NHL Rumours: Montreal Canadiens, Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers

NHL Rumours

Welcome back to another edition of NHL Rumours. The rat race to get free agents under contract has died down and news has been slim to none in recent days however, rumours are still swirling around the league. In today NHL Rumours segment, we will focus on rumours involving the Montreal Canadiens, Edmonton Oilers and the New York Rangers.

All NHL Rumours come from their original source and are subject to change. 

NHL Rumours

Montreal Canadiens

Rumour: In a recent article by Sportsnet’s Luke Fox, he mentions that the Montreal Canadiens have shown interest in bringing back forward Alex Galchenyuk.

Analysis: If true, this would be rather surprising for a number of reasons. One, the Canadiens dealt Galchenyuk to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for Max Domi prior to the 2018-19 season. While of course just because you trade a player, it doesn’t mean they can’t make a return. Galchenyuk has been a member of six organizations since that time, so it seems his best days are certainly behind him. Two, the Canadiens have a ton of depth on the wing. If the Canadiens are looking at bringing in another forward, it would certainly be at the centre position. Galchenyuk was drafted as a centre, however, has not been able to be trusted as a centre at the NHL level. So the fit is just not there.

If we want to feed into the rumour, one thing we can say is that Galchenyuk played his best hockey in Montreal. He scored 30 goals for the club in 2015-16 as well as produced two 50 point seasons with the Habs. He hasn’t come close to do that since in time donning the bleu, blanc et rouge. If the Canadiens do have interest in Galchenyuk, they’ll surely be looking to make a trade involving another winger, which as mentioned, there is already a surplus of. While we don’t feel the fit is there for the Canadiens, the possibility is still there of Galchenyuk coming back to the team that drafted him.

Edmonton Oilers

Rumour: Kurt Levins of the Edmonton Journal expects the Oilers to add one more veteran defenceman before the start of the season.

Analysis: In the article, Levins mentions Slater Koekkoek and Jordie Benn as two names to keep an eye on. Koekkoek played 18 games for the Oilers last season, scoring just one goal. While Benn split last season between Vancouver and Winnipeg scoring one goal and nine assists for 10 points in 39 games. Neither are game-changers, however, provide depth options for the Oilers. After an off-season that has seen the additions of Cody Ceci and Duncan Keith while losing Adam Larsson, Ethan Bear and Caleb Jones, the Oilers defence has essentially been overhauled from last season. Given their cap constraints, Benn and Koekkoek are solid cheaper options for the Oilers.

New York Rangers

Rumour: Rick Carpiniello of The Athletic tweeted that we should not be surprised if Mika Zibanejad is part of the deal that ultimately brings Jack Eichel to the Rangers.

Analysis: Carpiniello doesn’t elaborate on the tweet. However, it of course makes sense that the Rangers would move Zibanejad in any Eichel deal. One, it moves some cap space in order to fit Eichel’s $10 million AAV contract. Two, it gives the Sabres an extremely skilled player in return for Eichel. Obviously, this would not be a one-for-one deal. But it gets the ball rolling.

Including Zibanejad in the deal makes a lot of sense for the Sabres. Zibanejad is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. The Sabres would certainly hope he would sign an extension with the club. At just 28 years old, Zibanejad is still in his prime. He has shown the ability to be a number one centre putting up back to back 70 points seasons from 2018-2020. However, if he was not willing to sign an extension, the Sabres could certainly flip Zibanejad at the trade deadline the help continue with their rebuild. While they would surely get another top prospect and or first-round pick from the Rangers in return for Eichel, this would help accelerate their rebuild. Which seems like has been going on for an eternity.

One thing is for sure, Jack Eichel is getting traded from the Buffalo Sabres, and the Rangers seem like the perfect suitor.

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