The NHL continues to play through the pandemic, and with the season moving forward rumours persist. 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 NHL rumours surrounding the Carolina Hurricanes, Montreal Canadiens, and San Jose Sharks.
Analysis: The fit for both teams seems to be there. For Carolina, they have a good roster that can take full use of adding a good, young defenceman. He’s locked up on a cost-controlled contract, which is beneficial for a team trying to compete like the Hurricanes. Acquiring a player like Chychrun will help the Hurricanes add to their strong offensive defence group. While Chychrun has struggled offensively this season, it’s likely because of the weak roster around him. Historically he has proven he can be a fantastic offensive contributor for a blue line. Carolina might be the team to help him get back to his dominant ways.
It makes sense for the Coyotes as well. Carolina has a number of prospects that can be sent the other way in the trade. Their prospect pool includes players like Ryan Suzuki, Jack Drury, Scott Morrow, Ville Koivunen, among others. While they don’t have a 2022 first-round draft pick, they have 2023 and 2024 picks still available. This gives the Hurricanes lots of chips to use in trade talks without giving up roster players.
Believe Habs GM search could be resolved in the coming days. Told it’s down to three candidates, and believe Daniel Briere and Matthieu Darche are two of them. Also expect a couple of others who were interviewed to possibly land jobs with the club.
— Eric Engels (@EricEngels) January 14, 2022
Analysis: The Montreal Canadiens need to still lock down a new GM. Since firing GM Marc Bergevin the Canadiens have hired Jeff Gorton as VP of Hockey Operations. He is heading up the GM search and is manning the ship for the time being in Montreal. Engels names both Darche and Briere as possibilities. Both are currently involved in professional hockey organizations in some capacity and are both former players.
Darche is currently Director of Hockey Operations with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Briere is currently running Day-to-Day Operations with the Maine Mariners of the ECHL. Neither has had GM experience, so the Canadiens seem to be willing to go with a new GM. This has the potential to find a fantastic general manager. When other teams hire and re-hire the same 40 or so GMs every year, there is not much surprise what a team is getting. By hiring new faces provides an opportunity for a GM to come in and provide a fresh perspective and innovate. This has the opportunity to pay off greatly for the Canadiens if it works out.
San Jose Sharks
Rumour: On Insider Trading, Pierre LeBrun suggests that the San Jose Sharks are expected to make an offer to pending unrestricted free agent Tomas Hertl. If a deal can’t be reached then they’ll look at trading him.
Analysis: Tomas Hertl is having a fantastic year. He’s on pace for 43 goals and 67 points over an 82 game season. This would be a career-high in goals for the Sharks forward. If he does become a deadline flip for the Sharks he could net them a good return. Hertl does, however, have a very strict no-trade clause where he gives a list of three teams he can be traded to. This means he has a lot of control over where he goes. If he wants to limit teams to being top-tier contenders like Vegas, Colorado, and Tampa, he can. This makes a potential trade a little more difficult for the Sharks.
There is, however, the ability to try to re-sign him. If the contract termination for Evander Kane sticks, then the Sharks will have plenty of cap space to try and keep Hertl. The Sharks are certainly looking a lot better than they have the past two seasons, but that may not be enough. At the time of writing this, the Sharks sit in the second wild-card spot in the West with 41 points. Hertl is 28 now and may want to compete for a cup. While the Sharks are better this season, it is yet to be seen how sustainable this will be in the long term. Either way, Hertl can provide value to the Sharks whether it be through his play or through his trade value.
This concludes today’s NHL rumours!
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