NHL Rumor Mill – February 1, 2022

by | Feb 1, 2022 | Rumors | 64 comments

More trade speculation regarding Canadiens defensemen Jeff Petry and Ben Chiarot plus some of the Senators pending UFAs are garnering attention. Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.


THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes said his club views its trade deadline plans as being “open to everything”. However, they’re not feeling pressured to move out players on long-term deals by deadline day. If a move makes sense before March 21 they’ll consider it and if not they’ll wait for the offseason.

Montreal Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry (NHL Images).

LeBrun indicates the Canadiens front office is also debating which players should stay and those who should go and why. However, it’s not easy to make individual player assessments when the club is playing so poorly right now. Hughes said he’s spoken to players who’ve been mentioned in trade rumors, saying he didn’t have any answers for them right now but wanted them to see him if they have any questions.

Sources told LeBrun that Jeff Petry would be open to a trade. The 34-year-old defenseman is having a rough year but still has value around the league, with one Western Conference executive saying his club would have no hesitation about stepping up for Petry if he could address a roster need.

LeBrun doesn’t see the Habs peddling Petry at a discount if they move him at all. He has a 15-team no-trade list but his camp is open to help facilitate a trade.

THE JEFF MAREK SHOW: Elliotte Friedman believes Petry will draw interest in the trade market based on his performance during last year’s playoffs. He expects the blueliner will be traded but isn’t sure if it’ll happen at the trade deadline or in the offseason. Friedman suspects it could be this summer because teams have more salary-cap flexibility.

Friedman also believes defenseman Ben Chiarot will be the first player the Canadiens trade this season because of his eligibility this summer for unrestricted free agent status. He pointed out the St. Louis Blues are among several teams interested in the 31-year-old Chiarot.

He also made the point that it was easier for the Canadiens to retain salary on Chiarot because it’s only for the remainder of this season. For Petry, it would mean doing so through 2024-25.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Petry’s contract will be a stumbling block on the path to a trade. Hughes would probably accommodate the unhappy defenseman’s trade request during this season if he was carrying a more affordable cap hit on a shorter term.

That Western Conference executive cited by LeBrun and any others interested in Petry would love to take him off the Habs’ hands provided Hughes retains a healthy chunk of the defenseman’s $6.25 million annual cap hit. Or takes back a toxic contract. Or packages Petry with the Canadiens first-round pick in this year’s draft, or a promising player like Cole Caufield or Alexander Romanov, or top prospect Kaiden Guhle.

Those are scenarios Hughes undoubtedly doesn’t want to do. It would be quite a feat by the Canadiens rookie GM to move Petry without having to resort to one of them. Maybe there will be better options available in the offseason. Petry’s unhappiness and uninspired play, however, could end up forcing Hughes into choosing one of those options.

Chiarot remains the easiest to move and I daresay Friedman is right that he’ll be the first Hab to be traded by deadline day. His annual cap hit ($3.5 million) isn’t that expensive but it could be necessary to retain some of it to ship him to a cap-strapped team. As Friedman points out, it won’t do any harm to the Canadiens payroll or their performance this season, especially if they can get a solid return that helps them over the long term.


DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli recently reported Senators goaltender Anton Forsberg and forward Nick Paul has garnered attention in the NHL rumor mill. Forsberg has popped up among clubs seeking help between the pipes while Paul has impressed with his work ethic.

Both players are slated to become unrestricted free agents this summer. The Senators would like to re-sign them but Seravalli suggests they could end up on his trade targets list if they’re not under contract by March 21.


  1. I know that Detroit was interested in Petry before he originally signed with the Habs and wonder if there is still interest. So what might a deal look like if going to Detroit was Petry with 1.75mil retained and 50 percent of Chariot’s cap retained by Detroit to facilitate a trade to 3rd team? What comes back to Habs?

    • Why???? Trading for Petry would be dumb and Steve Yzerman isn’t dumb … 34 years old? Lost a step this year .. on a ridiculous contract with term .. Yzerman will have a hard enough time getting rid of Leddy … the Wings will be sellers, you do understand that right?

