NHL Rumors: Canadiens, Canucks, Jets, More

In today’s rumor rundown, the Montreal Canadiens are playing let’s make a deal, the Canucks are not taking any shortcuts and staying status quo on the management side of things, the New York Rangers aren’t worried about Kevin Shattenkirk and one NHL insider believes Jacob Trouba might be traded next summer.

Montreal Canadiens Open For Business

Bob McKenzie said during TSN Insider Trading that the Montreal Canadiens are “open for business” when it comes to shopping some of their forward corps. He notes that the team feels things are about to get crowded.

Montreal Canadiens Tomas Plekanec
Plekanec has been a major piece for the Canadiens for his entire career. (Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports)

McKenzie said, “Marc Bergevin has let his 31 general manager colleagues know that he is available for business in terms of potentially trading a forward.” Explaining that Nikita Scherbak and Tomas Plekanec have been healthy scratches and Nick Deslauriers and Jacob de la Rose are expected to come back from injuries, the Canadiens could have 16 healthy forwards.

The idea here is that Bergevin is trying to make a move before sending someone down on waivers before potentially losing a forward for nothing.

Related: NHL Rumors: Simmonds, Yzerman, Lee, More

Canucks Won’t Fill Vacant President Position

Rick Dhaliwal is reporting through a series of tweets that Vancouver Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini is not planning on filling the vacant President position for the hockey team. “I don’t think we will replace that role. The Canucks are the interface of who we are as the Aquilinis and Jim will take over with Trevor’s duties.”

Jim Benning - Vancouver Canucks
(Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)

Among other organizational questions, when asked if he’d stepped in or blocked any trades of any kind, Aquilini said, “Not true, absolutely not true. I have never blocked a trade ever. People make that up, all crap.” He did admit he didn’t love the move to cut Sam Gagner but said if the management and coaching staff believed there were guys more deserving, “you have to go with it.” He said his role as the owner is to put people in positions as managers, let them do their jobs and support them.

He added that if the Canucks decide to spend to the salary cap ceiling, he’s given them permission to do so but added,  “There are no shortcuts in this game and right now it is about building a core with this club and wanting to win together.”

Related: Nylander vs. Shanahan: A Battle of “Me” First

Next Off-Season Is Time To Trade Trouba

During one of Bob McKenzie’s recent ‘Bobcast’ shows, he discussed the potential plan for Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba. A restricted free agent again at the end of the season, McKenzie believes the time to trade Trouba is next summer.

Jacob Trouba - Winnipeg Jets
Jacob Trouba – Winnipeg Jets vs Philadelphia Flyers – November 17, 2016 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

McKenzie notes the history of tough negotiations between the Jets and Trouba’s camp and said, “unless somebody can negotiate a long-term deal with him, the Jets’ price – what it would cost to acquire Trouba, the Jets’ take on that half of it – might not be as much as some people would like, given the fact that he’s a top-pairing defenseman on that team.”. Basically, he’s suggesting the Jets would ask for a lot and the team trading for him would have to take on the role of then signing Trouba to a long-term extension or giving up a ton of assets for a rental.

Because the Jets will have to worry about pending restricted free agents Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor, McKenzie suggests, “So yeah, this off-season is the time to fish or cut bait with Trouba and the Winnipeg Jets.”. If he’s not going to sign long-term, the Jets might as well move him.

Related: NHL Rumors: Duchene, Mason, Nylander Trade, More

Alexei Emelin Turned Down an NHL Offer

Defenseman Alexei Emelin made his way to the KHL this summer, signing with Avangard Omsk. He’s played 14 games there this season and recently he told Igor Eronko of Sport-Express that he did receive a contract offer from an NHL before he decided to make the move.

Alexei Emelin Nashville Predators
Alexei Emelin Nashville Predators Oct. 19, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The Washington Capitals apparently offered him a contract, but he rejected it because it was only for one season and he was looking for something more. A serviceable d-man with the Nashville Predators last season, he played in 76 games for the organization in 2017-18. It was a bit surprising when he wasn’t signed by an NHL club.

Related: NHL Rumors: Nash, Edler, Bennett, and a Matthews Deal

No Huge Concern Over Shattenkirk in New York

While the news of Kevin Shattenkirk being benched by the New York Rangers might look troubling for the team, there is little concern in New York where the Rangers feel his sitting out a game was more about mentally giving him a chance to recharge.

New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk
New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports)

“I think I need to get the urgency back in my game a little bit. I think it’s a little too slow right now for me,” Shattenkirk said. “At the puck, just being a little harder to play against in our D-zone, one-on-ones, just making my decisions quicker. Shattenkirk knew the “timeout” was coming. From a team perspective, head coach David Quinn didn’t expect Shattenkirk to be at 100 percent to begin the season, so this is all part of the recovery process.

The veteran defenseman is coming right back into the lineup in Saturday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers.