NHL Rumor Mill – March 22, 2022
The 2022 trade deadline is history but that doesn’t mean the trade and free-agent rumors have stopped. Check out the latest on the Canadiens’ Jeff Petry and Jake Allen, the Bruins’ Jake DeBrusk and the Islanders’ Semyon Varlamov in today’s NHL rumor mill.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Stu Cowan reports Jeff Petry will be staying with the Canadiens for the remainder of the regular season as general manager Kent Hughes could find a suitable deal for the 34-year-old defenseman that worked for both sides.
Petry made it clear he wanted to be traded after struggling on the ice this season while his family opted to remain in Michigan. He’s in the first season of a four-year contract with an annual average value of $6.25 million.
Hughes said he tried to move Petry before yesterday’s trade deadline but could find a suitable deal. He said he’ll try again in the offseason but it will have to make sense for both clubs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was speculation suggesting some teams had an interest in Petry prior to the trade deadline. Hughes might have better luck finding a suitable trade partner this summer when teams will have more cap space.
TVA SPORTS: Canadiens goaltender Jake Allen was happy he didn’t get traded yesterday. “I was confident that I would stay here until the end of the season. This is where I wanted to be. I didn’t want to be traded,” he said.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was a rumor before yesterday’s trade deadline linking Allen to the Edmonton Oilers. Maybe he’ll be moved in the offseason if Hughes gets a suitable offer. Otherwise, he’ll return for the second season of his two-year contract as Carey Price’s backup.
BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Prior to yesterday’s trade deadline, Joe Haggerty weighed in with his thoughts on the Bruins signing Jake DeBrusk to a two-year contract extension despite his standing request since November for a trade.
Haggerty suggested the new contract could make DeBrusk “a more tradeable asset with cost certainty,” a view shared by TSN’s Pierre LeBrun ahead of yesterday’s deadline. LeBrun also noted the 25-year-old winger had not rescinded his trade request.
NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Nick Goss also mentioned DeBrusk’s new contract in his review of the Bruins’ failed efforts to land a notable forward before the trade deadline. He suggested the streaky winger’s new contract could make it easier to move him in the offseason, “but is anyone confident his performance will improve come playoff time?”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was a recent report suggesting some teams were leery of taking on DeBrusk because it would’ve cost $4.85 million to qualify his rights this summer. The annual average value of his new contract ($4 million) is a little more affordable. However, teams could be reluctant to take that on if, as Goss observes, his performance doesn’t improve down the stretch and into the postseason.
NEW YORK POST: Ethan Sears reports Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello decided not to move Semyon Varlamov at the trade deadline based on the goaltender’s play and the growth of young starter Ilya Sorokin. The two netminders get along well together. He indicated he didn’t want to give up a goalie to make another position better only to create a bigger hole in net.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The 32-year-old Varlamov was the subject of considerable trade speculation involving teams (like the Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Vegas Golden Knights) reportedly seeking help between the pipes. His $5.2 million cap hit through next season and his 16-team no-trade clause, however, was also noteworthy sticking points in any attempt to discuss a trade with Lamoriello.