NHL Rumors: Canadiens, Oilers, Maple Leafs, Rangers

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, there is talk that the Montreal Canadiens and Kirby Dach might be getting closer to finding common ground on a contract extension. What is the deal that is being rumored? There are also suggestions the Canadiens might be looking to trade for a defenseman and a couple of options have been tossed around by a scribe from The Athletic. Finally, there are PTOs being handed out already and the New York Rangers have decided to try their hand with a former player who saw most of his NHL success with their organization.

Kirby Dach Close to Deal with Canadiens

As per a tweet by Eric Engels of Sportsnet, “As I just mentioned on the air with @MartinLemay @bpmsportsradio, @FriedgeHNIC & I were looking into Kirby Dach’s status over last week and it sounds as though 1 of the options being discussed is a 4-year deal at around a $3.5M AAV. Won’t be surprised if that’s where this lands.”

Kirby Dach Chicago Blackhawks
Kirby Dach, Chicago Blackhawks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

There’s a bit of confusion about where Dach would stand contract-wise when those four seasons are up. If Dach signs for four years, he’ll be one year away from UFA status. The reason is that his injury during his second season occurred outside of the NHL. He only played 18 games, thus it doesn’t count towards his accrued total.

Related: Montreal Canadiens a Fit for Rangers’ Nils Lundkvist

Needless to say, the four years are a bit of a risk considering Dach’s injury history and the $3.5 million isn’t exactly a steal due to his level of production in the NHL thus far.

Canadiens Looking to Oilers for Defenseman?

Marc Antoine Godin of The Athletic writes that the Canadiens may also want to explore the trade market for a defenseman. With Carey Price unlikely to return, they have some money to spend in trade and Godin writes:

Montreal’s abundance of forwards and lack of depth on defence right now jump out in equal measures, and it is worth asking how this new financial flexibility could help the Canadiens address that situation. Because adding a defenceman on the right side to avoid overtaxing the young Justin Barron next season seems like something the Canadiens would ideally like to accomplish in the coming weeks.

source – ‘How the Canadiens can find a defenceman thanks to their newfound financial flexibility’ – Marc Antoine Godin – The Athletic – 09/01/2022
Joel Armia Montreal Canadiens
Joel Armia, Montreal Canadiens (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Godin suggests a trade to Edmonton that would see them land Tyson Barrie in exchange for Joel Armia and Chris Wideman. The argument here is that the Oilers need cap space and a slightly different look on their blue line. The Canadiens could move the three seasons left on Armia’s contract to Edmonton, while also sending them Wideman, “a sort of “Barrie-lite” who can generate some offense from a third pairing…”

Canadiens and Maple Leafs Trade Partners?

Godin also mentioned Dylan DeMelo out of Winnipeg, Travis Hamonic out of Ottawa, and Justin Holl out of Toronto. When it comes to Holl, he notes that the blueliner is a possibility as a right-shot defenceman with one year at $2 million left on his contract. Godin explains, “He hasn’t been very good and if his departure frees up space for the Maple Leafs to sign Rasmus Sandin, he would cost next to nothing.”

Rangers Sign Vesey to PTO

He was being linked to the New York Rangers as far back as last month, and the Rangers made it official by offering forward Jimmy Vesey a professional tryout, according to CapFriendly. Vesey, 29, registered eight goals and 15 points in 68 games for the New Jersey Devils last season. This will be his second run with the Rangers as he signed in 2016-17 coming out of college.

In other PTO news, James Neal signed a PTO with the Columbus Blue Jackets and Tyler Pitlick with the St. Louis Blues.

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