NHL Rumor Mill – November 24, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – November 24, 2022

Check out the latest Canadiens speculation plus a look at some other potential blueline trade targets for the Leafs in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

LATEST ON THE CANADIENS

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: The New Jersey Devils’ rumored interest in Josh Anderson apparently hasn’t waned since the offseason. Canadiens podcaster and former broadcaster Tony Marinaro reports Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald wants the 28-year-old Canadiens winger badly.

Montreal Canadiens winger Josh Anderson (NHL Images).

Marinaro wonders if the Devils would part with a promising youngster such as Luke Hughes, Simon Nemec or Alexander Holtz in a package deal. It remains to be seen if Canadiens GM Kent Hughes (no relation to Luke or Devils winger Jack Hughes) would be willing to move Anderson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Marinaro also claims there are a couple of teams besides the Devils who would take Anderson. Assuming the Canadiens are willing to move him, they probably aren’t in any rush to do so at this stage in the season.

If there is interest in Anderson, it might be best to wait until the March 3 trade deadline approaches to start considering serious offers. His value in the trade market could be much higher by that point.

Marco D’Amico recently listed Sean Monahan, Joel Edmundson and Christian Dvorak as the Canadiens’ top-three most valuable trade chips.

D’Amico noted TSN’s Pierre LeBrun recently linked Monahan to the Colorado Avalanche, who could be among several clubs that will be in the market for a second-line center. Edmundson has apparently been the subject of conversations between Hughes and his peers, while the recent improvement of Dvorak could bolster his trade value.

Speaking of Anderson, D’Amico speculated the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers could present irresistible offers to Hughes at some point.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe Monahan, Edmundson or Dvorak could be moved before Anderson. Much will depend on where the Canadiens are in the standings leading up to the March 3 trade deadline and what the market is for those players. Given the plethora of defensemen the Canadiens are carrying, maybe Edmundson gets traded first.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Stu Cowan reports the Canadiens possess a logjam of defensemen with Mike Matheson’s recent return from injury and the rise of promising blueliners like Kaiden Guhle, Jordan Harris, Arber Xhekaj and Johnathan Kovacevic. He also noted there were 19 scouts at Tuesday’s game between the Canadiens and Buffalo Sabres.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some of those scouts would’ve been there simply because their teams will be playing the Canadiens or Sabres in the near future. However, I daresay some could be there to check out some potential trade bait.

LIST OF POTENTIAL BLUELINE TRADE TARGETS FOR THE LEAFS

THE SCORE: Sean O’Leary recently published a list of 10 defensemen the Toronto Maple Leafs could target to bolster their injury-ravaged blueline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: O’Leary’s list came out before the Leafs acquired promising rearguard Conor Timmins from the Arizona Coyotes on Nov. 23. However, they could perhaps pursue one of his suggested trade targets if Timmins doesn’t pan out or if Morgan Rielly, Jake Muzzin and TJ Brodie are sidelined longer than expected.

Pending unrestricted free agent options include the Columbus Blue Jackets’ Vladislav Gavrikov, the Washington Capitals’ Dmitry Orlov, the Minnesota Wild’s Matt Dumba, the New Jersey Devils’ Damon Severson, the Seattle Kraken’s Carson Soucy and the Vancouver Canucks’ Luke Schenn.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t see Orlov, Dumba, Severson and Soucy going anywhere as long as their respective teams remain in playoff contention. Gavrikov could be shopped if he hasn’t signed a contract extension before the trade deadline. Schenn will likely become available if the Canucks fail to gain ground in the standings.

Notable defensemen with term remaining on their contracts include the Arizona Coyotes’ Jakob Chychrun, the Boston Bruins’ Mike Reilly and Matt Roy and Sean Walker of the Los Angeles Kings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The high asking price for Chychrun is likely too rich for the Leafs. Reilly could be a good option but the Bruins may be reluctant to trade him to a division rival. Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas has a trade history with Kings GM Rob Blake so perhaps Roy or Walker would be more likely options here.










