NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 31, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – December 31, 2022

Connor McDavid reaches 70 points with a five-point performance while the Hurricanes set a franchise-record win streak. Details and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid scored a goal and collected four assists in a 7-2 thumping of the Seattle Kraken. He extended his points streak to 17 games while becoming the first player to reach 40 assists and 70 points this season. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had four assists while Zach Hyman and Klim Kostin each tallied twice for the Oilers (20-15-2). Daniel Sprong and Brandon Tanev replied for the Kraken (18-12-4), who are winless in their last three games.

Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McDavid leads the NHL points race with 72, 15 more than teammate Leon Draisaitl, who missed this game nursing some bumps and bruises. The Oilers captain also leads the goal-scoring race with 32.

The Carolina Hurricanes picked up their franchise-best 10th straight win by blanking the Florida Panthers 4-0. Antti Raanta kicked out 19 shots for the shutout while Brent Burns, Seth Jarvis and Jesperi Kotkaniemi each collected two points. With 54 points (24-6-6), the Hurricanes sit six points up on the New Jersey Devils in first place in the Metropolitan Division. The Panthers, meanwhile, slipped to 16-17-4.

Speaking of the New Jersey Devils, they doubled up the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-2 to hand the latter their fourth straight loss. Jack Hughes scored twice while Vitek Vanecek made 25 saves for the win as the Devils improved to 23-11-2. Evgeni Malkin and Jeff Carter scored for the Penguins (19-11-6) as they went 0-9 on the power play in this game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penguins defenseman Kris Letang missed this game with a lower-body injury. Earlier in the day, the Pens activated forward Ryan Poehling off injured reserve after missing the last three games with an upper-body injury.

Nashville Predators winger Filip Forsberg scored and set up two others in his 600th career NHL game to lead his club to a 6-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks. John Gibson made 37 saves for the Ducks as they dropped to 10-23-4. The Predators now sit at 15-14-5.

IN OTHER NEWS…

STLTODAY.COM: Vladimir Tarasenko remains questionable for Saturday’s game against the Minnesota Wild as he battles a non-COVID-related illness that sidelined him from Thursday’s win over the Chicago Blackhawks.

NYI HOCKEY NOW: Islanders winger Oliver Wahlstrom is listed as out indefinitely with a lower-body injury suffered during Tuesday’s win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Winger Simon Holmstrom (knee) was placed on injured reserve retroactive to Dec. 23 but remained day-to-day.

SPORTSNET: Montreal Canadiens defenseman Kaiden Guhle will miss Saturday’s game against the Washington Capitals with a lower-body injury suffered during Thursday’s loss to the Florida Panthers.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Former Capitals winger Devante Smith-Pelly, 30, has announced his retirement. He spent eight seasons in the NHL from 2011-12 to 2018-19 with the Anaheim Ducks, Montreal Canadiens, New Jersey Devils and Washington Capitals, helping the latter win the Stanley Cup in 2018.

Smith-Pelly spent 2019-20 in the KHL and the last two seasons in the AHL. In 395 NHL games, he scored 44 goals and 57 assists for 101 points along with 13 goals and 16 points (including three game-winners) in 51 postseason contests.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Smith-Pelly in his future endeavors. Capitals fans will long remember his highlight-reel game-tying goal in Game 5 of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final that set the stage for Lars Eller’s Cup-winning goal.










NHL Rumor Mill – December 30, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – December 30, 2022

Check out the latest on Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Bo Horvat, Ryan O’Reilly and Vladimir Tarasenko, Alexis Lafreniere and more in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

TRADE PREDICTIONS FOR 2023

TORONTO STAR: Nick Kypreos predicts the bottom will fall out of the trade market leading up to the March 3 deadline because of more big-name players being available than in previous years. He also observed that players carrying no-movement clauses (like Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews) mean they will be “strong-arming” a lot of deals.

Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews (NHL Images).

Speaking of Toews, Kypreos anticipates he’ll land with the Colorado Avalanche. However, he doesn’t see the Blackhawks getting much more than a third-rounder for him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s not as crazy as it sounds given Kypreos’ observations of the talent potentially available in the market leading up to deadline day. It’ll be interesting to see how things unfold as March 3 approaches.

