NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 30, 2023

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 30, 2023

Recaps of Wednesday’s games, Patrick Kane could soon make his debut with the Red Wings, plus the latest on Corey Perry and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Unanswered goals by K’Andre Miller and Jimmy Vesey lifted the New York Rangers over the Detroit Red Wings 3-2. Artemi Panarin also scored for the Rangers (16-4-1) to extend his season-opening home points streak to nine games while Alexis Lafreniere collected two assists. Moritz Seider and Robby Fabbri replied for the Red Wings as they slipped to 11-7-3 on the season. With 33 points, the Rangers hold first place in the overall standings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rangers defenseman Adam Fox returned to the lineup for the first time since being sidelined by an injury on Nov. 2. Meanwhile, the Red Wings played without captain Dylan Larkin as he remained in Detroit due to an injury.

A 38-save performance by Charlie Lindgren gave the Washington Capitals a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. Anthony Mantha and Connor McMichael scored for the Capitals as they improved to 11-6-2. Arthur Kaliyev replied for the Kings as they dropped to 13-4-3.

The Montreal Canadiens got third-period goals from Joel Armia and Gustav Lindstrom to double up the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2. Alex Newhook and Cole Caufield also scored for the Canadiens while Sam Montembeault stopped 26 shots as the Habs improved to 10-10-2. Patrik Laine and Yegor Chinakhov tallied for the 7-13-4 Blue Jackets.

Detroit Red Wings forward Patrick Kane (NHL Images).

HEADLINES

DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Patrick Kane’s debut with the Red Wings could come as early as next week. Earlier this week, the 35-year-old winger signed a one-year, $2.75 million contract with the Wings.

General manager Steve Yzerman suggested Kane could return to action within the next four to seven days. The winger is discussing a plan of return with the Wings that could see his first game take place on Tuesday against the Sabres in Buffalo.

DAILY FACEOFF: Some details are emerging regarding the off-ice incident involving Corey Perry that resulted in the Chicago Blackhawks terminating his contract.

Frank Seravalli cited sources claiming it was an alcohol-fueled incident involving Perry that was alleged to have occurred during an event with corporate partners and team employees in attendance. However, it’s still not clear what allegedly took place, who witnessed it, and who reported it to the team.

What is known is Perry’s alleged misconduct didn’t involve a criminal investigation, the league was made aware of the Blackhawks’ investigation but it was a “team incident and team decision”, and Perry has not been suspended by the league.

Some observers are wondering whether this incident would’ve risen to the same level had it been any other club. The Blackhawks are still reeling over the results of a 2021 investigation into the cover-up by team executives of an alleged sexual assault of two players by former video coach Brad Aldrich in 2010.

Some agents and players around the NHL have expressed concern that Perry’s contract termination could set a precedent for conduct that may be improper but not illegal. Meanwhile, Perry and the NHL Players’ Association have 60 days from the termination of his contract to file a grievance.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The fallout from this incident will continue to be felt by Perry, the Blackhawks, the NHL, and the NHLPA in the coming months.

Based on the reported information, I believe the Blackhawks handled the incident properly for the most part. I do find fault in their inability to address the salacious rumors that spread on social media due to conflicting messages from the team and Perry’s agent regarding his absence.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Golden Knights defenseman Shea Theodore underwent successful surgery for an upper-body injury earlier this week. He’s listed as week-to-week. His last game was on Nov. 22.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights will feel Theodore’s absence on the blueline. He’s been their best defenseman this season and played a key role in their strong start to this season.

OTTAWA SUN: Good news for the Senators as sidelined defenseman Thomas Chabot is expected to return to action on Friday against the Columbus Blue Jackets. He’s been out with a broken hand since Oct. 26.

THE SEATTLE TIMES: Look no further than between the pipes for the Kraken’s biggest issue this season. Starting goaltender Philipp Grubauer has been struggling thus far and he’s not getting much help from backup Joey Daccord.

CBS SPORTS: Buffalo Sabres forward Jordan Greenway could return to action in Thursday’s game against the St. Louis Blues. He missed their last three games due to personal reasons.

