TLN Rumour Recap: Canadiens trade talk, Blackhawks/Bruins linked & goalie trades coming

Photo credit:© Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Seney
1 month ago
Welcome back for another edition of the TLN Rumour Recap as the holiday roster freeze is over and the transaction activity around the NHL is about to pick up in a major way. GM’s are starting to get a sense of who will be buying and who will be selling in the new year as the phone lines are buzzin!
Here’s the very latest in our last rumour recap of 2023:

Montreal Canadiens Moving Defenseman?

According to Eric Engels of Sportsnet Canadiens defenseman David Savard has trade candidates written all over him. Savard is a right-handed shot blueliner who has been absolutely solid for the Habs this season with seven points in 11 games. He blocks a ton of shots and is an above-average penalty killer who could certainly help a contending team looking to make a Stanley Cup run this season.
Engels feels with the increasing interest around the league, Savard could be moved in short order out of Montreal. The 33-year-old blueliner is signed through next season, at $3.5 million which makes him much more than just a rental for this season’s playoff push. There’s some value there for Montreal to maximize considering how well Savard is now playing since coming back from injury.
Canadiens’ GM Kent Hughes is expected to ship out pending free-agent forward Sean Monahan and potentially goaltender Jake Allen, so the trio including Savard could fetch Hughes a massive return of either NHL ready prospects, draft picks, or young unproven NHLers.
As for Savard, he does not hold any trade protection and can be moved at will. It’s actually kind of wild to think the Canadiens have some players who could really help the Maple Leafs, so is there a rival blockbuster in the works this season? Time will tell as it’s very likely Brad Treliving and Hughes have connected at some point this season but it’s unknown at this time if the two teams are getting closer to a move. While Savard would  help the Leafs’ blue line, Monahan is someone Treliving knows very well from their days together in Calgary, he’s from the GTA and he’s the experienced versatile forward the Leafs could desperately use for their bottom six.

Blackhawks & Bruins Deal Coming?

The Chicago Blackhawks are expected to sell most of their pending free agents as GM Kyle Davidson looks to continue to build for the future. Connor Bedard has arrived and is everything as advertised. He looks good enough to carry the team in the next couple of seasons but adding some young pieces to build around him will be key for success.
While Bedard shines, there’s several other Blackhawks who could be shipped out before the trade deadline, including veteran forward Tyler Johnson. Could Johnson make sense for the Boston Bruins who have been looking to add up front? The B’s have been linked to Calgary Flames forward Elias Lindholm for most of the season and if they don’t end up pulling the trigger on a deal with the Flames, they could zone in on the Blackhawks.
Johnson, 33, is a pending free agent who is owed $5 million against the cap this season. He holds modified trade protection where he submits a list of 20 teams he’d consider a move to and it’s likely competing for a Stanley Cup in Boston is something he’d consider. Johnson’s a versatile vet who has been around the block, he can play all three forward positions and anywhere in the lineup. He’s recorded seven goals and 11 points in 33 games this season in Chi-town and has 116 Stanley Cup Playoff games under his belt, which includes 65 points. He’s the type of veteran that knows what it takes to win and will do the little things to help out the team when the games matter most.

Goalie Market is Heating Up

After the Canadiens re-signed Samuel Montembeault to a three-year contract, immediately Allen became a trade candidate in Montreal. They’ve been carrying three goalies all season, Allen’s a proven winner and he’s signed for next season at a reasonable $3.85 million against the cap.
The Maple Leafs aren’t the only team who has ‘dipped their toes’ into the goalie market this season as the Columbus Blue Jackets have been trying to move Elvis Merzlikins, the Edmonton Oilers have made calls including Jack Campbell and many are wondering what the Minnesota Wild will do with Marc-Andre Fleury should they fall out of the playoff picture.
There’s also John Gibson in Anaheim who is no stranger to trade rumors. This season they feel different though as GM Pat Verbeek is trying to get his organization on the right track and moving out a veteran goalie with a big ticket could help him improve his forward group and surround Mason MacTavish and Trevor Zegras with some serious talent. Some other goalies who could be moved this season prior to March’s deadline include Eric Comrie in Buffalo, Daniel Vladar in Calgary, and Chris Driedger in Seattle.
With 2024 around the corner and the holiday roster freeze in the rearview mirror, trade talks are picking up in a major way. Goalies, defensemen, forwards, prospects and draft picks, expect to see an inclusive trade deadline this season.
Nation Gear’s Boxing Week Bonanza is BIGGER and BETTER than ever! From Dec 26th-31st, 2023 Save 15% on ALL merch & unlock FREE shipping on orders over $200. Check out the collections and grab some gear at nationgear.ca

Check out these posts...