NHL Rumor Mill – November 14, 2022
MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marc Dumont recently suggested the Canadiens would be wise to trade Josh Anderson soon. He expressed concern over whether the 28-year-old power forward can fit into the Habs’ new identity focused on puck control rather than chances off the rush.
Dumont also noted that Anderson is starting to slow down, pointing out that forwards tend to see a big drop in production as they approach their 30s’. Nevertheless, Anderson still has a solid reputation around the league for his style of play. With the winger still carrying five years on his contract at $5.5 million annually, it might be a good time for general manager Kent Hughes to gauge his value in the trade market.
Marco D’Amico cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported on Saturday that the Calgary Flames are still in the market for a scoring forward. He cited TSN’s Salim Valji reporting on Friday that Anderson was a player of interest for the Flames for some time but couldn’t find the right deal to get a trade done.
D’Amico suggested Anderson’s cap hit would be an issue and wondered if Hughes would consider parting with him. The Habs would have to take back a significant salary to make the dollars fit. The Canadiens GM might seek a return of a prospect such as Jakob Pelletier or Matthew Coronato plus the Flames’ 2023 first-round pick “as a starter”. However, Flames GM Brad Treliving is unlikely to be that desperate yet.
Mike Hoffman could be a more suitable alternative for the Flames. The 32-year-old winger’s production has improved following a slow start to this season. His contract ($4.5 million annually through 2023-24) is less of a long-term risk though it would still require some effort to fit him within the cap-strapped Flames’ payroll.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite the Canadiens’ better-than-expected start they’re still in rebuild mode. I don’t see Hughes just giving away Anderson but he could entertain serious offers if it’ll bring in assets that fit into the Habs’ short- and long-term plans.
Friedman suggested keeping an eye on the Blues regarding the Flames’ search for a scoring winger. Vladimir Tarasenko and/or Ryan O’Reilly are slated to become unrestricted free agents next summer. I think they might consider moving one or both if they’re out of playoff contention leading up to the March 3 trade deadline. However, that won’t provide any immediate relief for the Flames.
Maybe the Flames will kick tires on Anderson or Hoffman if they can’t find better options elsewhere. While the Flames are in “win-now” mode and they have a recent trade history with the Canadiens, I don’t see Treliving giving up one of his top prospects and a first-round pick for Anderson.
D’Amico also noted The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun included Sean Monahan on his recent list of notable centers who could be moved before this season’s trade deadline. LeBrun speculated a healthy and productive Monahan could be of interest to the Colorado Avalanche. D’Amico suggested the 28-year-old center could become a trade chip that lands the Canadiens a third first-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Monahan fetches a first for the Canadiens I doubt it’ll come from the Avalanche. They have their first-round pick for 2023 but traded away their second, third and fourth-rounders. If they are willing to part with their first, I daresay it would be for a more notable center such as Ryan O’Reilly or Jonathan Toews if they become available by the trade deadline.