NHL Rumor Mill – August 13, 2022
Canadiens goalie Jake Allen surfaces in trade gossip, some left wing options for the Jets and possible trade partners for the Penguins in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.
COULD THE CANADIENS TRADE JAKE ALLEN?
MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy cites an NHL source claiming the Dallas Stars and Arizona Coyotes had inquired about Canadiens goaltender Jake Allen in the past. The source believes it would make sense for both clubs to revisit their previous interest once Carey Price’s situation becomes clearer.
The source told Murphy that the Stars could use Allen if Jake Oettinger hasn’t been signed by the time the season starts or if he stages a holdout during training camp. The Coyotes, meanwhile, need another goalie to back up Karel Vejmelka.
Murphy’s colleague Marco D’Amico followed up by suggesting managing their salary cap, roster and other assets could explain why it might make sense for the Canadiens to move Allen before the season begins. Testing the trade waters on Allen would be wise, especially if Price is trending in the right direction health-wise.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Oettinger could stage a holdout during training camp or during the start of the season. However, I’ll be surprised if things reach that point. The Stars have the cap room to sign him and fellow rising star Jason Robertson to short-term contracts with the promise of more lucrative deals in the near future.
Allen surfaced as a possible trade option for the Vegas Golden Knights to replace sidelined starting goalie Robin Lehner. The Canadiens have Sam Montembeault also under contract for the coming season and he could be a more affordable backup for Price.
The Habs aren’t under any pressure right now to move Allen. They could be willing to part with him if Price has recovered from the complications arising from last year’s knee surgery that sidelined him for most of last season. On the other hand, they could prefer keeping the reliable Allen to ensure Price isn’t overworked.
If Price remains sidelined, some suggest the Canadiens trade Allen anyway, go with a tandem of Montembeault and Cayden Primeau, and tank the season to improve their odds of winning the draft lottery again. However, that can have a damaging effect on team morale, especially in a rebuilding club. It could also do irreparable harm to Primeau’s development.
JETS STILL NEED A LEFT WINGER
SPORTSNET: Ken Wiebe recently reported the Winnipeg Jets could use a third-line left winger. Possible internal options to address that need include Jansen Harkins or Morgan Barron. If they wish to look outside the organization, trade options could include the Arizona Coyotes’ Lawson Crouse or the Edmonton Oilers’ Jesse Puljujarvi.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wiebe’s article appeared before the Coyotes signed Crouse to a five-year, $21.5 million contract on Aug. 8. Puljujarvi, meanwhile, agreed to a one-year, $3 million deal with the Oilers, fueling speculation that it could improve his trade value. However, there’s no certainty he’ll hit the trade block during the offseason.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets have over $6 million in cap space for the coming season with 19 roster players under contract. General manager Kevin Cheveldayoff can draw upon his glut of defensemen to make a trade for a suitable third-line forward. However, I think he’ll have better luck addressing that need through free agency where some affordable options remain.
POSSIBLE PENGUINS TRADE PARTNERS
PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: With the Penguins sitting over the $82.5 million salary cap by $1.4 million for the coming season, Dan Kingerski listed four teams that could become trade partners that could be willing to take on salary.
The Buffalo Sabres, Arizona Coyotes, Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks are all rebuilding clubs with considerable cap space for 2022-23. They could be willing to take on a salaried veteran if he’s packaged with a draft pick or prospect.
Kingerski listed Marcus Pettersson, Brian Dumoulin, Jason Zucker and Teddy Blueger as potential trade candidates. Kasperi Kapanen could be another despite signing a two-year deal worth $3.2 million annually.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Plenty of time remains for the Penguins to become cap compliant. My guess is they’ll draw from their blueline corps for a trade candidate, possibly shopping Pettersson or Dumoulin.