NHL Rumors: Panthers, Canadiens, Senators, Maple Leafs, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there are further updates on the Ottawa Senators firing of Jim Little, Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin shares a number of thoughts regarding the team, and the Florida Panthers might be looking to seriously shake up the team. Finally, Jason Spezza has no desire to retire and could Josh Anderson be traded before the season ends?

Update on Jim Little Firing

We reported yesterday that the Ottawa Senators decided to terminate CEO Jim Little after only two months on the job. They didn’t reveal a reason, it was simply noted he violated the team’s “conduct inconsistent with the core values” clause of his contract.

An update on that story comes from a press release Jim Little sent saying he was looking forward to helping the Senators but wanted to clarify that he had a personal disagreement with Sens owner Eugene Melynk over the phone and that as a strong-willed personality, used some very strong language which Melnyk didn’t appreciate. It was that reason, to his knowledge, he was released.

Related: Jacques Plante: The Man in the Fiberglass Mask

Bergevin Answers Questions About Canadiens

While at the GM meetings, Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin spoke with Elliotte Friedman and answered a number of questions about the team and their future.

Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin
Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin (Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports)

Bergevin said he was “not even close” to moving defenseman Jeff Petry or forward Tomas Tatar. He doesn’t believe he’ll have trouble getting forward Max Domi re-signed to a contract, and when asked about possibly trading goaltender Carey Price, he said, “Never, never, never.”

Overall, when asked about how many changes he might make to the team in the offseason or through free agency, he said he’ll look but he actually likes the team despite their lack of success this season. He doesn’t believe they need a lot, they just need some tinkering and to play to the ability.

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Panthers to Shake Things Up

Friedman also notes in his latest 31 Thoughts article that Florida Panthers’ owner Vinny Viola is extremely upset with the way things have gone this season and the money he’s going to likely lose with the Panthers not in a playoff spot. The belief is that a total-team shake-up is coming and that trading Vincent Trochek was just the start.

One player the team probably wishes they could have a do-ever on (speculation only here) is Sergei Bobrovsky. The goaltender has been terrible since signing a $10 million deal with the team.

Anderson to Get Traded Before the Summer?

There are some rumblings that Josh Anderson might be traded before the summertime. While the trade deadline is over, players can still get moved. They just can’t play. That’s not a concern for Anderson, whose injury will keep him out the rest of the season anyway.

Columbus Blue Jackets Josh Anderson
Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Josh Anderson (Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports)

But, there are teams that might want to get a leg up on acquiring the player. When Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen was asked, he didn’t give details or confirm trade talks but did say, “We always consider all options. He’s got arbitration rights. He’s a great player, and we miss him. But we have to look at what’s best for the franchise.”

Related: Maple Leafs: Whipping Boys From the Last Decade

Spezza Wants to Keep Playing

Jason Spezza says he doesn’t believe these final few weeks of the NHL season will be it for him. He admits there have been no contract talks with the Toronto Maple Leafs about an extension, but he wants to play again next season.

Toronto Maple Leafs Jason Spezza
Toronto Maple Leafs forward Jason Spezza (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jeffrey T. Barnes)

He’s playing for the league minimum of $700K this season and it’s hard to imagine he’ll get much more than that, especially if he’s looking to stay with the Maple Leafs. Considering he’s got 25 points in 55 games while playing under 11 minutes a night, he’d could be a good addition for another team on the cheap if given a bigger role.

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