NHL Rumors: Canadiens, Blues, Avalanche, Kings, More

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Montreal Canadiens made news because reports surfaced the team has reached an agreement with goaltender Carey Price to waive his no-move clause and be exposed to the Seattle Kraken during the NHL Expansion Draft. Meanwhile, the St. Louis Blues have elected not to protect forward Vladimir Tarasenko and Gabriel Landeskog wasn’t protected either, giving the Kraken an opportunity to talk to him ahead of free agency. Finally, the Los Angeles Kings are not protecting Jonathan Quick.

Carey Price Left Exposed During Expansion Draft

Fans are stunned and surprised at the news goaltender Price is being left unprotected for the purposes of instead protecting Jake Allen from the Kraken. Price has agreed to waive his no-move clause and either the Canadiens are alright with the veteran netminder and this $10.5 million salary being taken or GM Marc Bergevin simply doesn’t believe the Kraken will take on that kind of contract.

Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens
Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The assumption here is that Price must be alright with the fact he could be moving on this summer as well. Whether or not Seattle takes Price is going to be quite interesting. Could the NHL’s newest hockey club select him and make him the face of the franchise? They would sell a ton of jerseys and get people in Seattle excited. That said, it’s a big risk and GM Ron Francis just recently said the biggest asset in the NHL right now is salary cap space.

One thing to remember is that Price is owed $11 million as part of signing bonus that is due in September and Seattle would be on the hook for that as well.

Related: Canadiens Need a Shea Weber Replacement

Tarasenko Also Left Exposed

Word has it that the St. Louis Blues have also left Tarasenko exposed. Reports from David Pagnotta of the Fourth Period are that the teams interested in trading for Tarasenko were comfortable with his medical reports but the terms of a trade simply couldn’t be worked out before the expansion draft lists were due.

Vladimir Tarasenko St. Louis Blues
Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues (Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Apparently, some teams that wanted St. Louis to retain salary wanted the Blues to eat more the contract and St. Louis wouldn’t do so. An alternate report from Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic suggests that a few teams were willing to take on the full salary, but didn’t want to give much back for the player.

At this point, all parties believe this relationship isn’t salvageable. Rutherford writes:

Armstrong has told Tarasenko’s camp, according to a source, that no teams are interested in the player, who has scored 30-plus goals in five of his nine NHL seasons but has since had three shoulder operations. The source added that Los Angeles, New Jersey, Carolina and Boston, among other teams, have each expressed interest and were willing to take on Tarasenko’s $7.5 million salary-cap hit for the next two seasons, but Armstrong has not found a suitable return. That’s Armstrong’s prerogative, the source said, but the delay is worsening the relationship between the Blues and Tarasenko. And not that there was any recourse, but there is no going back now.

source – ‘Why Vladimir Tarasenko isn’t on the Blues’ protected list for the expansion draft’ – Jeremy Rutherford – The Athletic – 07/17/2021

Some insiders believe the Blues have left Tarasenko exposed to keep Seattle from paying attention to Vince Dunn, who the Blues would like to keep. That said, it appears Dunn won’t be among the three defensemen protected by the Blues. They’ll choose to protect Colton Parayko, Justin Faulk and Torey Krug.

Avalanche Giving the Kraken a Chance to Speak With Landeskog

That the Avalanche didn’t protect a pending UFA isn’t a huge shock (UFAs don’t require protection), but it is still risky that Colorado GM Joe Sakic is letting Landeskog potentially talk to the Kraken while the Avalanche and Landeskog are so far apart on the terms of a new contract. Some have described Landeskog as extremely disappointed.

If Seattle and Landeskog come to an agreement prior to the expansion draft, then his signing will count as the Kraken’s selection from the Avalanche. “We’ll see what happens,” Landeskog told The Athletic in a recent interview. “I’m still hopeful that we can agree on something and come to terms, but if it was up to me, I would have liked it to be done eight months ago, 10 months ago.”

Jonathan Quick Not Protected

According to Frank Seravalli, goaltender Quick is not being protected by the Kings. A 14-year veteran, Quick is a two-time Stanley Cup champion (2012 and 2014), and former Conn Smythe winner. That said, he lost the starting job to Calvin Petersen this past season.

It’s unlikely the Kraken take him based on the other goaltenders available, but he’s still a fairly big name available to the team.