Kypreos predicts Patrick Kane will stay with the Blackhawks for the remainder of this season and then test his luck in this summer’s free-agent market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane’s agent and Blackhawks management are expected to meet sometime in January when his fate will be decided. Some observers share Kypreos’ view while others think he’d like to chase a Stanley Cup this season as a playoff rental.

Multiple teams could love to acquire Vancouver Canucks center Bo Horvat for a playoff push but few can afford to retain him on a long-term contract. Kypreos believes the Boston Bruins are among those who could, suggesting Horvat could help them transition out of the Patrice Bergeron/David Krejci era.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s true at first glance, where the Bruins have $56.9 million invested in 12 roster players for 2023-24. However, the only way I think that’s feasible is if they decide not to re-sign David Pastrnak, who could end up earning $11 million annually or more on his next contract. Horvat could cost over $9 million to sign. That would be potentially $20 million invested in just two players, leaving very little to fill out the rest of the roster.

Meanwhile, The Athletic’s Thomas Drance and Rick Dhaliwal aren’t ruling out the possibility of the Canucks and Horvat reaching an agreement on a contract extension. However, Horvat’s production this season suggests he could earn more in this summer’s free-agent market than what the Canucks can afford to pay him. They believe management will strongly consider trading him if the right offer comes along.

Finally, Kypreos expects the Florida Panthers will be sellers early in 2023. He predicts they’ll peddle forwards like Sam Bennett, Sam Reinhart or Carter Verhaeghe to address their depleted defense corps.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers are pressed for cap space and possess few tradeable assets in terms of draft picks or prospects to address their blueline issues. A one-for-one hockey deal involving one of those forwards could fetch a quality defenseman. Then again, they could move one of those forwards in a cost-cutting deal to free up cap space to pursue a defenseman or two in the offseason.

UPDATES ON O’REILLY AND TARASENKO

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun thinks it’s more likely the St. Louis Blues move Ryan O’Reilly by the trade deadline as the club struggles to stabilize their season. His agent indicated there haven’t been any contract extension talks this season.

LeBrun is also certain that Vladimir Tarasenko won’t be signing a contract extension. The Blues winger requested a trade following the 2020-21 season. Unlike O’Reilly, Tarasenko has a full no-trade clause giving him a say over what happens leading up to March 3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: LeBrun’s colleague Jeremy Rutherford recently speculated that the Blues would like to re-sign O’Reilly as a middle-third center on an affordable short-term contract. However, that’ll depend on whether O’Reilly wants to stay put or pursue a payday. If it’s the latter, Rutherford thinks they’ll peddle him before the deadline.

THE LATEST ON LAFRENIERE

THE ATHLETIC: Arthur Staple believes the New York Rangers and Alexis Lafreniere are reaching a critical point in their relationship. The 21-year-old winger (and 2020 first-overall draft pick) has been reduced to fourth-line duty and was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Now into his third season, Lafreniere has yet to achieve his much-anticipated breakout season. He’s been inconsistent and one NHL scout observed he doesn’t seem to accomplish much with or without the puck.

The Rangers still believe Lafreniere could become the player who showed so much potential during his impressive junior career. However, there seems to be a disconnect between the player he could become and where he is now. If things continue on their current path, they could face the choice of whether or not to keep him or trade him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Staple duly noted that Lafreniere, a natural left wing, has tried to adjust to playing on the right side as Artemi Panarin and Chris Kreider are firmly entrenched as the top-two left-side wingers. However, he also felt the youngster is lacking the determination to do more to earn himself bigger minutes.

I don’t think the Rangers will give up on Lafreniere but he could become the subject of trade speculation if he fails to improve as this season rolls along. He’s certainly not going to earn a big payday from the Blueshirts once his entry-level contract expires at the end of this season. A short-term “show me” bridge deal is in his future.










NHL Rumor Mill – December 8, 2022

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.

St. Louis Blues center Ryan O’Reilly (NHL Images).

