Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – May 1, 2022

by | May 1, 2022 | Rumors | 11 comments

Check out the latest on the Canadiens and Jakob Chychrun’s future with the Coyotes in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.


Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (NHL Images).

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Stu Cowan reports Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes indicated he’ll need clarity on the condition of Carey Price before he can begin to address his roster needs in the offseason. The 34-year-old goaltender indicated the current condition of his knee would prevent him from playing a full season. Price said he’ll be seeking a second opinion and didn’t rule out a second surgical procedure.

Pat Hickey suggests the Canadiens could see a roster teardown in the offseason. He pointed out they’re up against next season’s $82.5 million salary cap with 19 players, including the probably permanently sidelined Shea Weber, under contract. They’ll get some cap relief by trading Weber’s contract or placing him on long-term injury reserve next season, but it won’t allow enough to go on a free-agent spending spree.

It’s expected Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry and his $6.25 million cap hit. However, that won’t put them further ahead if they were to pay $7 million per season to sign a pending free agent like Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang. They also must free up cap room to sign restricted free agents Alexander Romanov and Rem Pitlick.

SPORTSNET: Eric Engels reported Hughes said he’ll evaluate all options to navigate his tricky salary-cap situation. He also said he wouldn’t be trading futures for short-term gains that would adversely affect the club’s long-term success.

Hughes said he has no plans to trade winger Brendan Gallagher, who has five seasons left on his contract with an annual average value of $6.5 million. He’s hoping the 29-year-old winger will have a solid bounce-back performance next season.

The Habs GM made no comment about the futures of winger Jonathan Drouin and Joel Armia. Drouin, meanwhile, hopes to make a full recovery from wrist surgery and prove himself to Hughes and head coach Martin St. Louis.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The sooner Hughes gets more clarity on Price’s condition the easier it’ll be to conduct his offseason roster plans. If the long-time Canadiens’ starter looks to be sidelined again for a lengthy period or if his playing career is over, Hughes will place his $10.5 million cap hit on LTIR for next season. If he can return to action next season, the Habs GM will have to make some deep cost-cutting moves.

Hughes will try to shed some salary even if Price can return next season. We already know he attempted to trade Weber’s contract ($7.857 million through 2025-26) before the March trade deadline and will try again this summer. He’ll likely target budget teams looking to reach the cap floor. Clearing the full amount of Weber’s contract, however, could mean bundling him with a draft pick or a prospect.

Petry made a trade request earlier this season that Hughes attempted to fulfill. The 34-year-old defenseman yesterday said he didn’t want to close the door on his tenure with the Canadiens, saying he’ll be discussing it with his family this summer. Nevertheless, I think Hughes will quietly shop around for the right deal. It also wouldn’t be surprising if he explores Drouin’s value in the trade market.

There’s speculation suggesting Letang could come home to Montreal or that Hughes could target his former client if the 35-year-old blueliner hits the open market. Given the Canadiens’ cap issues and their other roster needs, I don’t see Letang suiting up for the Habs next season.


GOPHNX.COM: Craig Morgan reports Jakob Chychrun doesn’t sound like he’s keen to be part of another rebuild with the Arizona Coyotes. The 24-year-old defenseman said he loves playing in Arizona but the recent roster teardown has been difficult for him, saying he badly wants to play for a winner.

Chychrun is under contract for three more seasons with an affordable $4.6 million annual salary-cap hit. He also recalled advice he once received from former teammate Mike Smith about only having so many chances and not letting them go by every year. “You really have to take advantage of the short time you have in this league because it flies by,” said Chychrun.

Morgan indicated Chychrun hasn’t approached Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong about a trade. However, his comments suggest he’s open to the possibility. Armstrong said he will explore the trade market this summer and admitted that moving Chychrun could be one of his options.

As for the Coyotes’ pending free agents, Morgan reports contract talks have started with RFA forward Lawson Crouse. He also anticipates they’ll bring back RFAs Barrett Hayton and Christian Fischer, as well as explore signing pending UFA defenseman Anton Stralman, who’s indicated a willingness to return next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Morgan believes there’s a good chance Chychrun could be traded this summer. However, that depends on whether a club is willing to pay what’s believed to be a high asking price by Armstrong. He also felt the Coyotes GM will try to repair the relationship with his defenseman if a trade doesn’t materialize.