      Kent Hughes and Jeff Gorton have a monumental mess to clean up and managers won’t be lining up to do them any favors …

    • – Petry unlikely to go at the deadline, too complicated

      Chiarot to STL for Zach Bolduc

    • “I know that Detroit was interested in Petry before he originally signed with the Habs and wonder if there is still interest.”

      No. Why would Yzerman be interested in an old, overpaid defenseman just at the point his rebuild is starting to show some results?

      • Yzerman has traditionally kept a vet d man on the team. Staal leddy etc. I could see petry being the next one. But not at that salary. Some salary held and I could see this.

    • “LeBrun doesn’t see the Habs peddling Petry at a discount if they move him at all. He has a 15-team no-trade list but his camp is open to help facilitate a trade.”
      Petry would require MAJOR salary retention unless a very good sweetener is added!

  2. Chiarot is a UFA at the end of the year who should be resigned as the team needs some veteran D for the next two years till the young guns step in.

    Petry hasn’t fallen off the cliff and his $6.25 million is a bargain for what he brings to the table offensively and defensively.

    Teams will pay up or he’ll remain with the team till he plays like he can.

    Fingers can be pointed for the collective collapse of a team that was in the Stanley Cup Final last season and decisively beat a few teams on the way there but trading at a discount makes little sense.

    • habfan30 if he hasn’t fallen off the cliff, he is standing on the edge.

      Not saying no one will trade for him but the return won’t be what it would’ve been last season.

      With his wife and children gone back to the US and some of the negative attention around his wife comments, can’t be helping.
      His stat line of 1g 5a isn’t pretty and last year playoffs 0g 6a in 20 games was well below his regular season totals.

      Still he won’t be hard to move, someone will take a chance.

      • “ Petry hasn’t fallen off the cliff and his $6.25 million is a bargain for what he brings to the table offensively and defensively.”

        $6.25M is no bargain even for what he’s supposed to bring. You half that pay and maybe you can call it a bargain.

        And why does the Sens have to trade those players? Unless Paul isn’t part of their vision of the team I can’t see them wanting not to keep him – seems like a fit and they have cap space. The goalie, well no one can ever successfully make call them thought Ottawas ability to pick talent is better than most teams.

    • Sound reasoning, habfan30. The Habs injury issues are epic. They are down to their 3rd and 4th goalies – who are not up to the task, and the roster changes every game. Petry has had injury problems himself and Chiarot looks like he is trying to make up for an AHL line up all by himself.

      I say one more time it is nearly impossible to judge players’ performance given the gong show that is Montreal these day. Those who disagree might ask themselves how Petry and Chiarot went from solid top 4 D the lasts couple of years to not worth keeping in one season.

      If you disagree then ask yourself why there are so many teams apparently interested in them. They can’t be dispensable and attractive at the same time.

      • HabFan I like Chiarot as much as you do but the fact remains that he’s on an expiring contract, there’s no guarantee he’d re-sign and he’s their most tradable asset. They have to get a high pick or good prospect for him.

      • LJ,

        “I say one more time it is nearly impossible to judge players’ performance given the gong show that is Montreal these day”

        Which is why I wouldn’t make TDL moves with any of the names being tossed around.

        If anything I’d move guys like Lehkonen, Armia, Byron, Poehling, Perreault, Kulak, for whatever picks come back.

        If nothing else this year shows those guys can be replaced at league minimum by, Pezzetta, Ylonen, Dauphin, Harvey-Pinard, Vejdemo among others.

    • I’ll also add to Habsfan’s comments as there are 2 other major factors occurring re: Petry’s play. It’s easy to state the obvious by what everyone is seeing, but there is so much more going on.

      1) His wife and kids never left Michigan since they left Montreal after last season. He doesn’t see his family very much except via Skype.

      2) (and I’m using this harsh word gently) He hates Dominque Ducharme and his new systems as well. He has taken shots at his coach publicly which never ends well in Mtl.

      He is unhappy and miserable. This isn’t a drop in ability, he is playing purposely as such, going through the motions and is so low that he allowed his goalie to get smoked the other night right in his face and did nothing. He just doesn’t care.

