It’s time to start the short work-week in the United States with another batch of NHL rumours. The festive season is starting soon and teams will want to give themselves the gift of new players or draft picks. Clubs are making moves to get their roster in order for a post-season run. However, others are planning for the future. Today’s NHL rumours focus on the Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers and Buffalo Sabres.
All NHL rumours come from the original source and are subject to change.
Rumour: Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman speculated if the Canadiens may deal defenceman Ben Chiarot.
Five options for the #Isles after the Ryan Pulock injury
— Arthur Staple (@StapeAthletic) November 18, 2021
Analysis: The Habs are adrift and are likely out of playoff contention. Both said that Montreal needs a puck-moving defender to help facilitate offence. However, the Canadiens probably don’t want to hand over their first-rounder because the draft is in Montreal. Plus, the Canadiens are likely to have a high pick. (Shane Wright, even).
Chiarot is an unrestricted free agent and could fetch a nice price on the trade market. Marek said Chiarot could be had for a second-round choice, but Friedman thinks that he could fetch even more. Both Marek and Friedman think the Edmonton Oilers could be a team interested, especially after the Darnell Nurse injury.
The Athletic’s Arthur Staple added that the New York Islanders may be in the market after the injury to Ryan Pulock. It was only a brief mention, but it is in the realm of possibility. General manager Marc Bergevin will have some interest in a playoff-tested veteran.
New York Rangers
Rumour: Darren Dreger on TSN’s Insider Trading said the Blueshirts are in the market for a middle-six forward.
Analysis: The Rangers have around $9 million in space, as they look to return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in Gerard Gallant‘s first season in charge. New York also has a deep prospect pool that could be parlayed into scoring depth. The Rangers have some solid scorers like Mika Zibanejad, Artemi Panarin and Chris Kreider. However, it would be nice to have some extra scoring depth.
The Rangers do need to sign Kaapo Kakko to a new deal in the off-season as well as a couple other players. General manager Chris Drury would like a rental instead of someone that has term. There are some cheaper options like Calle Jarnkrok and Chris Tierney to the costlier ones like Phil Kessel.
New York also may be looking at a depth defenceman according to Staple in another article. However, the main priority seems to be forward help.
Rumour: The Athletic’s John Vogl looked into if the club should trade one of their three first-round picks for a big-name player.
Who’s a comparable ceiling for Dylan Cozens?
Should the Sabres keep all three first-round picks?
When would a Jeff Skinner buyout make sense?
A full Sabres mailbag. https://t.co/Sp35WDTKz7
— John Vogl (@BuffaloVogl) November 20, 2021
Analysis: The Sabres are back at square one after the Jack Eichel trade. However, there seems to be more hope at the moment. Don Granato has the Sabres playing hard and staying in games. Buffalo isn’t the pushover that it has been in recent seasons.
The temptation is there to jumpstart a rebuild with a big name, but that would be repeating history. Previous general managers have tried and failed with names like Robin Lehner, Evander Kane and Ryan O’Reilly. All of those moves haven’t panned out, so Kevyn Adams may be taking a new way of thinking.
The Sabres do have decent core of younger players like Dylan Cozens, Casey Mittelstadt, J.J. Peterka, Victor Olofsson and others. Keeping their picks would give them a chance to add more depth to become a real contender. Sabres teams had some decent top lines, but would run into trouble if they got locked down. The draft class this year seems to be deep enough that they’ll be able to have multiple chances to add a quality young player.