NHL Rumors: Canadiens, Canucks, Coyotes, Islanders, Stars

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Montreal Canadiens tried to move Shea Weber’s contract at this year’s deadline, but couldn’t find any takers. Will they try again during the offseason? The Vancouver Canucks were expected to be big sellers, but didn’t really sell at all. What’s their next move? The Coyotes could have made more trades but wound up keeping a couple of big-name assets, and what happens now between the Dallas Stars and defenseman John Klingberg?

Canadiens and Weber’s Contract

As per Eric Engels of Sportsnet, Canadiens’ GM Kent Hughes said that the team came close to trading Shea Weber‘s contract. It is believed the Arizona Coyotes were going to be the team to take that on, but ultimately a trade didn’t go down and the Habs will revisit it again in the offseason.

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Weber’s deal has four years remaining at a $7.85 million cap hit with only $6 million in total salary over those four years.

Canucks Could be Busy This Summer

Rory Boylen of Sportsnet writes that the Canucks were viewed as one of the teams that could have been busy at this year’s trade deadline but wound up not being terribly active. They weren’t facing pressure to move the names that came up in the rumor mill. J.T. Miller has another year on his contract, Conor Garland has four more seasons and Brock Boeser is a restricted free agent. All could remain with the Canucks.

Brock Boeser Vancouver Canucks
Brock Boeser, Vancouver Canucks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

At the same time, Boylen notes that the Canucks could use the offseason to clear cap space and make some of the major moves many insiders were anticipating might happen at the NHL Trade Deadline.

Kessel’s Contract and Iron Man Streak a Problem

The Coyotes were another team people thought might be busy, but ultimately, they were unable to find a team to take on Phil Kessel‘s $6.8 million cap hit. Some teams were also concerned about his iron man streak and the pressure that would have come with keeping him in the lineup because of it.

Related: Canadiens’ Hughes Hits Home Run at First Trade Deadline

Craig Morgan notes the Coyotes were serious about trading Jakob Chychrun but that team didn’t step up and the “pieces just weren’t there” to make a move. There will be plenty of interest in him at the draft if the Coyotes are still looking to sell.

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Morgan also writes that one thing on the Coyotes’ to-do list is to begin contract talks with is pending RFA forward Lawson Crouse. Crouse is arbitration-eligible and has career highs in goals with 20, and points with 34.

Chara and Greene Wanted to Stay

New York Islanders’ GM Lou Lamoriello said that both Zdeno Chara and Andy Greene asked to not be traded if possible. Both defensemen were in the rumor mill since they are pending UFAs. Both could be re-signed to one-year, low-money contracts in the offseason.

Stars Weren’t Close to Moving Klingberg

Saad Yousef of The Athletic discussed the decision by the Dallas Stars had to add goaltender Scott Wedgewood at the trade deadline, saying it was because injuries to Braden Holtby and Anton Khudobin were going to hurt the Stars’ chances of making a final playoff push. Vladislav Namestnikov was added for their middle-to-bottom six and was expected to play Tuesday night versus the Oilers but windy weather delayed his flight into Dallas.

John Klingberg Dallas Stars
John Klingberg, Dallas Stars (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

As for why Stars defenseman John Klingberg wasn’t moved, the Stars decided that he was too important to their postseason aspirations. Jim Nill did admit that he had many trade talks with other teams but said:

“There’s a lot of this talk of trading him or doing whatever — John Klingberg is a big part of our team. He’s part of our leadership group. He has a major impact on our team. I think we’ve seen the last three games what he does for us. I’m always open to making our team better, any way I can, but there was no situation that transpired that said (trading him) would be the right move. We need John Klingberg.”

source – ‘The Stars’ trade deadline was all about John Klingberg, so standing pat puts them under a microscope’ – Saad Yousuf – The Athletic – 03/21/2022