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NHL Rumours: Montreal Canadiens, Winnipeg Jets, Nashville Predators

Ilya Kovalchuk; NHL Rumours

It’s time for another batch of our fresh NHL rumours. We’ve got a Super bunch of rumours for you on this Super Bowl Sunday. There’s plenty of stuff going on in the world of hockey as we near the trade deadline in three weeks. Today we focus on rumours about the Montreal Canadiens, Winnipeg Jets and Nashville Predators.

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

NHL Rumours

Montreal Canadiens

Rumour: TSN’s Pierre LeBrun said the Habs have set a price of a second-round pick on Ilya Kovalchuk. However, management is still on the fence about trading him because of his on-ice play and locker room leadership.

LeBrun said that Montreal will wait as long as it can before it decides. The Canadiens are trying to play their way back into playoff contention. However, the Russian winger could fetch a nice return if they fall out of the race.

Analysis: There’s no denying that Kovalchuk has rejuvenated his career with the Canadiens. The 36-year-old has five goals and nine points in 10 games with Montreal. He’s been an asset no matter where’s put in the lineup.

Kovalchuk played with Nick Suzuki and Joel Armia in recent games as Brendan Gallagher has returned to the lineup. He’s playing close to the level he’s been at in recent seasons in Russia.

Montreal could have an asset if they do want to deal Kovalchuk. The Habs still have a chance to get back in the race, but he’s quickly endeared himself to the coaching staff and the Montreal faithful.

Winnipeg Jets

Rumour: Elliotte Friedman on TSN’s Hockey Night in Canada headlines segment said the Jets will get clarification on the Dustin Byfuglien situation. He stated that the defenceman has to yet and he’ll most likely miss the season.

However, this could open up $7.6 million of salary cap space for Winnipeg to make moves at the deadline. The Jets have had to hold the money because they didn’t know Byfuglien’s plans.

Analysis: This could make Winnipeg an instant player at the deadline with all this found money. Winnipeg has been in limbo while it waited to see if the 34-year-old would be awarded his salary.

The Jets have made similar big splashes at past deadlines with Paul Stastny and Kevin Hayes. Could another move for a scoring forward be in the cards for Winnipeg? The extra money could be used to convince a rental to stay with the Jets.

Byfuglien’s health will be re-visited in the summer and we could go through this whole scenario once again. He’s still on the books for another $7.6 million next season in the final year of his contract. Winnipeg would love to have that contract off the books sooner or later.

Nashville Predators

Rumour: Adam Vignan of The Athletic said that the Predators may be unsure on what to do with Mikael Granlund after his recent hot streak. Granlund has been rumoured to be on the move since the Predators swoon.

However, he seems to be thriving under new head coach John Hynes. The 27-year-old  has been seeing more ice time and his production go up. The main issues is he becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of season. He makes $5.75 million a season, but has not produced much since coming over last year at the deadline.

Analysis: Nashville is sort of trapped in a no-man’s land as they’re just out of contention in the Western Conference. General manager David Poile is going to have a hard time making moves and making deals.

Granlund’s salary demands would be justified if he were making $65 million to $75 million. However, he doesn’t get a point a game and he’s taken a lot of Punks’ as week.

The hot play may be too little or too later, but he could be a tradeable asset should Nashville start playing for the future.

MONTREAL, QC – JANUARY 18: Look on Montreal Canadiens left wing Ilya Kovalchuk (17) at warm-up before the Las Vegas Golden Knights versus the Montreal Canadiens game on January 18, 2020, at Bell Centre in Montreal, QC (Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)


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