      The guy is a puck-moving, hard hitting, hard shooting dman who puts up 40 points. I don’t want to see the Habs get rid of him, but he clearly wants out and is done here. There doesn’t appear to be any changing his mind on that. He is lucky that Weber isn’t around anymore because he wouldn’t be getting away with it.

      • Phalcon: I have heard Stu Cowen say Petry is unhappy but (1) the quotes Cowen used don’t show it. (2) I haven’t read any other journalist comment that this is so.

        If his family is in Michigan I don’t blame him for being unhappy about that, and a crap season. But we are about to exit covid restrictions and next year will be different. Petry and family were happy when all living in Montreal.

    • Caper,
      The stat line of the Habs D-corp in the playoffs is similar and lower than Petry’s, they were strong defensively not offensively and why they were referred to as the Clydesdales.

      Ron Moore

      Petry is among top 10-15 in goals and points the last few years making his 4 yr 6.25 a bargain in both term and cap hit when he was signed.

      The general consensus in Montreal was it was an awesome signing coming off a 6yr $5.5 million contract for a player who’s game kept improving.


      Just because Chiarot is UFA at the end of the year it doesn’t mean that Hughes can’t re-sign him.
      Nobody is giving up a top ten pick for Chiarot, and bottom third 1st rounders are no guarantees of becoming top 4 D-men like he is.

      • HF30Agreed! I guess the question is does Chiarot want to stay in Montreal. My guess is that he will test free agency and end up in a better situation somewhere else so get what you can and move on.

      • If Chiarot can fetch what TB gave up for Savard at the deadline last year you have to move him. There is no guarantee that Habs can/will resign him next year.

        As for Petry, there really is no emergency. He is under contract (and I agree that it is not a bad contract for what he has brought to the table in the past) and can pout for as long as he wants. Why retain a significant chunk of his salary just to move him? Keep him until he realizes that he has 0 leverage and actually starts to play like he can. Besides, Ducharme is a sitting duck as the team has clearly quit on him and just that may help Petry’s mood.

        The Habs have had a ridiculously tough season with all the off-ice drama, a ton of injuries to core players and an inexperienced head coach to try to keep it all together. They have been horrid this year, but their prospect pool is well stocked and they have a bunch of picks this year including a guaranteed top3. I think it will be a quick rebuild.

    • Unless he comes wrapped in nice picks and prospects, and some salary retained, keep him in Quebec.

  3. The Western Conference GM that suggests moving this year’s 1st or one of the Habs’ top prospects is pure trolling and completely unrealistic.

    The comment “maybe the Habs will get a better offer in the summer” should have read “the Habs DEFINITELY will get a better offer in the summer”.

    • It wasn’t the Western Conference exec who suggested he’d take Petry only if the Habs add a good young player or a 1st. That was Lyle’s commentary.

  4. I truly believe that the biggest reason for Petry’s struggles this season is because he is forced to play too far up in the lineup due to injuries. If Weber and Edmondson haven’t been injured all season Petry would be having his usual steady season. The team that trades for him will be the winner in the trade.

    • Kevjam,

      The past few years Petry has stepped up to pick up Weber’s minutes when he was injured and to everybody’s surprise his game got better.

      In Montreal, his contract was considered to be a steal and based on his happiness with the city, his wife and kids were “stars” in the city.

      The guy was an aberration with his game improving yearly as he got more responsibility.

      • Last season Petry had Savard and Edmonson in the lineup to help him out. This season Edmonson hasn’t played a game yet and Savard has been out most of this season. Then there was also Price and Allen to bail him out when he did make a mistake. This season we all know what Price has been going through and Allen has only played 24 of 44 games this season. IMO this is too much to ask from Petry. That is why I believe when/if Petry gets traded, it will most likely to be to a playoff team, they will be the winner of the trade just because they will have the depth to play Petry in his right place in the lineup.
        There isn’t a team in the NHL that can overcome injuries to their top 3 d-men and both goalies for the length of time that Montreal has been without theirs.

      • Savard was winning a cup with Tampa last season.

        Savard has played 42 games this season for Montreal. Montreal has played 44 games?

      • Sorry, My apologies. I looked at the wrong line of his stats.
        Still without their 2 top d-men and their top two goalies is a hard thing for the Canadians, or any team, to overcome.

