Rumor Rundown: Canadiens, Rangers, Golden Knights, More

In today’s Rumor Rundown we look at a struggling Montreal Canadiens team who could be on the verge of making moves. Will Mark Streit be with the team this time next week? What is to happen with forward Alex Galchenyuk, who right now, is underperforming? What else might the Canadiens be looking to do?

The New York Rangers might also have realized they aren’t well enough equipped at center to compete this season. If that’s the case, what options are available to them?

Forward James Neal is on fire in Las Vegas. Does that mean he’ll get moved more quickly than he might have otherwise?

Montreal Canadiens Making Moves?

Mark Streit

Sources are saying that the Montreal Canadiens are actively trying to shed Mark Streit’s contract off their books. Eric Engels of Sportsnet reports that even though Streit’s deal is not worth all that much — he signed a one-year deal worth $700,000 — moving him clears a roster a spot and provides just that little bit extra should the Canadiens have another move coming.

Streit has played in two of the Canadiens four games and is viewed by the Habs as a minor loss, if anything. The likelihood is, there won’t be a market for the defenseman and he’ll need to be waived instead of traded.

Galchenyuk Could Be Done

After being demoted to the fourth line and looking suspect defensively, Darren Dreger is speculating that the Canadiens may be ready and willing to wash their hands of Alex Galchenyuk.

Alex Galchenyuk
Alex Galchenyuk (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Unlike Streit, there might be a market for Galchenyuk but it’s difficult to suggest what that market will be since the player has seen a steady decrease in playing time and production and the team would be trading him at his lowest point of value.

Many believe he’s mentally drained playing in such a high-pressure market and not performing as expected. A new start for both sides is probably best at this point and it’s simply a matter of seeing what’s out there in return.

Related: Rumor Rundown: Nash, Turris, James Neal Drawing Attention

New York Rangers Need a Center

Larry Brooks of the NY Post has reported the New York Rangers might be looking at options around the NHL for another center. There is some concern that the Rangers draft pick of Filip Chytil won’t pan out this season and that the team will need to consider a veteran if that, in fact, is the case.

Joe Thornton was speculated as a fit out of San Jose and mostly because the Rangers and Thornton talked frequently before the Sharks and Thornton struck another deal to keep the assist machine in San Jose.  Thornton’s one-year deal technically makes him a rental closer to the end of the season (even though it’s valued at $8 million).

Golden Knights Open For Business on James Neal

For those that have kept any sort of eye on the NHL scoring lead and the Vegas Golden Knights, they’ll notice James Neal’s name. He’s been on fire, doing nothing but scoring game-winning goals. He was already going to be a player people kept an eye on as the NHL Trade Deadline crept closer. He might go sooner and for a higher value if he keeps scoring like he has been.

Marc-Andre Fleury James Neal Golden Knights
Vegas Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and left wing James Neal celebrate a win. (Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)

TSN’s Darren Dreger said of the speculation:

“Not that they’re shopping him, but why wouldn’t you want to trade James Neal to try and get something sweet back before the February 26 trade deadline. If he’s a roaring success in Vegas, then sign him back as an unrestricted free agent.

“So maybe that’s another name Montreal checks out.”

The Golden Knights are also keeping players in the minors that shouldn’t be there based on the perceived value of some of their roster assets who cannot be waived without being exposed. A player like Griffin Reinhart is a bubble guy and the concern that he might clear waivers, but might not has him still with the team. He’s not the only one.

These kinds of dilemmas are not ideal for the Golden Knights who will be making a move when it comes to some of their blue-liners in short order.