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.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 20, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 20, 2022

The Devils extend their win streak to 12, the Bruins tie a league record for consecutive home wins, the Blues picked up their sixth straight win and much more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines

NHL.COM: The New Jersey Devils remain red hot by defeating the Ottawa Senators 5-1 to extend their winning streak to 12 games. Yegor Sherangovich and Michael McLeod each had a goal and an assist while Akira Schmid stopped 25 shots for the Devils (15-3-0) as they open a seven-point lead for first place in the Metropolitan Division with 30 points. Derick Brassard replied for the struggling Senators as they fall to 6-10-1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Senators captain Brady Tkachuk took exception with some Ottawa fans chanting for the dismissal of head coach D.J. Smith at the end of this game. Tkachuk put the blame for the club’s poor play on himself and his teammates, claiming he was “sick and tired” of the criticism aimed at Smith.

Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy (NHL Images).

Speaking of win streaks, the Boston Bruins won their 11th straight home game by thumping the Chicago Blackhawks 6-1. Charlie McAvoy collected four assists and David Pastrnak tallied twice as the Bruins (16-2-0) tied an NHL record for the most season-opening home victories. They sit atop the league’s overall standings with 32 points. Jonathan Toews scored the only goal for the 6-8-3 Blackhawks.

The St. Louis Blues picked up their sixth straight victory by dropping the Anaheim Ducks 6-2. Pavel Buchnevich led the way with two goals and two assists while Robert Thomas had a three-point night as the Blues improve to 9-8-0. Adam Henrique and Cam Fowler replied for the Ducks as their record slides to a league-worst 5-12-1. Earlier in the day, the Ducks activated defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk off injured reserve.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: St. Louis winger Vladimir Tarasenko missed this game due to illness. It’s been a weird start to this season thus far for the Blues. They won their first three games and then lost eight straight before reversing their fortunes with their current win streak.

An overtime goal by Connor McDavid lifted the Edmonton Oilers over the Vegas Golden Knights by a score of 4-3. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins collected three assists while McDavid and Leon Draisaitl each had a goal and an assist as the Oilers improved to 10-8-0. Mark Stone tallied twice for the Golden Knights (14-4-1) as they sit in first place in the Western Conference with 29 points.

The Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-2 to hand the latter their eighth straight loss. Leafs winger Mitch Marner collected two assists to extend his points streak to 12 games while William Nylander scored twice and John Tavares had a three-point performance. Alex Tuch and Casey Mittelstadt replied for the 7-11-0 Sabres while the Leafs raised their record to 10-5-4.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Sabres claimed forward Tyson Jost off waivers from the Minnesota Wild.

Shootout goals by Jonathan Huberdeau and Rasmus Andersson gave the Calgary Flames a 5-4 victory over the Florida Panthers. Adam Ruzicka scored twice and collected an assist for the Flames (8-7-2) while Matthew Tkachuk had a goal and an assist for the 9-7-2 Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This was the first game between these two clubs since the trade in July that sent Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar to the Flames in exchange for Tkachuk.

Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn had a goal and two assists in a 5-2 win over the New York Islanders. Joe Pavelski, Tyler Seguin and Mason Marchment each had two points as the Stars extended their record to 11-5-2. Mathew Barzal netted his first two goals of the season for the Islanders as they slide to 11-8-0.

The Seattle Kraken nipped the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 on an overtime goal by Jordan Eberle, who finished the night with two points as the Kraken (10-5-3) have won seven of their last nine games. Phillip Danault and Trevor Moore replied for the 11-8-2 Kings.

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos tallied in overtime to tame the Nashville Predators 3-2. Nikita Kucherov had a goal and two assists and Brayden Point had two assists for the Lightning to boost their record to 11-6-1. Filip Forsberg and Nino Niederreiter replied for the Predators (8-8-2) while Juuse Saros made 36 saves in a losing cause.

The Colorado Avalanche blanked the Washington Capitals by a score of 4-0. Alexandar Georgiev kicked out 32 shots to pick up his first shutout with the Avalanche (10-5-1) while Cale Makar, Nathan MacKinnon, Andrew Cogliano and Artturi Lehkonken were the goal scorers. Darcy Kuemper made 25 saves against his former club as the banged-up Capitals drop to 7-10-3.