      • Is $6.25M too much for a 2nd pair defenceman? Especially one that’s 34 years old and signed for 4 more years?

      • Yes that’s too much Daryl. And too much term. And he’s hitting the best by age for the majority of nhl d men in a year or two.

      • Daryl,
        “Is $6.25M too much for a 2nd pair defenceman?”

        Not at all, it’s a bargain in both term and cap.

        He was the 5th highest points last year, with Fox and Makar ahead of him.

        His contract is millions of dollars less than guys like Doughty, Josi, Jones, Chabot, Nurse, who all had less points last year.

        Only people who don’t know his game think its an overpay and its why GMs have interest in him.

      • Agree Chrisms, family and coach issues aside, he is 34 and well into the back nine.
        The time to trade for him is when the Habs fleeced EDM for him in 2015. They got his prime years.
        The time to trade him, or not trade for him is now, unless at a discount. Probably has another good year in him, but the inevitable decline is coming.
        Question is how much of a discount I suppose, or MTL takes another player back in a similar situation.

      • “Habs fans arguments for the value of petry are dead on”. – Chrisms Feb 2021

      • Ray: If Petry at 34 is well into his back 9 and should be traded, then can the same – with more emphasis – be said for Patrice Bergeron at 36? Would you advocate trading Bergeron, or not resigning him?

        Just following your train of thought …

      • Not a valid comparison lj. Bruins are in the playoff hunt. Habs ain’t. Bergeron is a historical player for the franchise. Petry ain’t. Bergeron is an ufa. Petry ain’t. Bergeron is signed for less than market value. Petry over market value. Bergeron has shown he’s aging well. Petry has something going on with him possibly age related. Bergeron hasn’t publicly called out coach and made it clear a trade would be beneficial. Petry has. I’m sure I’m missing some things here.

        I’d be interested in valid comparisons. Maybe vlasic or ekman Larson would be closer?

      • Quarantined with my kids so I’ll do one actually. It’s an interesting conversation.
        Petry. 34. Signed 6.25 through 24-25. 1 g 5 assist -7 in 37 this year.
        Ekman-larsson. 30. 2 g 6 assist +1 42 games.
        Signed 7.26 through 26-27.

        Fairly comparable stats and contracts. Oel has the extra two years and 1 mil more but is 4 years younger.

        So. Habs fans determined to prove petry has viable trade value. What would you give van for oel?

      • OEL production has been declining for the last four years while Petry’s has been increasing.
        OEL has 6 years of term.
        Petry has 4 years of term.
        OEL costs $1million more each year.

        Petry is the bargain in term, cost and production.

      • LJ, my thought process involved a lot less than Chrisms.
        Have to believe Petry didn’t just forget how to play, so can still help a good team.
        If he was a pending UFA or this year and next, likely move him easily and get a good return.
        It is the 2 years after next that would concern me.
        Bergeron is a UFA, so not a concern, and they won’t trade him unless he asks for it.
        Hope he comes back, but not assuming he will. Depend how they do this year and if he wants to stay or chase a cup somewhere else if the B’s get punted early in the playoffs.

      • You didn’t answer the question. I’m open for other comparables. But you can’t just ignore this year cause it’s inconvenient. You’ve argued his contract was a deal when he signed it. I’m not arguing against that.

        But again. Can’t ignore this season either

      • Chrisms,
        I answered you, it just wasn’t the one you were looking for.

        OEL isn’t having a poor year, he has been declining for a number of years, costs a lot and has too much term.

        Is there any reason to expect a turn around?
        Is there any reason to look at this year as an outlier?

        I’m not ignoring this year at all, it’s no secret Petry along with most of the team is having a terrible year.
        Anybody trading for him would do it based on his playoff and past four year record as a top point producing D or wouldn’t bother at all.
        If the team was playing to expectations and it was just Petry who fell off the charts, I would look at it differently.

        Ultimately GMs have to decide if this year’s Jeff Petry is the one from here on in (as you and some others propose) or is this year an outlier (as I and some others propose).