NEW YORK POST: Former NHL goaltender Scott Darling is no fan of the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program. He sought treatment through the program during his career but felt he never got the proper help that he needed.

I’ve told players – what I went through – if you need help, do it on your own,” said Darling. “Don’t ever go near the PA. And I’ll say that honestly, I hope you guys f**king hear this: they’re monsters. Go somewhere else. They can hold you, like, try and break your contract, stuff like that.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No response thus far from the league or the PA regarding Darling’s accusations.










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – November 26, 2023

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – November 26, 2023

The latest on Patrick Kane plus updates on the Islanders and Coyotes in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.

LATEST ON PATRICK KANE

SPORTSNET (via Kukla’s Korner): Elliotte Friedman believes we should learn by early this week when Patrick Kane will finally decide where he’ll play this season. The 35-year-old unrestricted free-agent winger has made it “tougher than an escape room” to figure out where he’s going.

Free agent winger Patrick Kane (NHL Images).

Most observers have speculated the Florida Panthers and Detroit Red Wings as potential destinations. Friedman thinks Kane has narrowed his choices down to a couple of teams.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers have reportedly pursued Kane since the summer and could offer him the best opportunity to win the Stanley Cup this season. However, the Red Wings have the advantage of salary-cap space if he’s seeking a multi-year deal.

VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: Chris Gawlik noted some recent speculation linking Kane to the Golden Knights. However, he dismissed that notion by pointing out their lack of salary-cap space plus the difficulty they would face in finding a suitable place for him on their roster.

Barring a long-term injury to one of their top-six forwards, the Golden Knights don’t need Kane to win the Stanley Cup this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I get the notion of a defending champion wanting to load up for another run at the Cup. Nevertheless, Gawlik does a fine job of pointing out why the Golden Knights probably won’t do it.

COULD PELECH’S INJURY FORCE THE ISLANDERS INTO THE TRADE MARKET?

THE ATHLETIC: Arthur Staple wonders what the New York Islanders will do to replace Adam Pelech, who was placed on long-term injury reserve when he injured his left arm during Friday’s game against the Ottawa Senators. Staple noted how the Isles struggled during Pelech’s two previous long absences due to injuries in 2020-21 and last season.

Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello plucked journeyman defenseman Mike Reilly off waivers Saturday from the Florida Panthers. He’s an affordable stopgap to buy time while Lamoriello looks elsewhere for help if needed.

The Islanders had $700K in cap space prior to Pelech’s injury. Putting him on LTIR enables them to dip into his $5.75 million cap hit. Staple pointed out that recent rumors had Lamoriello inquiring into Calgary Flames defensemen Noah Hanifin and Nikita Zadorov. Another option could be Carolina Hurricanes rearguard Tony DeAngelo.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Staple pointed out that Pelech can come off LTIR as early as Dec. 16 but he could be out until sometime in January if surgery is required. That could be the determining factor whether Lamoriello heads into the trade market. Bear in mind that if they use the LTIR savings to add a defenseman they must be cap-compliant when Pelech is ready to return.

COYOTES SEEKING ADDITIONS TO THEIR ROSTER

GOPHNX.COM: Craig Morgan recently reported that Arizona Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong is actively engaged in trade talks that would involve shipping existing draft picks and prospects out the door to bring in existing NHL talent.

Morgan pointed out how much of a positive impact offseason addition Sean Durzi has made to the Arizona Coyotes’ defense corps. The 25-year-old blueliner is someone who can grow with the club’s young core.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After three years of tearing the roster down, Armstrong has shifted his focus on building up around core players like Clayton Keller and promising future stars such as Logan Cooley. However, don’t expect him to just start shoveling out most of his draft picks and prospects for veterans.

The Coyotes have eight picks in rounds two through four and two picks in round seven of the 2024 draft, six picks through rounds two and three in 2025 and five picks in rounds two and three in 2026. Armstrong can draw on some of them as trade chips to pluck away quality talent from cap-strapped clubs or those who lack draft picks throughout those rounds.

