In today’s NHL rumor rundown, Braden Holtby admits that his time in Washington might have come to an end. The Montreal Canadiens have reasons to feel good about their season, but they still have concerns and there could be possible trades. The St. Louis Blues need to talk business with Alex Pietrangelo and what will the Chicago Blackhawks do with their goaltending?
Holtby Admits His Last Game For Caps May Have Happened
Braden Holtby, when asked if the Game 5 loss to the Islanders could have been his last game with the Capitals said, “Certainly a chance it is, but who knows. You live one day at a time and go from there.”
The Capitals are expected to stick with starter Ilya Samsonov and don’t have the cap room to give Holbty what he’ll probably be looking for in free agency. Where he winds up in a market flooded with goaltenders is uncertain and with some teams potentially moving those they have under contract it is tough to predict what Holtby will have to choose from as a netminder who struggled this past season.
Unless Holtby is willing to finish out his career signing one-year deals with the Capitals, he’ll probably have to move on.
Montreal Canadiens Have Issues to Address
Greg Wyshynski of ESPN.com writes that the Montreal Canadiens have to look at their core group of forwards, specifically Jonathan Drouin, Tomas Tatar, Brendan Gallagher, Max Domi, and Phillip Danault and make decisions on whether or not they are parts of the roster moving forward.
With the improved play and progression of youngsters like Nick Suzuki and Jesperi Kotkaniemi, there could be decisions to move one the previously mentioned forwards and Wyshynski feels the Canadiens need more size on the wing and must sort out the left side of their blueline.
The most likely trade candidate is Max Domi, a restricted free agent with arbitration rights. He’s been in the rumor mill often and there was talk of how little he was relied upon during these playoffs and how far down the depth chart he’d fallen.
Chicago’s Goaltending Situation a Question Mark
Mark Lazerus and Scott Powers of The Athletic took a look at the Chicago Blackhawks goaltending situation and said there are certainly questions in respect to what the team will do for next season.
They write that while the netminding situation was obvious this season, it is anything but now. They explain:
They traded Lehner. Crawford is set to become an unrestricted free agent. Collin Delia, who is signed for next season, lost out to Malcolm Subban as the No. 2 goalie in the playoffs. Subban hasn’t started a game for the Blackhawks since being acquired for Lehner and will be a restricted free agent after the season. Kevin Lankinen was recalled to the NHL this season, but he’s yet to play an NHL game.source – ’10 offseason questions (and 10 attempts at answers) facing the Blackhawks’ – Mark Lazerus and Scott Powers – 08/19/2020
If the Blackhawks don’t re-sign Crawford, and there’s plenty of speculation he might move on to another destination, the Hawks will have to look to names like Anton Khudobin, Cam Talbot, Jacob Markstrom and Thomas Greiss.
There isn’t a lot of money available in Chicago because the team will need to keep funds available for Dominik Kubalik and Dylan Strome.
Related: Revisiting the Brayden Schenn Trade
Time For Blues to Talk to Pietrangelo
Now that the St. Louis Blues are out of the postseason, it’s time the club get down to business with pending free agent defenseman Alex Pietraneglo. ESPN.com’s Emily Kaplan wonders where the Blues will find the money to keep him, because of all the free agents available, he’s likely to get the most lucrative contract.
Kaplan says the cap-strapped Blues will have to move out some contracts to make it work and hints that goaltender Jake Allen could be shopped because his trade value has never been higher. Should that not get it done, the team might look at moving names like Tyler Bozak, Jaden Schwartz, Alexander Steen, or Carl Gunnarsson.
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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.”