      • Your last paragraph summed it up well. I guess we disagree over what gms would pay on the gamble. I believe that unless incentivized his return would be for a song at best. In this situation the best move for any team would be to hold onto the player until play progresses. But if petry is as unhappy as he supposedly is is that a viable option for habs? Tough call

        And you didn’t answer the question. Since it’s the closest comparable I could find… what would you give the nucks for oel?

    • @KevJam

      Which playoff team can afford to pay a D man $6.25M for the next 4 seasons to play low in the line-up.

      If he can’t play versus other teams best player why trade for him?

      • Tampa. They will just stash Stamkos or Kucherov or Hedman on LTIR for the rest of the season… They have willing Docs in Florida

  5. I doubt either Paul or Forsberg are going anywhere at the deadline. Both will be re-upped in Ottawa, with Paul somewhere in the $3.5 – $4 mil range and Forsberg around $2.5.

    With just under $28 mil to spend on 13 NHL contracts, the biggest chunks will go to RFAs Norris (likely a bridge deal at $4.5 – $5) and Formenton around the same.

    Those will account for about $17 mil still leaving $11 mil to re-up their remaining RFAs (Mete, Brannstrom. Gaudette, Bishop and Gambrell).

    UFAs likely to go at the deadline are C Chris Tierney ($3.5 mil) and D Josh Brown ($1.2 mil). They won’t be back, one way or another, nor will UFAs Sanford, Sabourin and Heatherington.

    The contract they’d like to move is the $4,750,000 one with still 3 years to run belonging to C Colin White (on IR until March) – but the only remote chance of that happening is if he comes back strong later this spring and then shows at the next camp that he’s 100% – and effective. So, next season – at best. In reality, what they’re likely looking at is a buyout after next season.

    • I’m curious if the fact they haven’t signed yet is due to Ottawa not wanting to negotiate now or if both want to go for the overdue and we’ll earned right to sell themselves to the highest bidder?

      • Could well be Chrisms … I alluded to that in my response to Pengy below. I suppose, if that’s the current dialogue between Dorion and the agent, that it will boil down to whether or not the agent feels he could get more – in both $ and term – than Dorion appears willing to go.

  6. Re Paul

    Big player (6’3” , 220) that can play C & W; is only 26; tied for 5th on Sens in goals; 82 game pace for 17 goals ; UFA (after just turning 27) and only a cap hit of $1.35 M

    This seems like a player that Sens should try to re-sign

    If not…..What would Sens be expecting in return?

    • Pengy, his being moved at the deadline is so remote I wouldn’t even want to venture a guess. Sure, teams see “UFA” and naturally call or probe around – happens with all UFAs of quality, I suppose, to varying degrees of interest.

      I have no way of knowing, of course, how he feels about the team going forward and I guess if, internally, he and his agent have already indicated they wish to test the UFA market, Dorion would have no choice but to try and get something significant in return. In that instance, who gets him down the stretch will likely be a top contender looking at him as a versatile big, rugged player who can really help on a drive to a cup. BUT, they’d also likely have precious little looking ahead to cap space, so he could well be a rental only.

      We’ll see soon enough.

      • Cheers and thanks George

        I too, was baffled that they would let this low cost, versatile, big, player go; just after turning 27

        Would love to see him on either Leafs or Pens

      • I imagine a lot of the cup contenders would like to have him for the stretch run and the playoffs. In some cases they might have to have Dorion take some money back in order to make the cap work, they’re that tight against it. And I doubt he’s interested in anything of that nature – unless he has no choice and risks losing him for nothing.

        Small chance of that so someone is going to get him by relinquishing a top prospect if Dorion can’t re-sign him.

      • A top prospect? 😳

      • Yeah – clearly I’m not taking about a top echelon pick from the past couple of years but at least someone with a better than an off-chance of making it. And the more competing for his services the better chance of it being that type.

        Or do you expect him to go for a journeyman slug? In that instance I’d say f*&k it and keep him to the end of the year and continue to try and get him re-signed.

      • Nah. I’d expect a c+ through b- prospect.

        And I k ow that people who read that frown. But I grace on a curve. An a prospect is a disappointment if they don’t pan out to a top line forward or top pair d or starter. A b prospect disappoints if they arnt top 6 middle pair or good backup. A c is a player who disappoints if they arnt a bottom 6 mainstay.

