NHL Rumors: Flames, Sabres, Blackhawks, Canadiens, More

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, what does the hiring of Darryl Sutter mean for a player like Sam Bennett? Is he still likely to be traded, or this is a fresh start for the forward? Meanwhile, the Buffalo Sabres a “wide open” to making a trade, but which players are generating the most interest? Which Chicago Blackhawks players are the most likely to go and is there any truth to talk that the Montreal Canadiens could try to move Carey Price?

Fresh Start for Sam Bennett

Flames’ GM Brad Treliving spoke with David Amber during the intermission of Saturday night’s Flames vs. Edmonton Oilers broadcast and asked if the hiring of Sutter as head coach changes the team’s opinion or stance on Bennett. Treliving didn’t say whether the team was planning to trade the player or keep him now, but noted that the addition of Sutter is being viewed as a fresh start for everyone.

Sam Bennett Calgary Flames
Sam Bennett, Calgary Flames (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

When it comes to Bennett, Treliving believed that this could be a “match made in heaven” and he knows Sutter and Bennett have already spoken. The GM said this is certainly a new beginning for the player and that the club will evaluate where they are at with every roster member as the rest of the season rolls along.

Related: NHL Rumors: Bruins, Capitals, Sabres, Maple Leafs, Flames, More

Sabres “Wide Open” for Business

As per a report by Elliotte Friedman during Saturday Headlines, the Sabres are “wide open” for business and they are listening on everyone. Friedman specifically dropped the names Sam Reinhart and Eric Staal, suggesting both players were being asked about by opposing GMs. That said, it sounds like the list of players who could be moved is much longer.

Friedman notes:

I think there is a number of things that people think they may do or may not do. I’ve heard there have been a lot of questions asked about Sam Reinhart. I’ve heard there have been questions asked about Eric Staal in addition to some of the other names that you would expect. Nashville is out there, Detroit is out there, but Buffalo is the team that is definitely out there and again, the word is they are listening to any possibilities.

Sam Reinhart Buffalo Sabres
Sam Reinhart, Buffalo Sabres (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Some of the other names that have been pegged as ones to watch are Brandon Montour, Casey Mittelstadt, Taylor Hall and, of course, Jack Eichel. We reported yesterday that GM Kevyn Adams says Eichel has not asked for a trade, but his name continues to circulate in the rumor mill.

Chris Johnston pointed out only Hall and Jeff Skinner have no-movement clauses so the Sabres shouldn’t have any issue making trades, should they decide to.

Related: Sabres Trade Deadline Moves Will Signal a Rebuild or a Retool

Blackhawks Potential Trade Deadline Options

As per Scott Powers of The Athletic, the Blackhawks may have some options if they want to get busy making trades prior to this year’s deadline. Under his “Long-Shot” category, he named Dominik Kubalik, Nikita Zadorov and Calvin de Haan. But, under his “Trade Bait” category, he named Mattias Janmark, Carl Soderberg, and Lucas Wallmark.

Powers also writes that Dylan Strome is an “X-Factor” and explains:

The Blackhawks are not actively shopping Strome, but they’re not slamming the phone down in anger if a call comes, either. Strome is a gifted playmaker and has been a very productive player for the Blackhawks, with 33 goals and 64 assists in 135 games. And he’s turning just 24 on Sunday. But the question the Blackhawks need to ask themselves is where he fits in the long term.

source – ‘Blackhawks trade tiers: Who’s staying, who could be going, the financial picture’ – Scott Powers – The Athletic – 03/03/2021

Price Unlikely to Be Moved Or Left Exposed to Seattle

Eric Engels noted during a Sportsnet mailbag segment, that any speculation the Canadiens might try to trade goaltender Carey Price to the Seattle Kraken is just that, speculation. Engels notes it’s a fair question for a couple of reasons. First, the backstop has struggled. Second, goaltending coach Stephane Waite was fired this week because of those struggles.

The reason Seattle is connected to Price is because the veteran netminder is from British Columbia, he spends time in Kelowna during the offseason and his wife is from Washington State. However, all of that doesn’t change the fact that Price’s contract is extremely hard to move.

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

For one, the goaltender has a no-movement clause which means he can’t be traded unless the player waives his right to stay put. Even if he were to do so, the way Price’s contract is structured, it’s a difficult deal to take on or any team, including Seattle. Engels writes:

Even if Price comes to management and says he wants out, and even if they’re willing to deal him at a loss just to earn the cap space, the financial complexities are onerous for both the Canadiens and whomever their trade partner would be.

It sheds more light on the decision to fire Waite. Bergevin felt he needed to do something to get the Price he expects to see — not just now, but in the future.

Sign up for our regular 'Rumors Newsletter' for all the latest.

YouTube player