Armstrong won’t be going after aging stars on expiring contracts. Instead, he’ll likely pursue players like Durzi who are in the mid-to-late twenties and could be part of the Coyotes’ long-term plans.










NHL Rumor Mill – November 24, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – November 24, 2023

The latest Oilers’ speculation, the Flyers are willing to wheel and deal, an update on Patrick Kane and more in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

LATEST ON THE OILERS

TSN: Chris Johnston said the Edmonton Oilers are exploring their options to save their season. That includes external discussions with other clubs but it will be difficult to find a club as desperate as they are or to avoid a bad trade by overpaying for help.

Johnston believes the Oilers are looking internally as well and that could include bringing back Jack Campbell from their AHL affiliate in Bakersfield. He had a shutout earlier this week.

Johnston’s colleague Ryan Rishaug expressed his belief that all assets other than Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and their 2024 first-round pick are in play as the Oilers try to find a fix for their problems.

Edmonton Oilers goaltender Jack Campbell (NHL Images).

Rishaug acknowledged finding a true goalie fix or a major upgrade on defense is tough to achieve right now. He instead suggested adding a player like the Minnesota Wild’s Pat Maroon as he would bring championship experience, positive energy and physicality to the lineup.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman also noted the Oilers’ concern about making a bad trade as well as the possibility of recalling Campbell if he’s rediscovered his game. He also cited an NHL general manager saying if the Oilers want to include their first-round pick in a trade they had better put top-of-the-draft protection on it.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Caleb Kerney noted there was some speculation linking the Oilers to Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Petr Mrazek. It was based on Mrazek having played for Oilers general manager Ken Holland when they were with the Detroit Red Wings.

Kerney doesn’t think Mrazek would be a fit for the Oilers. He pointed out that the 31-year-old goaltender’s best years are behind him plus he’s frequently sidelined by injuries.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers are in a bad place right now. They’re not dealing from a position of strength so they’re going to get squeezed by rival clubs as they try to find a suitable goaltender.

It will be difficult to land any kind of upgrade for their roster without giving up that first-round pick as part of the deal. If they are willing to move it but make it top-10 protected, that could be a deal breaker for most clubs.

The harsh truth is recalling Campbell could be their only solution. They could sign free-agent Jaroslav Halak but at this stage of his career, he’s best suited for backup work. Even then, there’s no certainty that he’d be able to help them. The Lightning placed Matt Tomkins on waivers but he didn’t do enough in his few appearances this season to suggest that he’d be an improvement over Campbell and Stuart Skinner.

I don’t think the Blackhawks are looking at moving Mrazek. If they are, the Oilers could be on his 10-team no-trade list.

FLYERS READY TO WHEEL AND DEAL

TSN: Darren Dreger reports the Philadelphia Flyers are interested in becoming a wheeler or a dealer as they look to build a strong foundation for the future. They’re willing to listen on every position (but not every player). He believes they could entertain offers on defensemen Sean Walker and Nick Seeler.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman pointed out that Walker has “really impressed in Philadelphia.” He thinks there will be plenty of interest if the Flyers don’t extend him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dreger’s report will further stoke speculation over the future of Flyers goalie Carter Hart. He’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights next summer and has surfaced of late as a possible trade target for the struggling Oilers. Flyers GM Daniel Briere has previously said he’ll listen on anybody (including Hart) but that doesn’t mean he’s rushing to move him.

UPDATE ON PATRICK KANE

TSN: Darren Dreger speculates that Patrick Kane could reach a decision on where he’ll sign sometime next week. He felt it was a bit of a stretch suggesting that the 35-year-old free-agent winger could decide this week given that he and his family would be celebrating American Thanksgiving.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman ran down the list of potential destinations for Kane. Along with the usual ones (Toronto, Dallas, Florida, Buffalo, Detroit), he also thinks the Colorado Avalanche have made a pitch plus rumors continue to swirl about the Vegas Golden Knights. However, Friedman also suggested that Kane might prefer an Eastern Conference club as he wouldn’t have to travel as much as he would in the Western Conference.

