NHL Rumor Mill – April 27, 2022
What’s the latest on Carey Price’s future? Will the Canadiens attempt to trade Shea Weber and Jeff Petry this summer? Should they try to trade for Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.
LATEST ON THE CANADIENS
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Stu Cowan reports Carey Price’s uncertain future took another turn yesterday when it was reported the Canadiens goaltender would be traveling to New York for an appointment concerning his surgically repaired knee. He’s listed as day-to-day but Cowan thinks he may be done for the season.
Price has four more seasons remaining on his contract worth an annual average value of $10.5 million. Cowan doesn’t expect the 34-year-old goalie to retire with that much money left on the table. The Canadiens could end up placing him on long-term injury reserve next season depending on the status of his knee. A trade at this point seems impossible.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports Price still hopes to be in net for the Canadiens’ season-ending home game against the Florida Panthers on Friday. The netminder also wants to resume his playing career next season. Nevertheless, the ongoing uncertainty over Price’s knee will generate plenty of speculation over his future during the offseason.
Cowan also noted that Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber has been on LTIR all season. He’s signed through 2025-26 with an annual cap hit of over $7.8 million. General manager Kent Hughes will attempt to trade Weber’s contract during the offseason. He’s also expected to shop blueliner Jeff Petry, who has three more seasons left with an AAV of $6.25 million.
MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marco D’Amico suggests Petry’s improved play of late will make him easier to move. The 34-year-old defenseman reportedly requested a trade and Hughes appeared to have a deal in place before last month’s trade deadline but it eventually fell through.
D’Amico suggests Petry will draw interest from teams with salary-cap flexibility looking to build a competitive roster this summer. He also pointed out this summer’s free-agent market is thin on comparable defensemen with John Klingberg and Kris Letang as the only standouts.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hughes tried to offload Weber’s contract to the Arizona Coyotes before the trade deadline but they opted to take on the remainder of Bryan Little’s deal from the Winnipeg Jets. The Canadiens GM will try to entice teams seeking to reach the cap floor to take Weber off his hands. However, that could involve bundling that contract with a sweetener such as a quality draft pick, a prospect or a decent young player.
The Dallas Stars were said to have had an interest in Petry as a potential replacement for Klingberg when it was rumored the latter might be shopped at midseason. That died out when the Stars decided to keep him as they pressed to clinch a playoff berth. Perhaps there’s a fit in Dallas for Petry if Klingberg departs as expected via free agency in July.
D’Amico also took note of Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman’s recent speculation suggesting Pierre-Luc Dubois’ name could be in this summer’s trade market if he’s unwilling to sign a long-term contract extension with the Winnipeg Jets.
The Canadiens have plenty of tradeable assets to acquire the 23-year-old Dubois if they’re not interested in a long rebuild. However, D’Amico believes the Habs should remain patient as it’s clear they’re not just one player away from being contenders. He felt they must stand pat and continue replenishing their prospect pool with more elite talent.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dubois’ contract situation will be worth watching this summer. I believe and the Jets will hammer out a long-term extension.
Should Dubois become available, I think interested clubs will want assurances he’ll sign a lengthy deal with them. He’s just two years away from UFA eligibility and they won’t want to give up quality assets on a player who could walk away in 2024.