NHL Rumor Mill – December 8, 2022
Could the Blues shop Ryan O’Reilly, Vladimir Tarasenko or Colton Parayko at the trade deadline? What teams could become suitors for the Canadiens’ Sean Monahan and what type of return could he fetch? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.
LATEST BLUES SPECULATION
THE ATHLETIC: Jeremy Rutherford was asked plenty of questions about whether the Blues will become sellers by the March 3 trade deadline in his latest mailbag segments.
Rutherford considers it doubtful that general manager Doug Armstrong will try to shake things up this month as he’s previously mentioned the difficulty of doing that in-season. He anticipates the Blues could wait until the trade deadline to get more for their tradeable assets.
He can see Armstrong re-signing Ryan O’Reilly and keeping him as a middle-six forward for the next couple of seasons but that depends on whether he prioritizes getting paid or staying put. If it’s the latter and the Blues are out of playoff contention by the deadline, he thinks O’Reilly will get shopped along with fellow pending free agent Vladimir Tarasenko for packages that include a first or a second-round pick.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given Tarasenko reportedly never rescinded the trade request he made in May 2021, I’d say he’s as good as gone by the deadline if the Blues are out of the playoff race by that point. I concur that O’Reilly’s status depends on how much he’s seeking on his next contract and for how long.
Rutherford believes there would be some interest around the league in Colton Parayko, who’s in the first season of an eight-year contract. However, he’s not sure the Blues want to move him in part because it would be difficult to replace him. If they were to move Parayko, it wouldn’t be for picks and prospects.
Asked about the possibility of shipping Parayko to Toronto for William Nylander, Rutherford cited a Toronto colleague dismissing that option. He cited Parayko’s age (29) and contract as sticking points plus the Leafs aren’t going to trade a productive player like Nylander who can help them win now.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Parayko’s annual cap hit is $6.5 million plus he has a full no-trade clause until 2028-29. I don’t see him going anywhere this season.
POTENTIAL SUITORS FOR MONAHAN
MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marco D’Amico recently cited 98.5 FM Montreal’s Dany Dube saying there are a handful of teams around the NHL that could make use of Canadiens center Sean Monahan as a two-way secondary scorer. He believes the Dallas Stars, Edmonton Oilers and Colorado Avalanche could consider the 29-year-old center as an attractive trade target.
D’Amico also pondered what Monahan might fetch the Canadiens if he’s peddled by the trade deadline. He pointed to the return the Winnipeg Jets got for Andrew Copp from the New York Rangers at last season’s deadline, which included a conditional second-round pick that became a first-rounder when the Rangers reached the 2022 Eastern Conference Final.
He also referred to the St. Louis Blues in 2018 getting a first-rounder in their package return from the Jets for Paul Stastny, as well as the first-rounder the Ottawa Senators got in a package return that year in a three-team trade that sent Derick Brassard to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve seen some folks scoff at the notion of the Canadiens getting a first-round pick for Monahan. They could be right. However, it’s worth remembering the Canadiens convinced the Calgary Flames to give up a first-round pick to take Monahan off their hands. They also got a first-round pick from the Florida Panthers at last season’s trade deadline for Ben Chiarot. Never underestimate desperation as a factor in the trade market.