NHL Rumors: Canucks, Rangers, Canadiens, Blues

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, one insider believes that a change is coming in Vancouver where the organization is really struggling out of the gate. There are also questions about how long Marc Bergevin remains as general manager of the Montreal Canadiens and what deals get made before he moves on, which many believe he will. The New York Rangers got bad news as Sammy Blais is out for the season and teams that were interesting in Vladimir Tarasenko are likely going to wait until the summer to take a shot at him again.

Coaching or GM Change in Vancouver?

Chris Johnston noted during his latest podcast that he would be surprised if a big change isn’t coming for the Canucks. Saying the Canucks are a team that wanted to be good this year, “I have to feel some kind of change is coming.” He adds he doesn’t know if it’s Travis Green or Jim Benning that has to go, but Johnston says “tune in” and that the organization is under major pressure to make some moves and fix this.

Travis Green Vancouver Canucks bench
Head coach Travis Green of the Vancouver Canucks celebrates his teams win on an OT goal by Christopher Tanev in the Western Conference Qualification Round, Aug. 07, 2020 (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)

Asking if Green is the change that happens because the core was built to be competitive, Johnston said that coaches are the easiest thing to swap out by that might not help the situation. The Canucks do have experience on their bench that could take over but said, “It would be foolish to believe this is just a coaching issue.”

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Johnston suggested that the Canucks call on the Sedins and use lean on their experience to chart a way forward.

Blais Done for the Season

Bad news out of New York as Blais is out for the remainder of the season after getting injured Sunday night vs the New Jersey Devils. He has a torn ACL in his right knee. The Rangers are hoping he’ll be back in time for the playoffs, but it’s too soon to tell if it’s a possibility.

Blais appeared to get tripped by defenseman P.K. Subban, who extended his right leg and clipped the forward as they chased down a puck in the corner. Subban is taking a lot of heat for what appears to be another slew-foot.

Canadiens to Move Chiarot, Potentially Pursue Girard?

Johnston also noted that he doesn’t believe GM Marc Bergevin will stick with the Canadiens all the way to the end of the season. Thinking the organization will make a change as soon as they find a Francophone executive to take his place, the question about what happens in Montreal before Bergevin might go is an interesting one.

Montreal Canadiens Marc Bergevin
Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)

Johnston suggested Ben Chiarot is an obvious casualty as he’s on an expiring contract, eats a lot of minutes and has an affordable contract at $3.5 million. Meanwhile, TVA Sports’ writer Jean-Charles Lajoie suggested the Canadiens could use a defenseman to improve their blueline shortcomings this season and believes the Habs will add.

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Among the names suggested, Samuel Girard from the Colorado Avalanche came up. Girard’s name is out there in trade talks and he’s got a long-term deal in place locked in at $5 million per season.

Teams May Have to Wait on Tarasenko

As per Adam Gretz of NBC Sports, some teams that were interested in trading for Vladimir Tarasenko this offseason but ultimately didn’t make a move because of health concerns and salary cap issues are likely kicking themselves for not picking up the forward when he was available and likely didn’t cost much to acquire. Tarasenko has been on a point-a-game pace and the Blues aren’t likely to trade him unless the team takes a massive dip in the standings.

Tarasenko is still looking to be traded but that will get a lot more complicated now and teams may have to wait until this coming offseason where the price will likely be much higher.