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NHL Rumours: Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers

nhl rumours

Another Thursday means another hearty dose of NHL Rumours. A long and trying season of hockey has finally concluded. Everyone’s attention is now squarely focused on preparing for the 2020-21 season. While its start date is unknown, teams still have the Draft and free agency to contend with in short order. As teams rush to ice competitive teams while still being financially feasible, there’s bound to be even more movement and news in the coming days. Today focuses on three Canadian teams in the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Edmonton Oilers.

NHL Rumours

Montreal Canadiens

Rumour: TSN690’s Andrew Zadarnowski reports that general manager Marc Bergevin is actively trying to trade forward Charles Hudon, as speculation has followed the young forward throughout his career.

Analysis: Now 26 years of age, Hudon, despite frequently being mentioned in NHL rumours, can hardly be considered a prospect. A boom picked in the fifth round by the Habs in 2012, Hudon has shown multitudes of potential since being drafted. However, the fit’s never been there in Montreal, having only been a full-time member of the team once in 2017-18. He was able to net 10 goals and 30 points in 72 games. But he hasn’t been able to stay in the lineup consistently. Across five seasons, he’s played in only 125 NHL career games.

Montreal’s system has never given Hudon the chance to blossom offensively. For a cheap price, the Habs will move him. Any team looking for cheap depth to fill out a roster, so really, any team, should be taking a flier on this guy if the price is right. Hudon has 30 to 40-point potential. For a cap hit that could be well under $2 million, it’s a fair investment.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Rumour: On TSN Radio, Pierre LeBrun confirms that the Maple Leafs will not be offering pending free agent defenceman Cody Ceci a new contract.

Analysis: Ceci, a former first-round pick, was largely a failed experiment this season for Toronto. He was acquired prior to the season in a salary-saving deal with the Ottawa Senators.  He had (by most metrics) the worst season of his career. Ceci’s never been stout defensively. However, he could at least be counted on in Ottawa to put up something in the neighbourhood of 20 points. However, Ceci’s offence dried up almost entirely this year, only scoring one goal and seven assists. Ceci’s usage was down too, playing his lowest ice time (20:32) per game in four seasons.

With a cap-strapped Leafs team yet again entering this offseason, it makes no sense for Toronto to re-sign him. At a time like this, a largely porous asset shouldn’t be given money. General manager Kyle Dubas is making the smart and cognizant choice here for the future of his club.

Edmonton Oilers

Rumour: Per Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Oilers defenceman Oscar Klefbom may need shoulder surgery that could sideline him indefinitely.

Analysis: After a season in which the Oilers finally appeared to be on track, this is terrible news. Klefbom was a monster for Edmonton this season, posting over 25 minutes worth of ice time a night. Inarguably their number-one defenceman, injuries have hampered Klefbom the past few seasons. Only once has he played more than 70 games in a season. For him, this isn’t exactly unusual.

Unfortunately, Edmonton has to figure out a way to move forward now. If Klefbom leaves a hole in the lineup, the Oilers will need to make a trade in order to stay competitive. They’ve been linked to the Arizona Coyotes and Oliver Ekman-Larsson. He’s a good rebound candidate and could be an impactful player. That is, especially if Klefbom is able to make a return later in the 2020-21 campaign. For now, however, this is a crushing blow to the Oilers.

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