NHL Rumours: Chicago Blackhawks, Montreal Canadiens, Buffalo Sabres

NHL rumours
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It’s the festive season and we’re in a giving mood, so we have a second edition of NHL rumours for Sunday. There will always be a market for goalies and this edition focuses on that. Some big-name netminers might be in play while other teams could be shoring up that spot. Today’s second NHL rumours focus on the Chicago Blackhawks, Montreal Canadiens and Buffalo Sabres.

All NHL rumours come from the original source and are subject to change.

NHL Rumours

Chicago Blackhawks

Rumour: Scott Powers of The Athletic looked at what Marc-Andre Fleury‘s future may be with the club.

Analysis: Some thought the Blackhawks would make the leap back into the Stanley Cup Playoff picture after picking up Fleury and Seth Jones. However, things have fallen apart on and off the ice. Interim coach Derek King has the team playing better defence as of late, but Chicago is 10 points back of the second wild card spot.

The goalie question for the Blackhawks looms large as Fleury is 37 and likely won’t be back. Arvid Soderblom is the only goalie signed at the moment. Kevin Lankinen probably returns next season, but the team is already looking ahead to the future. Soderblom and Boston University goalie Drew Commesso are likely the goalies-to-be for Chicago.

The Blackhawks will probably go into the goalie market this off-season, if not sooner. Fleury could fetch something if interim general manager Kyle Davidson wants to get “The Flower” to a contender.

Montreal Canadiens

Rumour: Mar Antoine Godin of The Athletic peaked into what Carey Price and Jake Allen could get on the trade market.

Analysis: The Habs are another team that were slated to do good things after their surprise Stanley Cup Final appearance. However, Montreal is a team that endured a nightmare start to the season.

Godin said that Jeff Gorton will be aggressive on the trade market. Price was exposed in the Seattle Kraken expansion draft by former GM Marc Bergevin, but Seattle passed on the elite goalie. One scout said that there would be a market for Price, but it would be “a huge gamble.” Price would need to have the form that he had in last season’s playoffs. Montreal would need to find a team that has Stanley Cup dreams, but salary makes it hard with his $10 million deal and full no-trade clause.

Allen could get a first-rounder if the conditions are right, but the Habs would need to make sure Price is 100-percent back. Montreal does have Samuel Montembeault and Cayden Primeau to back up Price if Allen is dealt. However, they could be also in the veteran search if Price does go.

Buffalo Sabres

Rumour: The Athletic’s John Vogl addressed the future of the Sabres’ crease for the 2022-23 season.

Analysis: Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has played pretty well despite the team in front of him struggling. Malcolm Subban has turned in some decent games as well. However, only Luukkonen is signed through the next season.

Buffalo does have Erik Portillo and Devon Levi in the system, but there’s concern that Levi will go. The Sabres had Calvin Petersen in their fold, but Vogl said the worry is a bit much. Levi can’t become a free agent until 2024, but they may try to sign him considering how well he’s played at Northeastern University.

The Sabres could try to re-sign Dustin Tokarski and Subban. There’s also a class of goalies such as Braden Holtby, James Reimer, Cam Talbot and others that could be a one-year solution while the prospects continue to develop. General manager Kevyn Adams could also make an off-season deal that would give them a bigger-name veteran netminder.

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