NHL Rumor Mill – November 14, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – November 14, 2022

Should the Canadiens trade Josh Anderson? Would the Flames be interested in him? Could Sean Monahan be an option for the Avalanche? Check out the latest in an all-Habs edition of the NHL Rumor Mill.

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.

Montreal Canadiens winger Josh Anderson (NHL Images).

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.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 7, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 7, 2022

The Leafs, Red Wings and Panthers emerge the winners in Sunday’s game, the Bruins release Mitchell Miller two days after signing him, and the Panthers’ Matthew Tkachuk and the Canadiens’ Josh Anderson get suspended. Details and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares’ 399th career goal was a game-winner in a 3-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. Erik Kallgren made 29 saves for his first career NHL victory while Calle Jarnkrok and William Nylander also scored for the Leafs (7-4-2). Stefan Noesen replied for the 8-3-1 Hurricanes.

Toronto Maple Leafs captain John Tavares (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs have won three straight in early November after stumbling through October with a 4-4-2 record. Earlier in the day, they announced goaltender Ilya Samsonov was placed on injured reserve with a knee injury and could be sidelined for at least a week.

The Detroit Red Wings nipped the New York Rangers 3-2 on an overtime goal by Dominik Kubalik. Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 27 shots for the win as the Wings improved to 7-3-2 while the Rangers fell to 6-4-3. Mika Zibanejad and Kaapo Kakko scored for the Blueshirts.

Florida Panthers defenseman Brandon Montour had a goal and three assists to lead his club over the Anaheim Ducks 5-3. Sam Reinhart scored two goals and Spencer Knight made 32 saves as the Panthers improved to 7-5-1. John Gibson kicked out 43 shots for the Ducks as they fell to 4-8-1.

HEADLINES

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Two days after the Bruins signed Mitchell Miller to an entry-level contract, team president Cam Neely yesterday released a statement announcing they were parting ways with the 20-year-old defenseman effective immediately.

The Bruins came under heavy scrutiny for signing Miller, who had pleaded guilty in juvenile court six years ago for racially and physically abusing and bullying a Black classmate with developmental disabilities.

In his statement, Neely indicated the Bruins’ decision to sign Miller was based on “careful consideration” of the facts as they were aware of them. The club believed the incident was an isolated one and that Miller had taken “meaningful action to reform and was committed to ongoing development.” However, Neely claimed the decision to terminate the contract was based “on new information.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins’ front office faced a firestorm of criticism for signing Miller. It came not just from around the league but also from their fans, from local media, and from Bruins veterans like Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Nick Foligno. Even league commissioner Gary Bettman expressed his displeasure when asked about the signing on Saturday.

Neely and the rest of the Bruins front office could’ve spared themselves all of this had they properly vetted Miller’s past in the first place. This was not an “isolated incident” as Miller engaged in physical and verbal abuse of his victim for several years A detailed report about his actions by the Arizona Republic prompted the Arizona Coyotes to relinquish his rights just weeks after selecting him in the fourth round of the 2020 NHL draft. He offered no attempt at contrition until about a week before signing with the Bruins.

The fallout from this could leave a stain on the Bruins’ organization for some time.

NHL.COM: The department of player safety suspended Florida Panthers winger Matthew Tkachuk for two games for high-sticking Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick on Saturday. Tkachuk jabbed the blade of his stick into the cage on Quick’s mask. The Kings goalie was not injured.

Montreal Canadiens winger Josh Anderson received a two-game suspension for boarding Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo on Saturday. Pietrangelo was bleeding from the nose following the hit but stayed in the game.

DAILY FACEOFF: Detroit Red Wings forward Filip Zadina is listed as month-to-month after suffering a leg injury blocking a shot against the New York Islanders on Saturday.

TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild placed Jordan Greenway and Ryan Hartman on injured reserve with upper-body injuries. They recalled forwards Adam Beckman and Joseph Cramarossa from their AHL affiliate in Iowa.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Avalanche defenseman Bo Byram is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

GOPHNX.COM: Dylan Guenther will be staying with the Arizona Coyotes this season. The 2021 first-round pick earned his place with two goals and six points in nine games.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Blackhawks’ rebuilding process is being felt at the gate this season. They’re averaging 14, 788 fans at the United Center thus far. That’s the lowest it’s been since 2007-08.

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche broadcaster and former NHL forward Peter McNab has died of cancer at age 70.

Considered “The Father of Colorado Hockey”, McNab was a standout player at Denver University and went on to play 14 seasons with the Buffalo Sabres, Boston Bruins, Vancouver Canucks and New Jersey Devils from 1973-74 to 1986-87, scoring 363 goals and 813 points in 955 career games. He had been calling Avalanche games since their first season in 1995-96 and was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2021.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to McNab’s family, friends, former teammates and broadcast partners.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 1, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – October 1, 2022

Notable highlights from Friday’s preseason play, Canadiens’ rookie Juraj Slafkovsky’s underwhelming preseason play, Flyers goaltender Carter Hart says he’ll be ready for his club’s season-opener, plus the latest injury updates and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

NHL.COM: Matt Duchene scored twice in a five-point performance to lead the Nashville Predators to a 7-1 drubbing of the Tampa Bay Lightning in preseason action on Friday. Tanner Jeannot had four points (including two goals) while Filip Forsberg collected three assists.

Nashville Predators center Matt Duchene (NHL Images).

San Jose Sharks hopeful Danil Gushchin tallied a hat trick in a 7-3 win over the Vegas Golden Knights. Jack Eichel scored two goals for the Golden Knights. Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was stretchered from the ice after crashing into the end boards. He was taken to a hospital for observation and was said to have full movement of his extremities and was fully conscious and alert.

Speaking of the Ducks, sophomore center Trevor Zegras will undergo more medical tests after suffering an upper-body injury in a preseason game on Wednesday.

Toronto Maple Leafs winger Nick Robertson scored twice and added an assist as his club downed the Ottawa Senators 6-3.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes called Juraj Slafkovsky’s performance in his first two NHL preseason contests “a little underwhelming”. Hughes said the club would do what was best to help the 2022 first-overall pick to improve. He didn’t rule out having the 18-year-old winger start the season with their AHL affiliate in Laval.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Internet trolls and panicky Canadiens fans are already calling Slafkovsky a bust. Sensible hockey fans understand it’s far too early for that kind of assessment.

The young Slovak is trying to adjust to a different style of game on a smaller ice surface. Some players can adjust quickly while others need more time.

The worst thing the Canadiens can do is try to push Slafkovsky into their lineup before he’s ready. If he needs a season in the AHL to adjust to the North American game then so be it. If he’s not NHL-ready yet he shouldn’t be on their roster this season simply because he’s a first-overall draft pick.

Slafkovsky could become a superstar. He could become a bust. He could become something in-between. It’s ridiculous to write him off after just two meaningless preseason contests.

Speaking of the Canadiens, winger Josh Anderson explained the upper-body injury that sidelined him since the start of training camp was a spider bite on his hand that got infected.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It wasn’t a radioactive spider so he won’t turn into the NHL’s version of Spiderman. Anderson is expected to return to their lineup before the end of their preseason schedule.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Carter Hart will miss the Flyers’ first four preseason games. However, the 24-year-old goaltender said he expected to be ready for the club’s season opener on Oct. 13 against the New Jersey Devils.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers will need a healthy Hart at his best if they hope to reach the playoffs this season. They’re already missing Ryan Ellis from their blueline for the season while center Sean Couturier will miss the start of the schedule with an upper-body injury.

THE DETROIT NEWS: Andrew Copp hopes to make his debut with the Red Wings in their season-opener on Oct. 14. The versatile 28-year-old forward signed with the Wings as a free agent but is still recovering from offseason abdominal surgery.

