NHL Rumors: Canadiens, Wild, Avalanche, Canucks, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, head coach of the Montreal Canadiens, Claude Julien, spoke about the Max Domi trade and discussed why the team was able to make the deal they did. Are the Colorado Avalanche done making moves? It doesn’t sound like it, but more moves start and stop with Joe Sakic’s ability to get Devon Toews signed. In Vancouver, the Canucks are interested in bringing back a forward and the Minnesota Wild, among others, have learned the NHL has canceled the Winter Classic.

Julien Says Domi Became “Expendable”

According to Claude Julien, the reason the Montreal Canadiens decided to trade forward Max Domi was because the Canadiens viewed him as expendable. It sounds a bit harsh, but the reality is, the Habs thought it was better to move along the player with the emergence of young talents and an excess of talent at the same position.

Max Domi, Montreal Canadiens
Max Domi, Montreal Canadiens (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Julien explained, “… we started, and all of a sudden we see both those guys — especially Kotkaniemi — really doing well.” He explained that once Kotkaniemi and Suzuki showed that they could be given more responsibility, and when Domi was settled into playing on the fourth line with Dale Wiese and Jordan Weal, Domi became a moveable piece that could grab them something else of need.

Julien added:

“It’s not so much that it didn’t work out [with Domi in Montreal]. Sometimes this is what hockey’s all about — you end up with a situation where now Max became I guess a little bit expendable, because we had those guys do so well, and at the same time, we’re able to get a big player that we really needed on the wing in Josh Anderson in exchange for him.”

Related: Prospects News & Rumors: QMJHL, Barron & McIsaac

Canucks Want to Bring Back Leivo

As per Sportsnet’s Iain MacIntyre, he noted via his Twitter account that the Vancouver Canucks are interested in bringing back Josh Leivo. He writes that even with 15 contracts on the books and after signing Jake Virtanen to a two-year extension, it “doesn’t eliminate the 24-hour buyout window the team has this weekend.”

The buyout window may not help as a player like Loui Eriksson is virtually buyout-proof and the Canucks are over the salary cap ceiling. GM Jim Benning will need to get creative if he wants to find room for Leivo, even if the forward isn’t slated to make all that much.

Sakic Wants to Make More Moves

According to the Denver Post’s Mike Chambers, after the recent re-signing of Tyson Jost to a one-year deal in Colorado, the Avalanche would like to get newly acquired defenseman Devon Toews signed and make a couple of other additions.

Devon Toews New York Islanders
Devon Toews, New York Islanders (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Chambers believes the Avalanche are looking to another defenseman and possibly some toughness on a checking line via a physical veteran depth forward.

Speculation is that Sakic will shoot to get Toews signed for under $2.5 million annually. Chambers writes:

Toews, 26, is scheduled for salary arbitration Oct. 31 — a meeting set with the New York Islanders before he was traded to Colorado last week. Toews, who might play with Cale Makar on the Avs’ top defensive pairing, is due a hefty raise from the $750,000 he made last season with the Islanders, where he logged 20:30 of ice time per game.

source ‘Avalanche re-signs Tyson Jost to one-year deal, closing in on salary cap’ – Mike Chambers – Denver Post – 10/19/2020

If successful, he’ll hit up the inexpensive UFA market to address those other needs.

NHL Postpones 2021 All-Star and Winter Classic Festivities

On Thursday, the NHL announced that they have decided to postpone both the 2021 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic and 2021 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend. They note:

“Because of the uncertainty as to when we will be able to welcome our fans back to our games, we felt that the prudent decision at this time was to postpone these celebrations until 2022, when our fans should be able to enjoy an celebrate these tent pole events in-person as they were always intended.

It’s a decision that makes sense considering there are still so many questions about travel and fans and the Minnesota Wild, while disappointed not to have the Winter Classic, were not thrilled about the idea of having had to wait for years to get this game only to have the players play in front of half-empty seats.

The Wild have been told they will be the first to get the game back when it is brought back by the NHL and safe the to hold the event.

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