NHL Rumor Mill – August 16, 2023
MORE TRADES COMING FOR THE CANADIENS?
MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marc Dumont recently cited TVA Sports’ Anthony Martineau claiming the Canadiens are “open for business” regarding their goaltending.
Dumont doubted the Canadiens will get more than a very late-round draft pick or future considerations even in this summer’s tepid goalie market. Montembeault, Allen and DeSmith are far from being considered prospects.
Montembeault has put up decent NHL numbers but is far from an established starter. Allen and DeSmith have been relegated to backup roles.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I realize that the impressive trade record of Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes has made some Habs followers believe he’s going to hit a home run on almost every deal.
Hughes is very good but even he’s at the mercy of the market. If you were disappointed in the Petry return without looking at the larger picture, don’t get your hopes up that he’ll get something better for one of his three NHL goalies.
THE ATHLETIC: Arpon Basu noted the Canadiens remain over the $83.5 million salary cap for this season following their recent cost-cutting moves.
During his media availability discussing Tuesday’s Jeff Petry trade, general manager Kent Hughes hinted at more moves to come to clear up cap space without putting permanently sidelined goalie Carey Price on offseason long-term injury reserve.
Trading DeSmith could be one option. “I told Casey to be patient,” said Hughes. “The idea is not to bury him in the AHL, so we’ll continue looking at opportunities to either trade him or maybe changes a few things, but it might take some time because the goalie market doesn’t move very quickly.”
Basu also noted the Canadiens could use their six waiver-exempt players (Juraj Slafkovsky, Rafael Harvey-Pinard, Arber Xhekaj, Kaiden Guhle, Justin Barron and Jordan Harris) to send some of them to the AHL as a paper transaction to be cap compliant to start the season, then recall them once Price is placed on LTIR.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Basu points out that it’s about garnering salary-cap flexibility. He noted that the Petry trade allows the Canadiens to start the regular season with Price on their books and then place him on LTIR when the roster deadline has passed.
Basu goes on to explain that offseason LTIR means the Canadiens get locked into a cap number leaving them with zero cap space. In-season LTIR means the closer they are to the cap as possible, the more cap flexibility they’ll have once they place Price on it.
LATEST ON TOMAS TATAR
TSN: Travis Yost looked at how free agent Tomas Tatar could help an NHL club. He noted that the 32-year-old winger has been a reliable middle-six point producer, including his 20 goals and 48 points last season with the New Jersey Devils.
Yost believes a team that plays a similar up-tempo attacking style like the Devils could benefit from Tatar’s speed and scoring abilities. The Pittsburgh Penguins, Buffalo Sabres and Winnipeg Jets could be possible destinations. It could take training camp to open up more possibilities for Tatar.
PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Dave Molinari noted the recent rumors linking the Penguins to Tatar. He examined whether he was worth adding to the roster.
Molinari believes the Penguins should pursue Tatar if sidelined winger Jake Guentzel is out longer than anticipated and if he’ll accept a team-friendly contract. The downside, however, is his addition would complicate their salary-cap flexibility, costing them a valuable role player.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Tatar recently admitted he’s had talks with the Penguins but didn’t indicate whether they’re close to a deal. Penguins GM Kyle Dubas last week said Guentzel might only miss the opening five games of the regular season. That could alleviate the need to find a short-term replacement for him.
It’s believed Tatar could be seeking a guaranteed contract longer than one season. The Penguins might only be interested in signing him to a PTO deal and see how he performs in training camp and preseason play.