In today’s NHL rumors rundown, there was talk that goaltender Carey Price might play tonight for the Montreal Canadiens. It appears things have been pushed back again. Meanwhile, the Edmonton Oilers are trying to figure out a way to keep all of their RFA forwards and signed Evander Kane. The New Jersey Devils will likely hang onto Mackenzie Blackwood and Evgeni Malkin could be looking at a suspension.
Price’s Return to Canadiens Delayed
With an injury to Jake Allen and talk of Price skating and looking pretty good in practices, there was some thought that Price might return to the net for the Habs when they take on the Winnipeg Jets on Monday. Arpon Basu of The Athletic wrote on Sunday, “It was already looking pretty likely that Carey Price would make his season debut Monday night at home against the Jets. It only looks likelier now.”
Not long after that tweet, the Canadiens and head coach Martin St. Louis confirmed they had called up Samuel Montembeault and on Monday confirmed he would get the start in goal. Eric Engels writes, “The wait for Carey Price’s return continues…”
The Canadiens would still like to see Price get some action this season and speculation is that Price also wants to play to get the feeling of being in a game before the offseason starts. There is concern about how he’ll feel and the differences between practice and an actual game and all parties would like to put some of the doubt to rest.
Can Oilers Sign All Of Their Free Agent Forwards?
According to Allan Mitchell of The Athletic, there is a lot of chatter surrounding the Oilers organization in regards to their ability to sign Evander Kane long-term, and what that might mean for the futures of young wingers Jesse Puljujarvi and Kailer Yamamoto. Mitchell writes:
Kane’s performance on the [Connor] McDavid line, as is the case with Puljujarvi, makes him a priority. If the Oilers are going to win the Stanley Cup during the McDavid-Draisaitl-Nurse window, Kane or someone with a similar skill set should be on the procurement list.source: ‘Lowetide: Evander Kane’s scoring prowess and what he brings the Oilers’ – Allan Mitchell – The Athletic – 04/11/2022
Mitchell uses Zach Hyman’s long-term salary cap number of $5.5 as a ceiling for Kane, but suggests it’s not a crazy number. He also notes that the Oilers might want to avoid a one-year deal for Puljujarvi as a short-term contract creates the same scenario the Oilers faced with Darnell Nurse. Yamamoto and Ryan McLeod could be signed to shorter-term deals but the Oilers will still need to make moves.
He adds Edmonton could trade Tyson Barrie and deal or buy out Zack Kassian. From there, they could run with youth at certain positions (Stuart Skinner, Philip Broberg, Markus Niemelainen, Dylan Holloway) but would have very little wiggle room to deal with injuries or to add at the deadline.
Not Much of a Trade Market for Blackwood
As per Dan Rosen of NHL.com, there might not be a big market for goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood who has been injured for most of this season for the New Jersey Devils. Rosen doesn’t see the Devils as a team that is willing to dump their goalie for little return and believes they’ll choose to keep him as a 1A or 1B goalie depending on who they bring in during the offseason.
Malkin to Have Player Safety Hearing
Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin will have a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety on Monday. He is facing discipline for cross-checking Nashville Predators defenseman Mark Borowiecki in the face during the second period of the Penguins game against the Predators on Sunday.
Malkin was assessed a double-minor penalty for high sticking and Borowiecki did not return to the game. Malkin does have a history of fines on his NHL record and has been suspended in the past. Most believe the play will absolutely warrant a suspension.
Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”