TORONTO STAR: Maple Leafs defenseman Carl Dahlstrom requires shoulder surgery that will sideline him for six months. Blueliner Jordie Benn will be out for three weeks with a groin strain.

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Stars forward Ty Dellandrea will miss the next two-three weeks with a broken finger.

SPORTSNET: Los Angeles Kings forward Jacob Doty received a two-game suspension by the NHL department of player safety for interference on Sharks forward Jeffrey Viel in a recent preseason game.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: The Sharks signed Scott Harrington to a one-year, two-way contract. The 29-year-old defenseman earned the job while on a professional tryout offer.

ARIZONA SPORTS: The Coyotes claimed goaltender Jonas Johansson off waivers from the Colorado Avalanche.










NHL Rumor Mill – July 7, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – July 7, 2022

The rumor mill is abuzz leading up to the first round of the 2022 NHL Draft. Check out the latest on J.T. Miller, Matthew Tkachuk, Alex DeBrincat, Blake Wheeler, Claude Giroux, the Senator’s first-round pick and much more in today’s NHL rumor mill.

J.T. MILLER

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports the New York Rangers are among the suitors for Vancouver Canucks center J.T. Miller.

SPECTOR’ S NOTE: I wonder if the Capitals are still interested with Nicklas Backstrom determined to return to action in 2022-23 following hip surgery? They were linked to Miller in recent rumors because of uncertainty over Backstrom’s status.

MATTHEW TKACHUK

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports teams are “delicately approaching” the Calgary Flames about Matthew Tkachuk. The representatives for the restricted free agent winger want to see how things play out with his teammate (and pending UFA) Johnny Gaudreau before formalizing a game plan for their client.

Calgary Flames winger Matthew Tkachuk (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch cited St. Louis broadcaster Andy Strickland suggesting the Blues would be interested if Tkachuk becomes available in the trade market. If the Flames lose Gaudreau I expect they’ll put all their focus on signing Tkachuk to a big raise on a long-term deal.

ALEX DEBRINCAT

Pierre LeBrun said teams are starting to put their best offers forward to the Chicago Blackhawks for winger Alex DeBrincat. A first-round pick would have to be part of the return.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Ben Pope believes the New Jersey Devils (second overall pick), Philadelphia Flyers (fifth overall) and Ottawa Senators (seventh overall) are the most likely suitors for DeBrincat. He reports rumors involving the Flyers and DeBrincat have cooled of late.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blackhawks traded away their first-round pick in this year’s draft to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Seth Jones.

BLAKE WHEELER

THE SCORE: cited Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reporting the Winnipeg Jets have started exploring the trade market for captain Blake Wheeler. The 35-year-old winger’s no-movement clause has now become a modified no-trade in which he submits five preferred trade destinations. He has two seasons left on his contract with an annual average value of $8.25 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wheeler’s age, cap hit and limited trade destinations make him difficult to move in an offseason where the salary cap has only risen by $1 million.

CLAUDE GIROUX

Pierre LeBrun adds the Carolina Hurricanes to the list of possible suitors for Florida Panthers forward Claude Giroux. They’re prioritizing offense this season and could lose forwards Nino Niederreiter and Vincent Trocheck to free agency next Wednesday.

WILL THE SENATORS SHOP THE SEVENTH-OVERALL PICK?

TSN: Darren Dreger reports Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion has said there was a 50-50 chance he might trade it. Dreger believes he’s now leaning toward trading that selection.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports there’s some “serious interest” in that seventh-overall pick. The offers have increased dramatically since Dorion and his staff arrived in Montreal for the upcoming draft. It’s believed the Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Blackhawks and Arizona Coyotes have been the most aggressive teams pursuing a top-10 pick.

