NHL Rumours: Montreal Canadiens, Edmonton Oilers, and Ottawa Senators

NHL Rumours

Welcome back to NHL Rumours where we look at the latest going around the league each day. Even though the playoffs are still going on, lots of eliminated teams are already starting to look forward due to a shortened offseason. That leads to lots of NHL rumours from around the league. This morning, we have a very heavy Canadian based version of NHL rumours. We’ll be taking a look at the Montreal Canadiens, Edmonton Oilers, and Ottawa Senators.

NHL Rumours

Montreal Canadiens

Rumour: We start off with Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman on WGR550 radio discussing that Phillip Danault is a name the Canadiens are throwing out there. Friedman mentions that Danault is not happy being the third centre in Montreal, which may be his role in the upcoming season.

Analysis: Some people thought it may be Max Domi on the move. However, Danault is another name the Habs could look to trade. Last Word’s own Colton Osmond examined that possibility already. Both might stay, although Montreal does have some upcoming prospects looking to take some playing time away. Danault is a very underrated player around the league as most wouldn’t consider him a top-six guy. He has never had flashy offensive point totals and that has worked against him in terms of credit. Despite that, he is a very savvy player. Danault’s career-high in points came in 2018-19 when he had 53 over 81 games. Other than that, he has never cracked 50 again. He was on pace for it this season, however, with 47 points in 71 games.

Danault’s specialty is that he gives up almost nothing while he is on the ice. The Canadiens are an amazing possession team when Danault is out there. And while they are strong with him off the ice, they’re even better with him on. His contract is up after next season when he will be 28 years old. He makes a tad over three million for this upcoming season.

Location

There are a bunch of teams that Danault would look really good on. The possession monster who has also been a 50 point player over the past few seasons would help any team instantly. The question might come down to, is he willing to take a lesser role if it’s on a legit Stanley Cup Contender? Or does he need to be in the top two lines regardless? If it is the ladder, then the teams looking into him may diminish a bit.

It will be interesting to monitor Montreal’s asking price for him. One would think that for such a player it would start with a first-round pick. Jean-Gabriel Pageau fetched a first and a second at the deadline this year, Danault could get at least a first. Whether teams will be willing to give that up will be another question. The one thing going for him is that he is so cheap even teams cutting salary won’t have to worry about him.

Edmonton Oilers

Rumour: Sticking with Friedman, he also mentioned that he thinks the Oilers have looked around at a few different names in net. Names including Matt Murray, Darcy Kuemper, and Frederik Andersen, among others.

Analysis: The Oilers are in an interesting position this offseason. They have to find a goalie as well as decide who of Ethan Bear, Tyler Ennis, and Andreas Athanasiou they wish to re-sign. Bear is an obvious one, but with only 11 million it may depend on which goalie they pick up on the other two. Tyler Ennis is a solid fit, and Athanasiou might be as well, but the focus is clearly in net.

The Oilers have Mikko Koskinen currently locked up and to his credit, he played very well last season. That being said, it’s hard to see him being a guy you ride for 60 games in a season. Looking for another tandem guy who can play anywhere from 35-45 games is likely what Edmonton wants. Although the three names they listed may be their full out starter if they did manage to acquire them. There are plenty of goalies available via free agency this year, but the Oilers are making it clear they want to look at every possible avenue.

What would go back in a trade to any of these teams is what’s really intriguing. The Oilers have a bunch of young defencemen that are almost NHL-ready. Either a prospect or maybe even a roster player going back could make sense. Darnell Nurse has had his name floated out there multiple times over the past few seasons. That would also help the Oilers shed some salary for the rest of the roster. The goaltending carousel will be an interesting one to watch this offseason.

Ottawa Senators

Rumour: We finish NHL Rumours with The Athletic’s Hailey Savian reporting that Senators defenceman Mark Borowiecki will indeed test free agency when it opens.

Analysis: There had been rumblings since the season ended that Borowiecki might be on his way out of Ottawa. However, no one could actually confirm it. Now, thanks to Hailey, it is known that Boro will indeed be trying free agency for the first time in his career. This news has many Senators fans upset on Twitter today as Boro has been part of the heart in this team over the past few seasons. “Character” gets thrown around way too much in the NHL, but this is one of the few times where it actually was obvious what he brings to the room.

Everyone in the organization admired Boro’s work ethic on and off the ice. In the weight room and around the community. He has turned his game from someone who used to just hit and fight, to a respectable NHL player. Borowiecki is likely only a 6/7 for any team that is looking to acquire him, but he can definitely help improve a team’s culture.

Ottawa has tons of prospects that will be looking to push their way through in the next few seasons on the blueline and with Boro getting older for an NHL player, especially one that plays as he does, he is likely looking for some term on a new deal. Whether that be two years or even three or more, Ottawa clearly wasn’t willing to give him that.

He shouldn’t be too expensive on the open market, the term really is the biggest question though. Will a team want to commit to him for more than one year? If the price is right, it may not matter. Some people think with the flat cap it might make cheap guys on multi-year deals even more popular. One thing is for sure, Sens fans will be sad to see a leader in the community gone if he chooses to go elsewhere.

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