THE MERCURY NEWS: Curtis Pashelka wondered if there was the possibility of a team with salary-cap space like the Sharks signing Kane to a “somewhat richer contract” (agreed to by Kane and a contending team), and then flipping him to that contender while retaining part of his annual cap hit in exchange for an asset.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said no. Such a series of transactions would constitute salary-cap circumvention.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane has the right to take his time to reach a decision over where he’ll play this season. Still, more than a few fans will be glad to see this ongoing media guessing game come to an end.

MORE “32 THOUGHTS” TIDBITS

SPORTSNET: In his latest “32 Thoughts” column, Elliotte Friedman observed the Columbus Blue Jackets are going through the same kind of difficulties this season as the Oilers. He noted that Jackets president of hockey operations John Davidson expects his veteran players to be much, much better. Friedman thinks the Jackets could ask some of their veterans if they’d prefer playing somewhere else if things don’t turn around soon.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those veterans include Johnny Gaudreau and Patrik Laine. Both have been big disappointments thus far. They carry some form of no-trade protection on their contracts but could be willing to waive them for the right destinations. Then again, their hefty contracts would be difficult to move this season.

The Montreal Canadiens continue to discuss a contract extension with goaltender Sam Montembeault. He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. Friedman doesn’t see the Canadiens waiting until the trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Montembeault has been linked to the Oilers as a possible trade target. However, he’s putting up decent stats with the rebuilding Canadiens, who must sort out who will tend their net in the coming years. With Jake Allen aging and Cayden Primeau yet to establish himself as an NHL goalie, I think they’ll get Montembeault signed to a new deal.

Friedman said the injury-depleted Avalanche are looking for scoring depth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That would explain why he thinks they’ve made a pitch to Patrick Kane.

If the Calgary Flames decide to trade some of their pending UFAs, interested clubs will want to know if they can negotiate with those players beforehand.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That could affect the type of returns the Flames would get for those players.










NHL Rumor Mill – November 22, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – November 22, 2023

The latest on Patrick Kane, the Oilers’ goaltending, and the Wild in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

PANTHERS, RED WINGS, SABRES COULD BE FRONT-RUNNERS FOR KANE

TSN: Darren Dreger reports Patrick Kane is getting very close to deciding on which NHL team he’ll join this season. The 35-year-old free-agent winger is reportedly mulling over multiple options.

As many as eight clubs were initially involved as Kane and his agent Pat Brisson were involved in several face-to-face interviews, including a Zoom call with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Brisson is expected to circle back to clubs to tell them they’re out, though that hasn’t happened yet.

Free agent winger Patrick Kane (NHL Images).

It was expected that Kane might reach a decision this week. With American Thanksgiving coming up, it might take place by next week.

NHL NETWORK (via NHL WATCHER): Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman believes the Florida Panthers, Detroit Red Wings and Buffalo Sabres are the leading candidates for Kane’s services. He claimed he keep hearing about Eastern clubs linked to Kane as there may be a concern about travel in the Western Conference.

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli said he’s spoken to teams that are wondering if the Panthers might be the front-runner for Kane. They could be the best option for him to win a fourth Stanley Cup this season, especially with defensemen Aaron Ekblad and Brandon Montour returning from injury. Seravalli speculates they could be a multi-year destination for Kane if they can free up cap space down the line.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s been reported that Panthers general manager Bill Zito has aggressively pursued Kane since the summer. They currently have around 630K in cap space so someone will have to be traded or demoted to free up a roster spot and cap room for him.

LATEST ON THE OILERS GOALTENDING WOES

SPORTSNET (via NHL WATCHER): Appearing on the latest episode of The Jeff Marek Show, Elliotte Friedman said the Edmonton Oilers could make a really bad trade for a goaltender if they wanted to. However, they don’t want to do that as they’re trying to keep an eye on the big picture at some level.

Friedman believed someone like the Anaheim Ducks’ John Gibson could make a difference for the Oilers. However, he’s not going to fix everything that ails the club.

TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the representatives for free-agent goaltender Jaroslav Halak have spoken with the Oilers. The 38-year-old is back in Boston contemplating his next move after being released from his PTO contract by the Carolina Hurricanes. LeBrun believes the reason Halak was released was due to his unwillingness to have a conditioning stint in the AHL.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers are backed into a corner with their goaltending and everyone knows it. They would have to overpay to bring in an experienced netminder who might not have much success between the pipes given the Oilers’ sloppy defensive game.

Signing a free agent like Halak would be a more affordable option. However, there’s no guarantee of improvement given his age and the fact he hasn’t played since April.

LATEST ON THE WILD

TSN: Chris Johnston reports Minnesota Wild head coach Dean Evason is not in any imminent danger of losing his job despite his club’s sputtering start to this season. He believes that’s mainly because the best fix is for the Wild’s best players to pull them through this difficult stretch.

Johnston cited the low production thus far from Wild stars like Kirill Kaprizov, Matt Boldy and Marcus Foligno. He believes the heated meeting that general manager Bill Guerin had with the players last week was to send the message that it’s up to them to get themselves out of this situation.

THE ATHLETIC: Michael Russo and Joe Smith believe Guerin may have robbed himself of potentially valuable trade-deadline chips by re-signing Foligno, Ryan Hartman, and Mats Zuccarello to multi-year contract extensions.

If the Wild fail to improve, Guerin will have little or no flexibility near the trade deadline. They won’t have many players on expiring contracts to flog for draft picks and prospects.










NHL Rumor Mill – November 20, 2023

NHL Rumor Mill – November 20, 2023

Are the Sabres a fit for Patrick Kane? Could the Panthers pursue Nikita Zadorov? What’s the latest Canucks speculation? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

ARE THE SABRES A FIT FOR PATRICK KANE?

THE BUFFALO NEWS: In his latest mailbag segment, Lance Lysowski was asked why so many Sabres fans think Patrick Kane will sign with their club if he’s trying to latch onto a Stanley Cup contender.

Kane has links to his hometown Sabres including with Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams and head coach Don Granato. He noted that the club is among the few with the cap space, opportunity and supporting cast to entice the 35-year-old free-agent winger.

Free agent winger Patrick Kane (NHL Images).

However, Lysowski doesn’t see Kane selecting the Sabres unless they overpay or give him a multi-year contract. The latter scenario seems unlikely as they have several right-wing options for next season that include Alex Tuch, Jack Quinn and Matthew Savoie.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres are among a handful of clubs (including the Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs) that have been linked to Kane in the media rumor mill. He’s expected to decide by the end of this week as to where he’ll spend the rest of this season. The Sabres and Panthers have reportedly kept in touch with his camp since the summer.

COULD THE PANTHERS PURSUE ZADOROV?

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: In a recent mailbag segment, George Richards was asked if he thinks the Panthers will be in on Nikita Zadorov. The defenseman recently requested a trade from the Calgary Flames.

Richards believes the Panthers always have an interest in any player who could help them out. However, he doubts that they have what it would take to make a move for someone like Zadorov.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That means depth in draft picks and prospects, something the Flames would want in return for Zadorov.

The Panthers have traded away their first-round picks for 2024 and 2025 as well as their 2024 second-rounder. Their prospect pipeline was ranked No. 23 by The Athletic back in August largely because of Anton Lundell’s success. They won’t part with Lundell as he’s a key part of their roster.

THE LATEST CANUCKS SPECULATION

THE PROVINCE: In a recent mailbag segment, Patrick Johnston was asked if the Canucks are continuing to search for more defensive depth with Carson Soucy sidelined for six to eight weeks.

Johnston noted that the Canucks were interested in the Flames’ Nikita Zadorov since before last summer’s draft. His teammate Chris Tanev loved his time playing in Vancouver and would probably welcome a return, especially with how well the Canucks are playing right now.

However, Johnston doesn’t believe the Flames want to trade either player to Vancouver. To make it work, the Canucks might have to find an Eastern Conference club willing to swing a three-team deal.