Dorion was asked by a reporter if the Canadiens had offered up winger Josh Anderson for that pick. He declined to say anything about that but added that he’d seriously consider an offer from the Habs if it allowed both clubs to improve.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marco D’Amico reports sources say the Senators are interested in Anderson and teammate Christian Dvorak.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s also talk the Canadiens are interested in the Devils’ pick and could offer up Anderson in a package deal for that. I’d say they’ll have better luck landing the Senators’ pick with that package but I’m not holding my breath they’ll get either pick.

JESSE PULJUJARVI

EDMONTON JOURNAL’s Jim Matheson believes Oilers GM Ken Holland could seek a first-round pick who hasn’t panned on other clubs in return for Jesse Pujujarvi. He listed Detroit’s Filip Zadina, Nashville’s Eeli Tolvanen and Carolina’s Martin Necas as options.

LATEST ON THE LEAFS GOALTENDING SITUATION

TSN: Chris Johnston reports Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas said his club is still talking to Jack Campbell’s camp. However, there doesn’t appear to be much progress toward a deal. He felt the Leafs will look to add at least one goaltender, mentioning the Minnesota Wild’s Marc-Andre Fleury as an option. Dubas also indicated Petr Mrazek could be sticking around next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The whole point of trading Mrazek is to free up cap space for Campbell. If they can’t afford him with Mrazek still on the books, how can they afford Fleury?

Darren Dreger believes Campbell is headed to the open market. He listed the Edmonton Oilers and New Jersey Devils as possible destinations for the 30-year-old netminder with the Washington Capitals and Detroit Red Wings as honorable mentions. Dreger believes Campbell could seek a five-year deal worth $5 million per season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My guess is it’s Edmonton or New Jersey for Campbell.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the word is the Leafs have kicked tires on Senators goaltender Matt Murray as one of their options if Campbell departs next week via free agency.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless the Senators are retaining half of Murray’s $6.25 million cap hit, I don’t see how the Leafs can afford him. I also think they should seek better options rather than a goalie with a long injury history or it’s Mrazek time again next season.

GOLDEN KNIGHTS COULD SEEK A GOALTENDER

LAS VEGAS SUN: Danny Webster reports the Vegas Golden Knights could be in the market for a goaltender if Robin Lehner and Laurent Brossoit haven’t recovered from their offseason surgeries in time for training camp.

Webster suggested the Montreal Canadiens’ Jake Allen and the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Brian Elliott as possibilities. He rules out any hope of a Marc-Andre Fleury reunion. Webster also indicated the Golden Knights could shop defenseman Alec Martinez. Center William Karlsson has come up as a trade candidate but the sense is things have cooled on that front.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: One option could be the Rangers’ Alexandar Georgiev. The New York Post’s Larry Brooks reports the Blueshirts could move the 26-year-old restricted free agent if they don’t intend to file a qualifying offer by Monday’s deadline.

The Canadiens aren’t moving Allen until they’ve had more clarity on Carey Price’s health and that won’t be known until later in the summer. The Lightning re-sign Elliott in April to a one-year, $900K contract so he’s not going anywhere.

RUMORS FROM THE OTTAWA SUN

Bruce Garrioch reports a couple of teams have contacted the St. Louis Blues about Vladimir Tarasenko but the club isn’t shopping him. He wouldn’t mind staying in St. Louis.

The Florida Panthers are expected to let defenseman Ben Chiarot depart as a free agent next week.

Teams might want to reach out to the Minnesota Wild about defenseman Matt Dumba. He was being shopped before the Wild shipped Kevin Fiala last week to the Los Angeles Kings.










NHL Rumor Mill – June 17, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – June 17, 2022

What’s next for the Canadiens after trading Shea Weber to the Golden Knights? Should the Flyers shop Ivan Provorov or Travis Konecny this summer? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.

WHAT NEXT FOR THE CANADIENS FOLLOWING THE WEBER TRADE?

