NHL Rumors: Canadiens, Canucks, Golden Knights, Oilers

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, Christian Dvorak’s name is out there in the rumor mill again. Meanwhile, the Vancouver Canucks might be looking at a couple of free agents still out there on the market.

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The Vegas Golden Knights signed Phil Kessel, what does that mean for their goaltending? Finally, the Edmonton Oilers apparently looked at John Klingberg in free agency and were working with another team on a complicated deal before Klingberg signed in Anaheim.

Canadiens Open to Moving Dvorak

Jimmy Murphy of Montreal Hockey Now is reporting that there is talk surrounding Montreal Canadiens forward Christian Dvorak, especially after the team acquired Sean Monahan from the Calgary Flames. Montreal has plenty of depth at center now and with two years remaining on his current deal and a salary of $4.45 million per season, Dvorak could be a good contract to pick up or a player the acquiring team can move at next season’s trade deadline.

Christian Dvorak Montreal Canadiens
Christian Dvorak, Montreal Canadiens (Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

That said, the value in a trade is not very high. One executive said they’d be lucky to get a third-round pick, likely just a fourth. Another team source, whose club has inquired about a deal is hoping it won’t cost more than a third.

Canucks Still Inquiring About Fre Agents

Rick Dhaliwal was a guest on the Sekeres and Price show and said the Canucks aren’t done trying to make moves. While it appears they’ve been rather quiet and not very active in free agency, he notes that they’re looking into signing both Evan Rodrigues and Calvin de Haan.

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He explained:

I’m not saying he’s signing in Vancouver but he’s still available, so you kind of keep tabs weekly on players. And sometimes guys, when a player, what is it, August 19th, sometimes the price drops on a player later in August in free agency and you kind of check in. We are late in August, so again let me emphasize, I’m not saying the Canucks are signing Evan Rodrigues. I do know there are a lot of teams after him. And I think just keeping tabs.

Kessel Signs, Vegas Goaltending Tandem Iffy

Vegas GM Kelly McCrimmon said the Golden Knights will go into the season with a goalie tandem of Laurent Brossoit and Logan Thompson. With Robin Lehner out for the 2022-23 season, there was some thought the team might try to find another goalie, but they chose to sign Phil Kessel for one year at $1.5 million. McCrimmon said, “I think that everybody expected us to find a goalie. Internally, we liked these two guys.”

When asked about his process of signing with a team, Kessel said that the Golden Knights were one of a handful of free agent options for him this summer. He wasn’t concerned he might have to go the professional tryout contract route.

As for Brossoit’s injury situation, he’s still rehabbing and there’s no guarantee he’ll even be ready for opening night.

Oilers Interested in Klingberg

Elliotte Friedman said on his 32 Thoughts podcast that the Oilers were looking at John Klingberg before he signed in Anaheim. This wasn’t going to be a typical signing, however. The deal was that Klingberg would sign in Montreal, then get traded to Edmonton with the Canadiens retaining salary and the Oilers giving a sweetener to Montreal.

John Klingberg Dallas Stars
John Klingberg, Dallas Stars (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

What’s intriguing about this is that the Oilers don’t exactly need another offensive defenseman on the right side. With Tyson Barrie and Evan Bouchard already there, Klingberg would be adding more of the same and that might suggest the Oilers were planning to move Barrie in a second deal.