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NHL Rumours: Montreal Canadiens, Edmonton Oilers and Winnipeg Jets

NHL Rumours

Welcome back to another edition of NHL Rumours from the crew at Last Word on Hockey. While the season is still on pause, rumours are still flowing through the grapevine. Today we will focus on NHL Rumours from the Montreal Canadiens, Edmonton Oilers and Winnipeg Jets.

All NHL rumours come from their original sources and are subject to change.

NHL Rumours

Montreal Canadiens

Rumour: During a live Q and A segment with Arpon Basu and Marc Dumont of The Athletic, the question was asked about a realistic trade that would propel the Canadiens to the playoffs next season. Both gentlemen responded with a trade for a left-handed defenceman. Dumont suggested a first-round pick and a good prospect for Travis Sanheim, while Basu mentioned Max Domi for Jonas Brodin straight up. 

Analysis: The story hasn’t changed for the Canadiens. The greatest need, still, is a top-four left-handed defenceman. While I don’t believe there is a chance Marc Bergevin is moving Max Domi, a heart and soul type player who had a career year in his first season in Montreal, has 116 points in 153 games with the Canadiens and clearly loves playing there, the option Dumont suggested is interesting. The Philadelphia Flyers have an abundance of solid top four options. With Ivan Provorov, Shayne Gostisbehere, Matt Niskanen, Philippe Myers and the aforementioned Sanheim, there’s a ton of quality options there. Add Robert Hagg and Justin Braun to that equation and the Flyers have a ton of depth to fill out their defence group.

Sanheim or Gostisbehere?

However, Sanheim isn’t really talked about much in the rumour mill. He is also not someone we think the Flyers would like to move. While he is likely available for a premium, the real option here would be Gostisbehere.

Gostisbehere has found himself in the rumour mill multiple times and has been mentioned as a target for the Canadiens. A top pairing of “Ghost” and Weber would be excellent for the Canadiens moving forward. He would also help improve the Canadiens’ power-play immensely. This along with Alexander Romanov who is likely making the transition to the NHL next season, would solidify the Canadiens defence group and help propel them to the playoffs next season.

Edmonton Oilers

Rumour: In the most recent 31 Thoughts, Elliott Friedman states that Ken Holland has said top defence prospect Philip Broberg will stay in Sweden next season in training camp is “not normal”.

Analysis: With this NHL season up in the air and no real indication of how next season will work, this seems like the most logical thing to do with the Oilers prospect. Broberg was drafted by the Oilers in the first round, eighth overall in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. So a little more development back home certainly won’t hurt the youngster.

The Oilers also have a decent group of defencemen formed as it is, lead by Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse and Adam Larsson. Add youngsters Ethan Bear and up and coming Evan Bouchard to this picture and the Oilers have a solid group moving forward. So there is really no need to rush Broberg into the picture. Holland would love to give Broberg every opportunity to crack the lineup next season. However, it might be best for both Broberg and the Oilers if he spends one more year in Sweden.

Winnipeg Jets

Rumour: In a recent article by Ken Wiebe of The Athletic, he examines what the Jets might do with the extra cash now available after the termination of the Dustin Byfuglien contract. 

Analysis: Wiebe mentions to not expect a big spending spree here, as Josh Morrissey‘s contract kicks in next season. As well, with the upcoming expansion draft, do not expect the Jets to get into a bidding war for pending unrestricted free agent Alex Pietrangelo. Instead, Wiebe suggests two possible scenarios. Re-signing recently acquired Dylan DeMelo and well as looking for a second-line centre to play behind Mark Scheifele

The soon to be 27-year-old Demelo played only 10 games with the Jets and failed to register a point. However, Demelo is not known as an offensive specialist. It’s his all-around play that makes him valuable. With the Jets’ right side on defence being dismantled just a season ago with Jacob Trouba, Tyler Myers and Dustin Byfuglien all leaving, Demelo can step in and help upgrade a rather weak right side for the Jets.

Second Line Centre Options?

The other option was the second-line centre position. The two names mentioned were Vladislav Namestnikov and Mikael Granlund. Granlund is intriguing here as he has shown the ability to put up over 60 points. He also plays a two-way style of play. He also has the versatility to play both centre and the wing, so if Jack Roslovic develops into a top-six centre, Granlund can be moved to the wing and up and down the lineup as needed. At just 28-years-old he also in his prime. Playing with a highly offensive Jets lineup could bring up the production of Granlund, especially the chance to play with fellow countryman Patrik Laine. With his drop in production in recent years, the Jets should be able to get him signed at a sensible cap hit as well.

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