On the night the Minnesota Wild celebrated Alex Goligoski’s 1,000th career game, he scored in overtime in a 2-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. Sam Steel scored the game-tying goal late in the third period for the 8-8-2 Wild while Sebastian Aho tallied for the 10-5-3 Hurricanes.

Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry stopped 32 shots for his first shutout of the season to blank the Winnipeg Jets 3-0. Jason Zucker, Bryan Rust and Jake Guentzel were the goal scorers while Sidney Crosby collected two assists as the Penguins bolster their record to 8-7-3. Connor Hellebuyck made 29 saves for the 10-5-1 Jets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Jets announced winger Nikolaj Ehlers will be sidelined indefinitely as he undergoes sports hernia surgery next week.

The Montreal Canadiens overcame 2-0 and 4-3 deficits to defeat the Philadelphia Flyers 5-4 on a shootout goal by Nick Suzuki, who finished the night with two assists. Cole Caufield scored twice (including the game-tying goal with three seconds on the clock) while Mike Matheson scored in his season debut for the 9-8-1 Canadiens. Owen Tippett scored two goals for the Flyers (7-7-4) as their winless skid extends to six games.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens winger Mike Hoffman suffered an undisclosed injury and left the game after the second period. The Flyers went into this contest with winger Travis Konecny sidelined by an upper-body injury. They also lost forward Scott Laughton in the third period with an upper-body injury.

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Filip Hronek scored two goals as his club romped to a 6-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Dylan Larkin and Moritz Seider each collected three points as the Red Wings improved their record to 9-5-4 while the injury-ravaged Blue Jackets fell to 6-10-1.

New York Rangers netminder Igor Shesterkin made 22 saves as his club held off the San Jose Sharks by a score of 2-1. All the scoring came in the third period as Julien Gauthier and Adam Fox tallied for the Rangers (9-6-4) while Logan Couture replied for the 6-11-3 Sharks.










NHL Rumor Mill – November 10, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – November 10, 2022

Growing speculation over the futures of Ryan O’Reilly and Vladimir Tarasenko with the Blues plus a look at what the Oilers could do to replace the sidelined Evander Kane in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

COULD THE BLUES SHOP O’REILLY AND TARASENKO BEFORE THE TRADE DEADLINE?

STLTODAY.COM: Jeff Gordon suggests a retooling of the Blues roster could come sooner than later if they continue to flounder in the standings. With Robert Thomas and Jordan Kyrou are the new foundations of the franchise, general manager Doug Armstrong could consider parting with center Ryan O’Reilly and winger Vladimir Tarasenko for draft picks and prospects. Both are slated to become unrestricted free agents next summer.

St. Louis Blues center Ryan O’Reilly (NHL Images).

Gordon feels Tarasenko seems more likely to test the market given the past signals from his camp. Armstrong could ask him to waive his no-trade clause to facilitate a trade.

O’Reilly would be tougher to part with given his leadership value and his positive effect on the roster since his arrival. However, he turns 32 this season and appears to be slowing down. Nevertheless, he’d attract interest from postseason contenders.

THE ATHLETIC: Jeremy Rutherford also believes there will be interest in Tarasenko and O’Reilly if they hit the trade block. However, it will likely be greater closer to the March 3 trade deadline than in November, when it’s difficult for contending teams to fit in players carrying $7.5 million cap hits.

Rutherford speculates Armstrong could be looking at smaller deals for more immediate help. He might be able to pull one off in the coming weeks.

SPORTSNET: Regarding a possible trade of O’Reilly, Ken Wiebe pointed out that Armstrong isn’t afraid of making difficult decisions when it comes to team captains on expiring contracts. He let Alex Pietrangelo walk in 2020 and did the same with David Backes four years earlier.

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun suggested O’Reilly would look good centering the Colorado Avalanche’s second line. He also suggested Vancouver’s Bo Horvat and Chicago’s Jonathan Toews as other candidates for that role with the Avs if they become available in the trade market.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Adrian Dater mused about a possible reunion of O’Reilly and the Avalanche. He began his career in Colorado in 2009-10 and spent six seasons there before he was traded to the Buffalo Sabres in 2015.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of the two, Tarasenko is the most likely to be traded by the Blues before March 3. He requested a trade in July 2021 over his unhappiness with the team doctors’ treatment of his injured shoulder. While he’s still with the Blues, there was a report this summer claiming he never rescinded that request.

