NHL Rumors: Canadiens, Maple Leafs, Oilers, Avalanche

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, if he gets healthy enough, could the Montreal Canadiens look at trading Carey Price this off-season? Meanwhile, has goaltender Petr Mrazek played his last game in a Toronto Maple Leafs’ uniform?

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Leon Draisaitl suffered what looked like a minor injury. Will he be out any time? Finally, is Darcy Kuemper a lock to return to the Colorado Avalanche next season?

Could Price Be Healthy Enough for Trade?

As per Marco D’Amico of Montreal Hockey Now, questions about whether goaltender Carey Price returns this season to play games might lead to trade speculation over the summer. He noted that Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman discussed the idea of a deal during a recent “32 Thoughts” podcast, and suggested there’s a chance Price could be playing elsewhere next season.

Carey Price Montreal Canadiens
Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

While the Habs would love to see Price get some games in, that might not make a difference in any potential trade as D’Amico points out the veteran netminder has been adamant about remaining a member of the Canadiens. He holds a full No-Movement Clause (NMC) in his contract and wants to try and resume his career in Montreal. D’Amico says that once he’s made his return, “Hughes, Price and the rest of the management team will sit down and decide his future as the Canadiens continue their roster transformation.”

Has Petr Mrazek Already Played His Last Game as a Leaf

According to Jonas Siegel of The Athletic, Petr Mrazek‘s run with the Maple Leafs might be over. His six-week injury timeline should see him available by the second week of May, but Siegel doesn’t imagine the Leafs turn to Mrazek at that point.

Petr Mrazek, Toronto Maple Leafs
Petr Mrazek, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

He adds:

Mrazek will have been off for so long that it’s conceivable that Erik Källgren holds onto the No. 2 spot even when the 30-year-old is available again. Were Jack Campbell to struggle or be unavailable for some reason, the Leafs would have an interesting choice between Källgren, a rookie with very limited NHL experience who’s been steady so far, and Mrazek, who has plenty of playoff experience but mostly disastrous results this season.

source – ‘Monday Morning Leafs Report: Auston Matthews chasing history, experimenting on defence, Petr Mrazek’s future’ – Jonas Siegel – The Athletic – 04/04/2022

Related: Oilers Need to Be Very Leery of Potential Husso Signing

Siegel wonders if Jack Campbell, a pending UFA, will be back next season and if that even matters when it comes to Mrazek. He believes GM Kyle Dubas will try to get rid of Mrazek’s contract — two more years, at $3.8 million on the cap.

Is Leon Draisaitl Injured?

During Sunday’s game versus the Anaheim Ducks, Draisaitl was a bit shaken up after he collided awkwardly with the boards. He stayed in the game and came out for the third period, playing shifts in an effort to gut out the game. He ultimately scored his 50th goal of the season, but he was skating gingerly throughout the rest of the contest.

When asked after the game how he was feeling after what looked to be a minor injury, he said, “I’m all good,” and not to worry about him. Noting there are players every day who fight through the pain, he said it wasn’t an option for him to come out. It’s not believed that whatever is bothering him is all that serious. The Oilers wouldn’t have let him continue to play in a game where the team was up four goals if he was badly injured.

Could Avalanche Let Kuemper Walk?

While logic would suggest goaltender Darcy Kuemper returning to the Avalanche next season will be a priority, the expiration of superstar Nathan MacKinnon’s contract after the 2022-23 season, and the history of the franchise setting price ceilings for goaltenders means Kuemper back is not a lock.

The Avalanche will have one of the trickier offseasons ahead of them with players like Nazem Kadri, Josh Manson, Andre Burakovsky, Artturi Lehkonen, and Valeri Nichushkin all up for new deals. Kuemper is going to be asking for a huge haul considering the goaltending market is limited. Can the Avs afford to give him what he wants? If they’ve set a price limit and aren’t willing to exceed it, he might be playing elsewhere next season.