him a blank check he will have to take a team friendly deal…so…

      Those two would add leadership and talent for sure….thoughts??

  2. No way are Petry/Gallagher going anywhere w/out Habs keeping $$. They had great seasons and were rewarded too heavily.

  3. Petry’s family lives near Detroit, but Detroit hasn’t a need for a RD…and I don’t think he plays the left side. But maybe one of the Wing’s existing D will move to the other side?? I don’t see it. However there may be a deal made there, as the Habs wish to shed salary.
    Petry ($1.25M salary retained) + Poehling for Stecher(on LTIR, he will be back before around March) or VGK 4th rounder
    This would be Petry’s desired team, but maybe Chicago would be close enough for him.

    • Petry, with his declining play, age, and contract is almost untradable. Montreal’s best bet is to either buy him out at the end of the year, or play him again next year and hope his play improves so maybe they can get something for him then. Otherwise, buy him out after next year. Detroit should have no interest in him…he would become the #5 RD. Montreal would need to wrap him up in good picks and prospects for Mr. Y to have any idea of taking him off of their hands.

  4. You know what sucks worse than Bostons game last night?…..The Dallas stars jerseys. Man they are so distractive.

    I also cannot see Bergeron heading for Montreal just for the sake of playing there. It would basically be a waste of his time.

    Yes I know money talks sometimes,but I can’t see Bergeron bailing on the Boston sinking ship to be a Sea (C) captain for Montreal who has even more holes in their boat. My bold prediction is that he will either take a discount, or maybe play for Quebec Nordogs when Bettman finally pulls his head out of Arizonas Azz.

    • i love those dallas jerseys —in top 3 of all time i think
      love the old kings jerseys too with crown
      go leafs—

      • Jeff – Like Meatloaf used to sing…”2 out of three a’int bad”

        I don’t mind the Kings old jersey and yup Go Leafs

        but,… they should ban those Stars jerseys or at least get them to dull them down like Gretzkys old chrome stick. (cheers)

      • What is even worse than the Stars jersey is the Tampa Bay 3rd jersey. Grey on Black, near impossible to read numbers and names! Wow what idiot approved those.

  5. Not only is L’Ancienne-Lorette a suburb of Quebec City, Bergeron grew a fan of the Nordiques and hated the Habs…..so there is no hometown boy re Montreal.
    He’s a Bruin and deserves to retire as one.

    Jeff Petry signed a hometown discount of a contract when he re-upped. Teams were throwing 7-8-9 million and he signed for $6.2.

    No idea what happened since then but his wife and kids leaving Montreal is probably a factor.

  6. Bergy. Will definitely sign with habs but not next year the year after. 3 yr 30 million. Then retire. Leaving the habs with the cap hit for entire 3 seasons . Only because he is a true. Bruin.

    Book it. Lol

  7. Petry officially requested a trade out of Montreal.

    • From the report Jeff Petry wants out of Canada period, Covid and the way his wife and children were treated there in Montreal. Very doubtful he’ll ever play there again after this season.

  8. Bruins: “We want JT Miller so bad, we’ll even consider giving you Jeremy Swayman!”

    Canucks: “Yawn. Next?”

    • Agree the Nucks don’t value Swayman, not beccause Swayman isn’t a very good prospect, but because the have Demko.
      That guy is good, so far anyway, and his contract ain’t bad either.

    • More than a second line center the Bruins need a puck-carrying defenseman like the Ghost in Arizona.

  9. Swayman as part of a package to Arizona for you know who

    Tippett from Florida would be a nice add for someone

    Petry has played horrible this year. Dismal. Polar opposite of last season. What is that’s worth for $6.2 . A third team needs to be involved to swallow some salary for 3 more years. Leddy in Detroilet will not be staying and Leddy can replace that veteran leadership. Only a million or so difference

  10. Petry To philly for JVR?

    RIsto gets traded for assets

    Leaves cash to resign Giroux

    • Pretty sure Petry wants to win a cup, And that’s not happening in Philly. Plus his wife wants to remain as close to Michigan as possible and that’s not happening in Philly.