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Follow this link for my thoughts on the Montreal Canadiens shipping Shea Weber to the Vegas Golden Knights for Evgenii Dadonov on June 16.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Stu Cowan reports Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes is still listening to trade offers for Jeff Petry. The 34-year-old defenseman has three more seasons on his contract with an annual average value of $6.25 million.

RDS.CA: Hughes was asked about Petry during his video conference announcing the Weber trade on Thursday evening. “There is no imminent transaction,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean it won’t happen before the draft.”

Montreal Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry (NHL Images).

Hughes also said he’s had several calls from rival general managers expressing interest in Josh Anderson. While admitting he’s always willing to listen to offers, he has no plans to trade the 28-year-old winger. Anderson’s signed through 2026-27 with an annual cap hit of $5.5 million.

SPORTSNET: Eric Engels reports the Canadiens still have over $80 million invested in 19 players for 2022-23 following the Weber trade with promising restricted free agents like Alexander Romanov and Rem Pitlick to sign. There’s little they can do to clear sufficient cap room to pursue big-ticket talent in this summer’s free-agent market.

Engels expects Petry will be traded but Hughes indicated he’s not going to part with futures to make it happen. Despite the interest in Anderson, there’s no urgency for the Canadiens GM to move him.

Hughes also indicated he likely won’t have clarity on Carey Price’s status until close to training camp or possibly afterward. He intends to proceed with his offseason business as though Price will be on his active roster.

Engels also speculated forwards Paul Byron and Jonathan Drouin could be moved this offseason. If they’re not, the Canadiens will gain extra cap flexibility next summer when they become unrestricted free agents.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s apparent Hughes intends to move Petry. There’s been recent speculation linking the blueliner to several clubs, including the Dallas Stars and Pittsburgh Penguins. Whether he ends up with those teams remains to be seen.

The Habs GM intends to be patient to find the right deal for Petry. Considering the moves he’s made thus far (Weber on Thursday, Tyler Toffoli, Ben Chiarot, Artturi Lehkonen and Brett Kulak before the trade deadline), the return must either fetch the Canadiens an affordable player who can help their roster or futures such as draft picks and prospects.

Anderson is the Canadiens’ best trade chip if Hughes is willing to move him. However, he’ll have to receive an offer that’s too good to refuse. I wouldn’t be surprised if Anderson’s still wearing a Habs jersey when the 2022-23 season begins.

Drouin and Byron could draw some interest but their respective injury histories could make them difficult to move. Then again, Hughes found a trade partner to take Weber’s hefty salary-cap hit off his hands. We shouldn’t dismiss the possibility of him finding a taker for either guy.

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy recently suggested the Canadiens look into acquiring Martin Necas if he no longer fits into the Carolina Hurricanes’ plans. The 23-year-old forward became the subject of trade speculation after a disappointing season amid rumors of a possible rift with Hurricanes’ coach Rod Brind’Amour. He’s completing his entry-level contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It might not be a bad idea to look into Necas’ availability. However, the Hurricanes have some cap issues of their own to deal with.

Cap Friendly indicates they have $19.4 million in cap room and key players such as Vincent Trocheck, Nino Niederreiter and Tony DeAngelo are in need of new contracts. They probably won’t want to take back much salary unless the return is an affordable replacement for one of those three.

SHOULD THE FLYERS TRADE PROVOROV OR KONECNY?

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Prior to the Flyers’ reported signing of head coach John Tortorella, Sam Carchidi suggested it may be time for them to trade Ivan Provorov or Travis Konecny. He believes they should use either guy to pursue high draft picks and rising young players to restock their prospect pipeline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Carchidi did go on to say perhaps a coach like Tortorella could do a better job bringing out the best in players like Provorov and Konecny. I think that’s what the Flyers’ front office is counting on having gone out and hired “Torts”.

That doesn’t mean Provorov or Konecny wouldn’t be traded if the right offer was made in the coming weeks. However, it seems to me that Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher still believes this club can turn things around with the right guidance behind the bench.