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NHL Rumours: Montreal Canadiens, Columbus Blue Jackets, Vancouver Canucks

NHL Rumours

Teams around the NHL are starting to scramble. COVID-19 has impacted games as many assumed they eventually would. Franchises are looking to make changes to the roster to prepare their teams for game action. Today’s NHL Rumours start with the Montreal Canadiens and a suspected contract extension that was turned down. The Columbus Blue Jackets may be closer to finding a trade partner for Pierre-Luc Dubois. Finally, the Vancouver Canucks may be looking to sign a defenceman from the KHL. Welcome to another edition of NHL Rumours.

NHL Rumours

Montreal Canadiens

Rumour: According to Mathias Brunet of La Presse, the Montreal Canadiens offered centreman Phillip Danault a contract extension which was rejected.

Analysis: For the first time in what feels like forever, the Montreal Canadiens are trending in the right direction. They have put together some impressive hockey in the last few days and appear to be a playoff team early in the year. Phillip Danault has been one of the best players on the team. He has 97 points in the last two seasons with three more this year. The Canadiens felt that was worth a six-year contract extension worth $5 million per year. Danault apparently disagreed.

Danault’s desire to leave Montreal is not completely unwarranted. While $5 million per year is nothing to scoff at, and certainly fair for his talents, Danault may not be the best fit with the organization’s long term plans. Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Nick Suzuki appear to be their top two centres moving forward. That leaves Danault on the wing or out of the top-six. If he wants more minutes, he would have to go elsewhere to find them.

Columbus Blue Jackets

Rumour: TSN’s Darren Dreger is reporting that Pierre-Luc Dubois could be with a new franchise as soon as today, January 23rd.

Analysis: Another day, another update on Pierre-Luc Dubois being traded. With each passing moment, it seems that someone else has the scoop on where to or when Dubois could be on the move. Today’s scoop comes from Darren Dreger. With the Winnipeg Jets firmly in the mix to land the prized centre, you have to wonder what the return will look like. Some may speculate that a fellow disgruntled star will be in the return package.

Patrik Laine wants out of Winnipeg. Pierre-Luc Dubois wants out of Columbus. It only makes sense that the two be swapped if the two franchises connect in this deal. Although Laine’s desire to leave has not been on public display as heavily as Dubois’s, he still wants out. Both players are young and very capable of generating offence. With the two of them potentially swapping places, no team seems to have a legitimate edge in this deal. But other pieces could be in play as well.

Vancouver Canucks

Rumour: Rick Dhaliwal of TSN is reporting that the Canucks are interested in signing KHL defenceman Nikita Tryamkin.

Analysis:The Canucks find themselves in a situation where they are looking to add an additional skater. While the team experimented with Jack Rathbone last year rather than Tryamkin, he appears to be a more likely option this year. The team would ideally sign Vasily Podkolzin to his first NHL deal. If that does not work out, Tryamkin is an option. He does have some significant NHL experience already. He played in 66 NHL contests with the Canucks during the 2016-17 season.

While Tryamkin has more experience than Podkolzin, he has a far lower ceiling. Tryamkin could be an effective defenceman, but Podkolzin could be an elite skater. Drafted 10th overall in 2019, he displayed true potential by making a KHL roster immediately after being drafted. Considering that the KHL is the closest thing there is to the NHL outside of North America, it is a sign that the player could be ready to play amongst the world’s elite talents.

That does it for this edition of NHL Rumours, be sure to check back for more tomorrow!

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