In today’s NHL rumor rundown, one insider predicts a huge change coming for the Montreal Canadiens, the Boston Bruins lost Zdeno Chara but it’s unclear for how long, and the Pittsburgh Penguins are shopping Alex Galchenyuk. Finally, are the New York Rangers dealing with additional complications beyond his play when it comes to trading Lias Andersson?
Canadiens About to Make Huge Move(s)
After suffering their eighth straight loss, Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman is reporting that something significant is coming to Montreal and the Canadiens organization.
While talking on Sportsnet 590 Friday morning, Friedman explained that he’s not entirely sure what’s going to change. It could be a coaching move where Claude Julien is released, a big trade as a number of players have been listed as available or even general manager Marc Bergevin getting fired. Friedman said:
“I see a team that something’s coming. I don’t know if it’s the coach, I don’t know if it’s a big trade…I just get the sense that’s a team that’s just drowning right now…”
There is a real sense of panic in Montreal where almost anything is on the table from a total restructuring that could including moving Shea Weber or Carey Price to trades that will send players with terminating contracts out the door. Names like Tomas Tatar, Artturi Lehkonen, (soon-to-be RFA) Max Domi, Jeff Petry and even newly acquired Marco Scandella and Ilya Kovalchuk might get looked at.
Bruins Lose Chara, Shouldn’t Be Long
Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara was a surprise absence from the lineup on Thursday night, and the reason appears to be soreness in his surgically repaired jaw. He was punched in the jaw a few nights ago and it was a bit too much of a hindrance to play.
Chara took a couple of good shots from the Nashville Predators’ Yakov Trenin in a fight on Tuesday night but everyone knows how tough Char is. Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy believes his defenseman will be back in the lineup Saturday against the New York Islanders.
Related: 7 Things About Zdeno Chara
Penguins Shopping Galchenyuk
TSN’s Pierre LeBrun notes that the Pittsburgh Penguins are talking to teams again about moving winger Alex Galchenyuk. The ask is a draft pick or a bottom-six forward in return.
Galchenyuk should be contributing more to the Penguins than he is but he’s struggled since arriving as part of the Phil Kessel trade. At this point, the Penguins need another option and speculation is they may be looking at someone like Tyler Toffoli out of Los Angeles or Jason Zucker out of Minnesota.
Potential Lias Andersson Trade Getting Tricky
The New York Rangers were dealt another wrinkle when it comes to the prospect of trading Lias Andersson.
Andersson was vague but spoke not long ago about some injury and wellness issues he was dealing with to a Swedish media outlet. Rumors have persisted that it’s these mental issues that are keeping him away even though he and his agent have denied those claims and there is speculation he’s set to undergo surgery. There is still some interest in Andersson by other NHL teams but the Rangers need to be cautious of how they proceed.
Dreger’s colleague Bob McKenzie believes that the Rangers are ready to move on and will try to trade Andersson before the NHL Trade Deadline but that the organization is also aware of the message it could send if you simply trade a player just because they’re dealing with mental health issues or have decided to leave the organization because they’re unhappy.
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.”