The Canucks would also like to add another winger or two. Conor Garland has been in the rumor mill for some time but no one’s sprung for him yet. If the Canucks could trade Anthony Beauvillier and his expiring contract, they could use the savings to add a more effective player to their lineup.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks strong performance of late means management doesn’t have to rush around trying to find a suitable deal this early in the season. They could end up having to wait until the calendar flips to 2024 before they start finding any suitable possibilities in the trade market.










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – November 19, 2023

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – November 19, 2023

In the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup: the latest on the Leafs and Patrick Kane, an update on the Flames pending free agents and the Oilers appear interested in the Canadiens’ goaltenders.

UPDATE ON THE LEAFS

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman believes the Toronto Maple Leafs have had a conversation with Patrick Kane. The 35-year-old free-agent right winger is fielding offers as he searches for the right team to play with this season.

Free agent winger Patrick Kane (NHL Images).

The Leafs have kept silent on the matter. Friedman considers it unlikely that they’ll sign Kane as he thinks the two parties wanted to talk to each other and conduct due diligence. He anticipates that Kane will decide on where he’ll play in the coming days. The Leafs appear more committed to addressing their defense.

Friedman also believes the Toronto Maple Leafs need to figure out where things are going with John Klingberg. He was unable to play during their Global Series games in Sweden.

Luke Fox wondered if the Leafs might place Klingberg and his $4.15 million cap hit for this season on long-term injury reserve. He’s been absent from the lineup for a week with an undisclosed injury and only lasted 10 minutes before leaving Saturday’s full-team practice.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Putting Klingberg on LTIR could provide additional wiggle room to perhaps sign Kane. However, I agree with Friedman that their focus is on improving their blueline.

THE LATEST ON THE FLAMES

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reported there’s nothing new to report regarding trade rumors involving the Calgary Flames defensemen. They’re undoubtedly taking a lot of calls from other clubs and there’s been “a lot of conversation” over what they want to do and when. Friedman wonders when the Flames will get to a point where they’ll allow some of these teams to talk to those players.

Meanwhile, Flames captain Mikael Backlund spoke to some of his teammates to “end the noise”. He wants them to concentrate on playing as long as they’re with the Flames.

THE ATHLETIC: Julian McKenzie reports the Flames’ recent 4-1-1 streak has dampened some of the criticism aimed at the club’s performance as well as the spate of trade rumors.

If the Flames remain competitive, McKenzie wonders what effect it will have regarding the futures of Noah Hanifin, Elias Lindholm and Chris Tanev. They’re slated to become unrestricted free agents in July and have been frequent subjects of trade speculation.

TORONTO SUN: Lance Hornby noted that talk of the Maple Leafs’ interest in Nikita Zadorov or Chris Tanev has eased following the Flames’ recent improvement.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flames general manager Craig Conroy is taking a wait-and-see approach regarding Lindholm, Hanifin, Tanev and Zadorov. If the Flames improve and get back into playoff contention, he could decide to hang onto them even if it means losing them to free agency in July. Should they remain out of contention by midseason, Conroy could start seriously entertaining trade offers from playoff contenders.

OILERS LOOKING AT CANADIENS GOALTENDERS

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Edmonton Oilers continue to look at the goaltending market. He indicated that several teams who were recently in Montreal said the Oilers were looking at all three of the Montreal Canadiens’ goaltenders. However, Friedman doesn’t believe anything is imminent between the two clubs as the Oilers are determined not to make a panic trade that they might regret.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens are carrying goalies Jake Allen, Sam Montembeault and Cayden Primeau. Allen has the most experience but his $3.85 million annual average value through 2024-25. That’s too expensive for the Oilers unless they ship out a player with an equivalent salary or convince the Canadiens to retain half of Allen’s cap hit. He also has a 10-team no-trade clause.

Montembeault has an affordable $1 million cap hit but it’s believed the Canadiens hope to re-sign the pending UFA goalie. Primeau is the least experienced and probably the least likely option for the Oilers.

Allen and Montembeault have decent stats with the rebuilding Canadiens. Their numbers could improve with a better team. Whether the Oilers will take that chance remains to be seen. They’d prefer a more established option but those don’t seem to be available right now.