We close out the work week with another set of NHL rumours. There’s still plenty of time before the March 21 trade deadline, but teams are already plotting what course they’ll take. Players will be on the move and some big names might be on the market. Today’s NHL rumours focus on the Montreal Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers and Columbus Blue Jackets.
All NHL rumours come from the original source and are subject to change.
Rumour: Sportsnet’s Eric Engels reports that former NHLer Daniel Briere is high on the list of candidates for the vacant general manager job.
Based on what I've been told, Daniel Briere is very high up on the list of candidates being considered for GM of the Canadiens.
— Eric Engels (@EricEngels) November 29, 2021
Analysis: Candidates are coming out of the woodwork to land the coveted job. Former Habs goalie and Hall of Famer Patrick Roy has expressed interest in the position. It would be a homecoming for a player that had an acrimonious end to his playing tenure in Montreal. He’s coached with the Quebec Remparts and the Colorado Avalanche. However, there’s a wonder if he would be willing to work closely with Director of Hockey Operations Jeff Gorton.
Briere is the general manager of the Boston Bruins ECHL affiliate, the Maine Mariners. The former NHL forward would likely use Gorton as a sounding board for advice. He’s short on experience, but he played for the Habs and is from Gatineau.
Rumour: Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet appeared on TJMS to speculate on the possibility of Claude Giroux coming to the Ottawa Senators.
Friedman on TJMS on Giroux's future in Philly: "I've wondered about him going to Ottawa before, you look at Ottawa and kind of what they're going through right now, I've kind of wondered if the Senators would be interested in someone like that to help stabilize their group".
— NHL Watcher (@NHL_Watcher) November 30, 2021
Analysis: Giroux is from the Ottawa area in Hearst, Ontario and he would be a solid veteran presence in a young locker room. The Flyers captain is in the last year of an $8.275 million per season contract. Philadelphia could be in sell mode after they’ve struggled through November. Changes may be made and dealing Giroux could free up some salary for general manager Chuck Fletcher.
Ottawa is also struggling this season, but there’s a lot of young talent on the team. The Senators have struggled this season with goaltending and COVID issues. Giroux could be that older leader that helps the locker room.
Philadelphia would likely ask for picks or a prospect in return and the Sens have some good younger players. The Flyers are going to hit the reset button and dealing their captain will be the ultimate restart. Giroux getting traded would be a hard but necessary pill for Philadelphia fans to swallow.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Rumour: Frank Seravalli of the Daily Faceoff listed 15 names in play on the trade market. Columbus goalie Joonas Korpisalo was one of the first names on Seravalli’s list.
TRADE TARGETS 🎯 It's December. Multiple trade requests are pending. The #NHL trade market is heating up.
Here are 15 names in play:https://t.co/S98PlMGq01
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) December 2, 2021
Analysis: Elvis Merzlikins is the main man in net and Korpisalo is likely on the move. General manager Jarmo Kekalainen is open to moving the Finnish netminder due to Daniil Tarasov waiting in the wings in AHL Cleveland. Merzlikins also starts a five-year, $27 million deal next season and Korpisalo becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
Korpisalo is in the last year of a deal that makes $2.8 million per season and Tarasov comes cheaper. The Blue Jackets have done a great job drafting and developing goalies and they’ll reap the rewards with an asset. It was a neck-and-neck race between the two goalies, but Merzlikins has set himself apart.
Korpisalo would be a good addition to a team needing some help in goal for a playoff push. Seravalli said that teams have been talking to the Jackets as recently as a couple of weeks ago. The 27-year-old has struggled the last two seasons, but there’s hope he can reclaim the form that he had in the playoff bubble.