I would’ve considered trading O’Reilly to be unlikely entering this season. Now, I’m not so sure. His struggles this season are one reason behind the Blues’ difficulties. That could dissuade Armstrong from signing him to an extension.

Unlike Tarasenko, O’Reilly lacks no-trade protection so the Blues GM can ship him anywhere, though I daresay if it comes to that he’ll ask his captain where he’d prefer to go. Maybe O’Reilly would welcome a return to the Avalanche. Then again, he could favor another destination.

HOW WILL THE OILERS REPLACE EVANDER KANE?

EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples wonders if the Oilers will use Evander Kane’s cap hit to add another top-six forward with Kane returning just before the playoffs. The 31-year-old winger is on long-term injury reserve for the next three-to-four months recovering from wrist surgery.

Yes, those are the rules, “ writes Staples. “Tampa Bay did it. It may well develop in that direction for the Oilers.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yes, it could. Kane’s average annual value is $5.125 million. According to Cap Friendly, the Oilers have $4.76 million in projected trade deadline cap space. However, they just ensure they can become cap compliant whenever Kane returns to action.










NHL Rumor Mill – November 9, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – November 9, 2022

A look at the biggest concerns facing the Blues, Senators, Bruins and Canadiens in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

THE ATHLETIC: Limited scoring and defensive lapses are threatening to sink the St. Louis Blues’ season. If things don’t improve soon, GM Doug Armstrong could face deciding whether to attempt a season-saving trade or commence a rebuild.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jeremy Rutherford followed up by exploring Armstrong’s options. He could replace head coach Craig Berube, trade pending UFAs Vladimir Tarasenko and Ryan O’Reilly, or start a rebuild.

St. Louis Blues center Ryan O’Reilly (NHL Images).

Rutherford believes Tarasenko and O’Reilly would draw plenty of interest in the trade market. However, it’s probably too early in the season to move them. If Armstrong decides to shop one or both, it’ll like be near the March 3 trade deadline.

A lack of consistency among the Ottawa Senators’ defensemen remains an issue. The recent injury to Artem Zub magnified the problem. They’ll have to do something soon lest it threatens to derail their season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators have some cap space (less than $4 million) plus plenty of promising young assets to use as trade bait. They could also dangle unsigned winger Alex Formenton if they can’t get him under contract before the Dec. 1 deadline.

They’ve been linked to Jakob Chychrun but the Arizona Coyotes defenseman remains week-to-week and won’t provide any immediate help. The Coyotes also set a high asking price that no one currently wants to pay.

This is supposed to be the season the Senators finally turn things around. With just four wins in their first 12 games, however, they’re at the bottom of the Atlantic Division and in danger of falling too far behind the pack to catch up. I suspect a trade could be coming sooner rather than later.

The Boston Bruins must clear salary-cap space when sidelined defenseman Charlie McAvoy returns to action. With Mike Reilly and Nick Foligno having cleared waivers, they’ll have to include some assets if they hope to part with either guy. Winger Craig Smith is an unrestricted free agent next summer but he’s been injured and his playing time has been reduced.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Reilly seems like the odd man out. He hasn’t requested a trade but already spent a bit of time in the minors to make room for the return of Brad Marchand.

The Montreal Canadiens hoped to flip forwards Evgenii Dadonov, Jonathan Drouin and to a lesser extent Mike Hoffman for assets at the trade deadline. So far, however, their poor performances thus far haven’t done much to improve their value.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Pierre LeBrun yesterday reported Dadonov’s been held pointless thus far and hasn’t seen much time on the power play this season. That’s because head coach Martin St. Louis is going with the guys he trusts (Nick Suzuki, Cole Caufield, Kirby Dach) to produce.

LeBrun indicated teams he’s spoken with about Dadonov said they want to see how he plays in the coming weeks to see if the Canadiens can create a trade market for him. He got back into the lineup for last night’s win against the Detroit Red Wings but did little to improve his trade value. Perhaps Dadonov will get more chances for playing time as the season goes on.