In this week’s Montreal Canadiens news and rumors rundown, we’ll break down trade rumors, Canadiens roster updates, and much more.
Keeping Up for the Joneses
According to Aaron Portzline of The Athletic, Seth Jones is willing to test unrestricted free agency (UFA) after the 2021-22 season. He currently earns $5.4 million per season and will likely look to earn north of $8 million on a seven-year deal.
Elliotte Friedman of sportsnet confirms that the Canadiens will be players for acquiring Seth Jones.
If the Habs were to trade for a big name right-handed top-pairing defender, that would no doubt spell the end of the line for either Jeff Petry or, more likely, Shea Weber with the Canadiens as spending that kind of money and assets for a player would mean they would need to open up cap space and a top-four spot long term from the blueline.
Winnipeg Jets center Mark Scheifele has been suspended for four games for a blatant charge on Canadiens center Jake Evans.
There has been a ton of back and forth on social media on if the hit itself was clean or dirty, if Scheifele left his feet or not, and on and on. The fact remains, it was a five-minute major for charging, the suspension is for charging. Regardless of his prior history, it’s clear the NHL wants to remove hits like this one, regardless of if it was acceptable in the past.
What cannot be argued is that the abuse that has been directed towards his family. It is disgusting; there’s no reason or excuse for that to happen. A player made a mistake, so he is the one that is suspended, his family has nothing to do with the incident.
After the Scheifele hit where he was suspended, Evans was carried off on a stretcher. The play occurred as Evans scored his first playoff goal on the day of his 25th birthday. He is out indefinitely with a concussion. Scheifele has contacted Evans and has sent him his prayers. Evans was not hospitalized, but he is out indefinitely. This is the third concussion in two years for the 25-year-old center. Due to this history, the main concern for the player and the fans is that Evans returns to full health and that there are no long-term health issues that result from the repeated head traumas.
Canada confirms that NHL teams travelling from the US will not need to quarantine for 14 days when entering Canada.
There will undoubtedly be some citizens upset that these athletes will get to cross the borders when they can’t, which is understandable. However, the rules in Canada do currently allow for anyone to leave the country and return. The catch is that they must pay the federal government to quarantine for 14 days at a hotel of the government’s choosing. The NHL will not be required to do that. They will need to follow more extensive rules and regulations to allow the players and staff to not quarantine. These measures will be nearly the same as isolation, with the exception of playing games. The NHL, the clubs, the players and staff will likely also be subject to additional fines and penalties from the local governments as well.
Former Canadiens forward, Dale Weise has signed for the 2021-22 season has signed with IK Oskarshamn of the Swedish Hockey League (SHL)
Weise had taken the 2020-21 season off as a UFA after completing the season with the Canadiens. The gritty forward had great success in his last foray in European hockey in 2012, scoring 22 goals and 48 points in 19 games played for Tilberg of the now-defunct HLND. The SHL is a very competitive league that Weise will fit into well with his speed and puck pursuit play.
As the NHL season continues, keep an eye on The Hockey Writers and our new THW Podcast Network for the latest Canadiens news, notes and rumors.
Blain is a regular contributor as a THW Writer. For over 7 years he has been a part time journalist and podcaster covering the NHL, the Montreal Canadiens and its affiliates. He has made appearances on various television and radio stations as well as podcasts to discuss the Canadiens, and the NHL. Blain has taken the lessons on integrity, ethics, values and honesty that he has learned as a 28 year veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces and applied them to his work as a journalist to guide him in informing his readers and his goal of being a trusted source of information and entertainment.