NHL Rumours: Montreal Canadiens, Edmonton Oilers & Arizona Coyotes

NHL Rumours
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The NHL continues to return to play, and with it continue the rumours. Teams continue to figure out what works and what doesn’t for their roster. Lots of teams are realizing they are not as good as they thought, or realizing they need to add to make them cup contenders. Today we will be looking at rumours surrounding the Montreal Canadiens, Edmonton Oilers and Arizona Coyotes.

NHL Rumours

Montreal Canadiens

Rumour: According to Elliotte Friedman on 31 Thoughts the Podcast, there will be teams out there interested in trading for Brendan Gallagher

NHL free agent frenzy

Analysis: The Montreal Canadiens have had an extremely poor start to the season after making it to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2021. As a result, they could be looking at selling off big pieces of their team. Friedman cites Nick Suzuki, Alexander Romanov and Cole Caufield as untouchables for the Canadiens. The rest are available. This includes longtime Hab Brendan Gallagher.

Gallagher may have a large contract, with five more years at $6,500,000 after this one. That may scare some teams off, as it’s a lot of money to fit under a flat cap. However, Brendan Gallagher has consistently been one of the best forwards in the NHL at 5v5. When he plays a full NHL season he is consistently among the league leaders in generating ixG at 5v5.

While it may be a heavy cap hit for most teams with lots of term for a 29-year-old, but Gallagher is an excellent player offensively at 5v5 that can contribute to any roster. He even provides more traditional value to teams by being an agitating presence that gets under the skin of the opponents. No matter how you slice it, Gallagher is a valuable forward. While Friedman didn’t specify any specific teams that could be interested, any team that can afford him should be calling Montreal.

Arizona Coyotes

Rumour: According to Darren Dreger on Insider Trading, the Arizona Coyotes are looking for a Jack Eichel-like return for defenceman Jakob Chychrun

Analysis: Jakob Chychrun is an interesting target for teams this year. He’s a defenceman that is young, cost-controlled and has shown that he is capable of elite play. He is, however, having a very poor season. This can be attributed to how much worse the Coyotes roster is this season than last. Despite never having a fantastic roster, Arizona’s got significantly worse this season after committing to yet another rebuild. This could be a reason for the significant drop-off in quality play from Chychrun.

Prior to his poor 2021-22, Chychrun had shown he was even among the league’s best defencemen. He was consistently one of the best offensive defencemen that didn’t get talked about enough due to being in the desert. He has shown he can be a pillar to build a defence group around. While it is concerning with his recent play, looking at his production up until the end of the 2020-21 season, it is expected to ask a lot for a player of his quality.

The Arizona Coyotes have no reason to rush to trade him, unlike the Sabres and Eichel. They can hold out and wait for a great offer. He is Arizona’s best player, and giving him up would hurt the team. Unless they can get a big package back, there’s no reason to rush to trade him for less than he’s worth.

Edmonton Oilers

Rumour: According to Elliotte Friedman in 31 Thoughts, the Edmonton Oilers could look to add a player like Ben Chiarot or a goalie like Marc-Andre Fleury at the deadline as a rental. 

Analysis: The Oilers are struggling, to put it plainly. Their “number one” goalie in Mike Smith has been injured through most of the season and only has an 0.897. Mikko Koskinen has done his best by providing league-average goaltending, but it’s not quite enough. Their defence has similarly struggled. The Oilers looking at adding a goalie or defenceman makes sense. However, the bottom six of the team also needs help.

Adding Marc-Andre Fleury would certainly help the goaltending issues of having Mike Smith as a starter. As the reigning Vezina winner, Fleury has a certain pedigree with his name that would give both the rest of his team and fans more confidence. Adding Fleury certainly won’t be cheap, though. Either they can trade for him for his full $7,000,000 contract and try and fit him under the cap, or add assets in the trade to get him retained. Either way, the cap hit or the trade cost could be costly. But this is potentially a necessary cost if the Oilers want to make the playoffs this season.

This concludes the NHL Rumours today!

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