In today’s NHL rumors rundown, there is talk that the Montreal Canadiens were keenly interested in a player that hit waivers recently, but couldn’t make the money work. Meanwhile, there is also talk in Montreal about what Cole Caufield could earn on his next contract.
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The Ottawa Senators are believed to be further away from a Jakob Chychrun trade than ever and the Toronto Maple Leafs will have to make a few decisions after the severity of Matt Murray’s injury was revealed.
Bruins Open to Moving a Defenseman
Jimmy Murphy of Boston Hockey Now reports that because the Bruins will have five left-side defensemen once Matt Grzelcyk returns from injury, GM Don Sweeney intends to keep an open mind regarding moving one of those blueliners. The idea would be to clear some salary-cap space.
“Numerous NHL sources have confirmed to Boston Hockey Now that [Mike] Reilly’s name was in NHL trade chatter before they waived him, but as evidenced by Reilly going unclaimed, too many teams are so cap-strapped and can’t afford the $3 million cap hit this season and next that Reilly has left on the three-year contract he signed prior to last season.”
Murphy also noted that talk is the Bruins might shop right-side rearguard Brandon Carlo if he doesn’t become the player they envisioned. One scout said Carlo could be dealt as part of “a big going-for-it move” at the March 3 trade deadline.
The Canadiens Wanted Mike Rielly
Independent journalist Patrick Lortie cites a report from @GagnonFrancois via the On Jase segment, noting that Canadiens GM Kent Hughes wanted to claim Reilly from the Boston Bruins via waivers but his $3 Million cap hit prevented the Habs from doing so. He notes, “Hughes has been trying to move salary for months now. Will likely have more success at the deadline.”
This could be a hint that the Canadiens start trying to move salary out to give them more flexibility to make moves that, today, they can’t make.
Next Contract for Cole Caufield
In other Canadiens news, TSN’s Mike Johnson discussed what Cole Caufield’s next contract might look like during a recent segment of That’s Hockey. Caufield is in the final year of his entry-level contract and said if it’s a long-term deal, he’ll be looking at what Tim Stuzle got in Ottawa – eight years, $8.35 million. Johnson notes that the Canadiens will come back and potentially use Jason Robertson‘s $7.75 million per season deal in Dallas as a comparable.
He adds that because Caufield isn’t as good as Robertson yet, he’ll likely get a bit less on a bridge deal. Something around $7 million per season.
No Path to Chycrhun Deal for Senators
The Ottawa Senators are a team that has been linked to defenseman Jakob Chychrun but there “isn’t a path” according to NHL insider Elliotte Friedman. “I have heard from multiple sources that right now between the Senators and the Coyotes, there just isn’t a path to make a deal,” he said. “That could always change once he resumes playing, but right now it doesn’t appear to be on the table at all.”
Related: Canucks News & Rumors: Bieksa, Horvat & Mikheyev
Chychrun is set to join the club in Montreal this week “to at least practice with the rest of the Coyotes.”
With Murray Out, What’s Next For Leafs?
Jonas Siegel of The Athletic writes that there is a serious concern in Toronto about the gamble they made on goaltender Matt Murray and how bad that move already appears to look with the goalie out a minimum of four weeks with an abductor injury.
Even when he returns, whether it’s in November or December, the injury question will linger along with the performance question. It will be a year-long story that way. If the injuries persist, the Leafs may well have to pursue another goalie.source – ‘The Maple Leafs’ big bet on Matt Murray is off to a nightmarish start’ – Jonas Siegel – The Athletic – 10/15/2022
The Leafs called up a trio of players with the new cap flexibility created by Murray’s LTIR status. Nick Robertson, Wayne Simmonds and Victor Mete all got called up from the AHL on Sunday.