NHL Rumours: Montreal Canadiens, Calgary Flames, Mike Babcock

Montreal Canadiens Draft; NHL Rumours
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It’s time for some more NHL Rumours and teams are figuring out how their season will go. Some teams are moving pieces around to make a run while some are trying to save their season. General managers have to think long and hard about their present and their future. Today’s NHL rumours focus on the Montreal Canadiens, Calgary Flames and former Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock.

All NHL rumours are taken from the original source and are subject to change.

NHL free agent frenzy

NHL Rumours

Montreal Canadiens

Rumour: The Athletic’s Arpon Basu (subscription required) said that Habs’ general manager Marc Bergevin is trying to hoard more cap space despite the fact they carry nearly $5.75 million in room.

Montreal is doing something it rarely does and not bringing an emergency forward or defenceman on certain occasions. The Canadiens did this seven times in the team’s first 22 games in the 2019-20 campaign. Montreal only did this 15 times in the last two seasons.

Bergevin said he’ll be patient in making a move, but he seems to be clearing the deck for a move.

Analysis: The Canadiens seems to have for a playoff push. Bergevin has buried the contracts of Karl Alzner, Dale Weise and Matthew Peca in AHL Laval, which has saved over $5 million in space.

That sort of maneuvering means the Canadiens’ may have the resources to make a big splash as the trade deadline nears. The changing behaviour pattern is going to raise flags and alert teams that the Habs might be on the hunt.

Montreal would like to add another forward and maybe a lefthanded shooting defenceman. Victor Mete has done well this season, but having another blue-liner would bolster the Canadiens back end.

Calgary Flames

NHL Rumours: Elliotte Friedman in his latest 31 Thoughts podcast said that Flames’ general manager Brad Treliving wants to make some deals, but nothing blockbuster. Friedman said that a right wing is on Calgary’s wish list and players like Mark Jankowski and Oliver Kylington have been tossed around.

Jankowski is still drawing interest despite not recording a single point in 22 games this season. The Hamilton, Ontario native is coming off a 14-goal season last year with the Flames.

Kylington is a promising 23-year-old defenceman that has split time between Calgary and AHL Stockton. He’s a lefthanded shot that plays a two-way game and could draw interest.

Analysis: Offence has dried for the Flames and things have gotten bad for the club in recent games. Calgary has spent the most time playing from behind this season and the season could be slipping away.

There’s even been some talk about dealing Johnny Gaudreau, but Treliving isn’t going to be so hasty. Gaudreau’s shooting percentage for this season is at 7.5 when it was 12.8 last season along with Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, Leon Draisaitl and Mark Stone. He and the rest of the Flames’ scorers are all struggling together.

Both Jankowski and Kylington would get an OK return for Treliving and Calgary may get some sort of asset back.

Mike Babcock

Rumour: On the latest episode of TSN’s Insider Trading, the panel speculated on where the former Detroit Red Wings and Maple Leafs bench boss may end up. Toronto fired Babcock with three years and $5.875 million per season left on his deal. The contract is guaranteed and Babcock ends up getting the rest of his money, which was north of $20 million.

Teams will certainly be interested in bringing in the former Olympic gold medal winning coach, but any prospective club would have to ask the Leafs permission. TSN’s Pierre LeBrun said that Babock is going to take some time off to decompress, but one team sticks out and that’s Seattle.

The team will look to hire a coach in between January and June of 2021 and that may be enough time for Babcock to get back in the game. Hiring him would be a big splash for the expansion team.

Analysis: Babcock’s tenure ended with a thud, but he’s still a good coach who won a Stanley Cup in 2008. The time off will likely do him so good so he can get away and take stock of his next move.

The Seattle group realizes how important in getting the choice of its first coach is. Gerard Gallant becoming the Vegas Golden Knights first bench boss was huge their initial success. Seattle isn’t in too much of a hurry and can take their time when it comes to their coach. However, Babcock’s name will come up a lot with any big name club that may want a new head coach.

DALLAS, TX – JUNE 23: Marc Bergevin of the Montreal Canadiens handles draft duties the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines Center on June 23, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)