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NHL Rumours: Montreal Canadiens, Los Angeles Kings and the World Juniors

NHL Rumours

Welcome to today’s NHL Rumours. We’re going to explore the Dallas Stars potential interest in Jeff Petry. The type of players the Los Angeles Kings are looking for to improve their team. Finally, we will touch on the World Junior Hockey Championships possibly being played in August. Let’s dive in!

NHL Rumours

Montreal Canadiens

Rumour: Pierre LeBrun on TSN’s Insider Trading said the sense is Montreal Canadiens defenceman Jeff Petry will welcome a trade. A source told him that the Dallas Stars could emerge as a team with interest. The Canadiens are telling teams they won’t trade Petry at a discount and they are not in a time rush for doing so because Petry has three years left on his deal. 

Analysis: LeBrun said the rationale for Dallas’s interest in Petry is the Stars are most likely losing John Klingberg and they can replace him with Petry. The Stars can certainly come up with the trade assets to land Jeff Petry. They have all their draft picks and they can use some of the assets they gain from trading Klingberg to use in a Petry deal. Montreal’s high asking price won’t be a barrier if the Stars want to do it.

It would be tight salary cap-wise. Petry makes $2 million more than Klingberg and the Stars are at the salary cap ceiling. If this trade happens this season, someone else has to go. Long-term it would be a tight squeeze. They have to re-sign Jason Robertson, Jake Oettinger, Braden Holtby, Denis Gurianov this offseason and Roope Hintz in two years. Money can be salvaged from moving on from Alexander Radulov and negotiating a cheaper deal with Joe Pavelski, but who knows with the season he’s having.

There is also a question about age. Jeff Petry is 34-years-old and does nothing to make the Stars younger. Is it worth it to trade future assets for a defenceman in his 30’s? However, Petry is a top right-shot defenseman at his best and can replace Klingberg.

There will be many more NHL rumours to watch for with the Montreal Canadiens. Jeff Petry to the Stars is another one to add to the list.

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Los Angeles Kings

Rumour: On the 32 Thoughts Blog, Elliotte Friedman writes they could use a big left-shot defenceman, while Kings general manager, Rob Blake also says they could use more natural goal scoring.

Analysis: Both of those are areas the Kings need to address. Let’s start with the left-shot defenceman issue. Right now, Michael Anderson is having a fantastic season and looks to be a reliable left-shot defenceman for the Kings for a long time. Tobias Bjornfot is another player that can develop as a defensive first left-shot defenceman for them. They have lots of options on the right side in Matt Roy, Sean Walker, Sean Durzi, Brandt Clark and Brock Faber, so maybe they could move one to the left side. However, if they want an even split, who’s a fit? Jakob Chychrun is obviously. Shorter-term solutions include Ben Chiarot, Nick Leddy and Calvin de Haan who are all pending unrestricted free agents. They could stay past the season but LA will have to make the money work.

Here are their options for scoring. Dominik Kubalik of the Chicago Blackhawks is a great fit. He is a reliable 20 goal scorer and is under team control for another year. Jake DeBrusk of the Boston Bruins is another option. He scored 16, 27 and 19 goals in his first three seasons in the league. He has tailed off the past two years, but he can certainly bounce back because he’s only 25-years-old.

There may be many more NHL rumours to come for the Los Angeles Kings.

The World Juniors

Rumour: IIHF President Luc Tardiff reportedly told a Russian News Outlet that the 2022 World Junior Hockey Championships could be rescheduled in August. 

Analysis: In December, the IIHF cancelled the World Juniors because of the spread of COVID-19 with the new Omicron variant. When the tournament was cancelled, Tardiff did say it could be rescheduled later in the year. August makes the most sense because it is outside regular seasons for the NHL and junior leagues. Tardiff did mention the tournament will remain in Alberta.

An August tournament could be ideal for the players. Many of them are top prospects for NHL teams and an August tournament would mean they will be game-ready by the time they enter NHL training camps in September, giving them an edge to make the team.

TSN’s Gord Miller tweeted that this could add to an already busy schedule in August. The U18 Hlinka-Gretzky Cup is scheduled to be played in Edmonton and Red Deer during August, the same cities hosting the World Juniors, so there may be a lot of August hockey in those two cities. The Women’s World Hockey Championships are in late August, and there is also plans according to Miller to host the U18 Women’s Worlds in August.

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