  1. I still think Martinez to LA is a real option this summer. He is better than Edler or Maata, whom they should let go, and will probably only cost LA a 3rd.

    • The Kings have moved on from Martinez. They have younger players who can fill the roster without paying him the huge contract that Vegas gave to him.

    • Johnny, you don’t watch very many Kings games do you?

      Edler and Maata have been very solid for the Kings this year. Not flashy but defensively consistent, which has been missing the last half dozen years. Now, I’m not saying they’ll be back next year, but if the Kings move it will be to get better and younger, not a make lateral at best, by getting Martinez.

      Trust me, the Martinez ship has sailed. Whats next, bring back Muzzin too? No thanks, Kings did well in both those trades and have moved on from both players. You should move on too.

    • @ Johnny Z Why would Alec Martinez waive from a no tax State in Nevada for the highest taxed State in California makes no sense, If Martinez waives he’s probably heading home to Detroit where he has said in the past that he’d like to finish his career up there. No reason whatsoever for Martinez to waive for LA those days are long gone. LA is looking at younger players not aging players. And Detroit just wants some veteran leadership for the younguns.

  2. The Habs won’t be doing a complete tear down. Most of us who regularly check out Habs stories on the Gazette can probably agree that Hickey’s best days as a columnist are far behind him. Much of what he’s written the past few years borders on nonsense.
    Obviously, players have been moved and will continue to be moved. Drouin and Byron should go, even if the return is negligible. They only have one year left on their contracts so it’s doable. Armia as well though that may be more difficult.
    I would keep Gallagher. Even during a rebuild, some veterans are needed. I also think that things can be worked out with Petry. He played pretty well after the coaching change and hopefully Quebec will further ease Covid restrictions to allow his family to re-join his next fall. Would make more sense than bringing in a guy like Letang, who would be older and more expensive.
    It’s best that they work in more young players and continue to build around them. Ylonen, Barron and Harris need regular roles next year. Possibly even Guhle. If they win the lottery and draft Wright, they should be set at center for the foreseeable future. I’d be inclined to bring in a left winger with scoring ability, but otherwise stay with the young players.

    • Petry is not as bad as he looked like most of this year. When Petry is playing like Petry played for the better part of the last 4 years, his cap hit is actually very reasonable. But, Petry does not seem to bring leadership, is prone to long periods of mediocrity, and was willing to jump ship when everything went wrong. As a hockey player, I prefer Letang to Petry. As a leader, I would, by far, prefer Letang as as solid veteran to help the youngster along their learning curve. And if you can bring in an asset in exchange or Petry, you win on all 3 sides. This being said, I think Petry will leave but I think Letang will stay in Pittsburgh.

      • If tanger was available for 7 per he already has resigned with pens. He’ll be looking for the 8-9 range.

      • Petry was back to being his old self when St Louis arrived. He has said he’s open to staying. Remember, the Covid situation was very hard on him and his family and things were a nightmare under Ducharme. He acted out of frustration and can’t be blamed. I’d prefer 3 more years of Petry at $6.25m. To 4 years of Letang at not less than 8m., which is what it’ll take.

  3. As I look at the upcoming Blues-Wild series I recognize that St. Louis needs to toughen and revamp their defense.

    I think in the offseason that Chychrun would be a perfect addition!! Binnington (plus alot more) could go the other way to facilitate the signing of Husso. I would ALSO help clear $3.5 million from Montreal’s cap by bringing Edmundson back to the Blues.

    • Iowa Prince, sorry about this, but, given the number of young Dmen arriving soon,there is just no way the Habs will trade Edmundson to the Blues. He will stay put , as will David Savard. GM Kent Hughes yesterday mentioned the possibility of trading Jeff Petry, though.

  4. Sorry, Iowa Prince, barring an incredible offer, Edmunson will stay. I also expect David Savard (and, possibly, Petry) to mentor Guhle, Barron, and Harris.
    Romanov is, of course, also staying put.
    Schueneman and Chris Wiseman (a good teammate) could be kept as extras.