NHL Rumors: Canadiens, Penguins, Canucks, Senators

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Montreal Canadiens might be thinking about re-signing Sean Monahan. Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Penguins are still waiting to see what happens with Kris Letang before considering a replacement via trade.

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What is the latest on talks between the Vancouver Canucks and Andrei Kuzmenko? Finally, was there interest in Alex Forementon before the Ottawa Senators and the player passed the deadline for him to be eligible to play in the NHL this season?

Canadiens Rethinking Monahan Trade?

As per TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, things may have changed in Montreal where the original belief was that the team would be trading Sean Monahan before the NHL Trade Deadline. LeBrun notes that the plan was likely to get the first-round pick for taking on his contract, then flip him at the deadline to acquire more assets. Now, they might be thinking about offering him a contract extension.

Sean Monahan Montreal Canadiens
Sean Monahan, Montreal Canadiens (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

LeBrun notes:

“But, here’s the interesting thing. Monahan has played well. He’s fit well on and off the ice. The Habs have been impressed with him and what’s happening right now is Canadiens’ management are having the discussion of should we actually keep this guy? Could he be part of our plans moving forward? I still think it’s more likely they move him, but the mere fact they’re having that discussion is an interesting development.”

Darren Dreger added that there was real interest from the Arizona Coyotes to do the deal Montreal did to land Monahan, so all of this is quite interesting considering Monahan almost didn’t become a part of the Canadiens roster over the summer.

Penguins Aren’t Looking to Trade Market to Replace Letang

Following news that Kris Letang suffered another stroke and will be out indefinitely for the Pittsburgh Penguins, there’s been some talk about what the organization might do on their blue line. Don’t expect them to go out and acquire another defenseman, notes LeBrun. The team and the player are under the impression there’s a good chance he’ll return this season.

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The NHL insider said, “So, because of that, from a hockey perspective, the Penguins are not going out and looking for defence reinforcements on the trade market. They’re absolutely acting and believing that he will be back to play this year for them.” Letang was born with a hole in his heart and suffered his first stroke in 2014.

Related: Maple Leafs’ News & Rumors: Marner, Samsonov & Line Combos

According to head coach Mike Sullivan, “Letang hasn’t been cleared for anything from a specific hockey standpoint at this point. But he did get approval from the doctors to “go for a twirl” on the ice at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex this morning” He noted it was, “more for his own mental health than anything.”

Kuzmenko Ready to Talk Extension With Canucks?

The Canucks might want to wait to see how consistent Andrei Kuzmenko is before deciding to sign him long-term, but it sounds like he is willing. Darren Dreger notes that he thinks the Canucks will try to get to a point in talks where they know if he’s a fit or not a fit with the Canucks moving forward. If he’s not a fit, they’ll need to make a decision.

Dreger explains: “I think there’s a willingness from the Kuzmenko camp, headed by Dan Milstein and the Vancouver Canucks but I don’t know if they’re anywhere close at this point or if even started for that matter.”

Andrei Kuzmenko Vancouver Canucks
Andrei Kuzmenko, Vancouver Canucks (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

He’s got 21 points in 23 games. If he keeps up his production, he’s going to be difficult to afford. But, there’s concern this is just a hot streak he’s on and the Canucks want to know if there’s going to be a major drop-off throughout the season.

There Was Interest In Alex Formenton

Dreger said there was some trade interest in forward Alex Formenton before the deadline passed on Thursday for Senators’ GM Pierre Dorion to trade or sign him and make him eligible to play this season in the NHL. Frank Seravalli wrote on Twitter that it sounds like the Ottawa Senators were asking teams for a second-round pick for the rights to RFA Alex Formenton. Teams were interested in the player but that was too steep an asking price with too much risk attached to making the deal.

At this point, the Senators could still sign him, but they likely won’t since he’ll be ineligible. Formenton could go over to Europe to play or he could still be traded. The price now to move him would be extremely low since the team that acquires him can’t use him.