NHL Rumors: Penguins, Canadiens, Blue Jackets, Rangers, Senators

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, Kris Letang‘s agent says he looks forward to talking with the Pittsburgh Penguins about a contract extension for his client. Meanwhile, Letang’s former agent and now new GM of the Montreal Canadiens talked about what comes next for his roster. In Columbus, there are questions about what might happen with Patrik Laine. In New York, the Rangers are looking to add. Would Joe Pavelski be a fit? Finally, what is the status of a couple of pending UFAs out of the Ottawa Senators organization?

Letang Contract Extension Talks Coming

Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now is reporting that with Kent Hughes now gone, Phil Lecavalier will be taking over as Letang’s agent and said he is looking forward to starting talks with the Penguins about a new deal. There have been preliminary discussions, but nothing serious.

Kris Letang Pittsburgh Penguins
Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Penguins’ GM Ron Hextall hinted that the Penguins won’t be offering Letang as much money as he could make elsewhere. He said:

“You know, we’d like to sign some of our UFAs. We have a hard salary cap, so they’re going to have to work with us. And, you know, certain players, if they want the most money, they’re probably going to go elsewhere. But I think you can say that about every team. So we’re hoping that our guys are comfortable here, which I believe they are, and hopefully, we can find a deal that satisfies both sides.”

Both Hextall and Lecavalier did acknowledge that Letang would like to stay in Pittsburgh.

Canadiens Open to Any Trade

Speaking of Hughes, the new Montreal Canadiens GM spoke with Pierre LeBrun about his plans for the team and noted he is “open to everything”. He added that he’s not feeling pressure to move players by the deadline but will consider it if it makes sense for the team.

Related: Canadiens’ Trade Destinations for Jeff Petry

In his most recent piece in The Athletic, LeBrun quotes Hughes who explained:

“We met with everybody, starting with Ben Chiarot. Anybody whose name has been circulating in terms of trade rumours or whatnot, to the extent that we can open the doors for them and say, ‘We’re here, we don’t have answers for you today. We’re going to try to improve this team long term. And you may be a player that moves but we wanted you to know if you have questions along the way you can come and see us.’

source – ‘LeBrun: Kent Hughes’ plan for the Canadiens is beginning to take shape’ – Pierre LeBrun – The Athletic – 01/31/2022

When it comes to reports Jeff Petry has been notified the team is looking for a trade partner to move him in the right deal, LeBrun does confirm that Petry is open to the idea of a trade.

Could Blue Jackets Look to Trade Laine?

Knowing that a tough decision will need to be made when it comes to the future of Laine in Columbus, Rory Boylen of Sportsnet writes that the organization could look to trade the red hot Patrik Laine at the deadline or during the offseason. Potentially moving him for the biggest package while he’s playing well, Laine had two goals in Sunday’s win over the Montreal Canadiens. He had another two goals Monday night versus the Florida Panthers.

Patrik Laine Columbus Blue Jackets
Patrik Laine, Columbus Blue Jackets (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The Blue Jackets aren’t convinced Laine is a part of the future in Columbus and before Laine scored four goals in two games, Aaron Portzline noted, “This is a huge decision. I think he’s a decision that hasn’t quite been made yet. But you talk about big trade chips for a rebuilding team, that’s your difficult call, what to do with this player.” The Blue Jackets might see what kind of offers are out there and if at least one team puts together a really good package, Laine could be moved.

Rangers to Target Joe Pavelski?

According to Dan Rosen of NHL.com, Joe Pavelski might be a good fit for the New York Rangers. Rosen believes the team should target the forward who is pending UFA at the end of the season and writes, “It’s unclear if Pavelski will be available, but if he is, he’s the one I’d go after because he’s a veteran goal-scorer with a right-handed shot who would upgrade the net-front presence on New York’s second power-play unit.”

Joe Pavelski Dallas Stars
Joe Pavelski, Dallas Stars (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Rosen adds that the Rangers have the cap space and two second-round picks in the 2022 NHL Draft they could make available in trade. If the picks don’t work, New York has a variety of prospects that could interest the Stars.

Latest on Senators Forsberg and Paul

As per Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff, when it comes to the Senators UFA situation: “There’s a couple that I think they’re interested in re-signing.” He notes that the team has been thrilled with Anton Forsberg, even though other teams have called about him. Plus, the team likes what Nick Paul has given them upfront.

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Both could be names that could be moved before the deadline if the right offers are made to Ottawa, but the team has no issue re-signing both players if the offers don’t move the needle.