        So a b- isn’t bad.

    • I do not understand the reasoning behind thinking the Sens would let Paul go?

  7. Is Petry the only Hab playing uninspired? I think the players are there just because they have to be. And I highly doubt the COVID restrictions help the situation. Petry will draw attention because he is a great D man. I think next year can be a different story and they should keep him for that reason.

  8. Petry (retain $2.25M) + Chariot for Leddy + Gustav Lindstrom provided Chariot signs a 3 x $3.25M contract.
    Habs cut salary and get a young proven RD. Wings address LD with a physical D. Petry is put on the 3rd pairing until he gets his mojo back.
    Go ahead, let me have it! Ha ha

    • habs are too deep on the wing and dont need more.

      chariot for a 1st

      • Lindstrom and Leddy are D

  9. This Petry dish is just an experiment but maybe a three way trade is needed in order to accomadate a trade. Add picks or whatever it takes (retention) to hammer out a deal

    Petry and a Calgary 3rd ,Montreal 2nd to Seattle
    Monahan,Vince Dunn to Habs
    Drouin and Giordano to Calgary

  10. Stats are for losers

    How a player competes , team first leadership , health and defensive prowess all come first in my book. That is where the money should be and not for goals and assists from seasons past. What can you do for me now .
    So Petry has his reasons for poor play but most of the attributes I have noted above he is in control . His new team won’t have challenges….Pass

    • No doubt about it. At the end of the day, heart is more important than the scoreboard…

      • Stats aren’t for losers, I prefer to think of them as results.
        I get what you guys are saying, the flashy guys who don’t compete are not the guys you win with, but if you can’t skate, defend, score, stop the puck you ain’t winning anything. You need both and can’t win without both.

        Randino, not sure if that was sarcasm or not, but if not, the scoreboard is kind of the most important? Or am I missing something?

  11. Petry has been one of the most overrated D Men in the league for some time. Sure some team will bite at him and maybe get something serviceable for a short time. But he was carried by teammates last year and he is now struggllng because Weber is gone and Savard has not been a good replacement since he is at best a good number 4. I cannot see the Habs losing Caufield or Romanov? For what?

    • @Habfan30

      In your back and forth with Chrisms there was a comment that OEL has been declining. Let’s not forget that he was the top pair D in Arizona and typically playing against other teams best players.
      Petry played behind Weber in MTL and now quite possibly you’re seeing what happens when he sees other teams best players regularly.

      I wouldn’t be in too much of a rush to throw Jones and Nurse’s contract as comparables either. Both of those D men are way overpaid. Look up Jones and Nurse in comparison to Morgan Rielly.

      Have you soured on Poehling now? Weren’t you saying he was ready to fill a big role at C this year?

      I do agree with your statement about late first round picks. If a contending team can fill a need by spending a pick from spot 22-32 I say go for it.

      • Daryl,
        OEL’s numbers have been in decline while playing in the same role, why didn’t he improve year to year?

        Petry on the other hand stepped every time Weber was injured over the past few years and his numbers improved all the time. (much to everybody’s surprise)

        I never expected much from Poehling and have nothing against him, I just think there are players in Laval who can replace him.
        I was expecting Evans to fill a bigger role this year and he has.

        Petry was UFA when he signed without hitting the market and its why his contract is a bargain, same goes for Rielly.

  12. Chiarot to the blues for Scott Perunovich. Blues get tougher on the blue line fora playoff run and habs get a dman prospect who should be nhl ready next season. Scott is projected to be a top four dman and the blues get tougher , bigger, nastier, and sets them up for a long playoff run

  13. If I was Montreal’s new GM. Tear it down to the studs. Everyone gone at the deadline. If he can get ANYTHING for anyone who has term left – trade em. It’s time. The longer you put it of the longer the climb back up is.

    As for Paul and Forsberg. Forsberg can go anytime for whatever we can get back. Nick Paul I could see packaged with Zaitsev’s contract, and maybe Mete and sent somewhere for very little as a way of getting rid of that contract.

    I have wondered if the Bruins would want Colin white.

    White + Josh Brown for Jake DeBrusk