NHL Rumors: Canadiens, Sabres, Red Wings, Wild

The Hockey Writers

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, Carey Price could be on the opening night roster for the Montreal Canadiens. Meanwhile, the Detroit Red Wings traded for defenseman Jeff Petry. What was their thinking behind the deal? The Buffalo Sabres are probably going to trade a defenseman, and did the Minnesota Wild want to keep Matt Dumba?

Canadiens Could Keep Price on Roster to Start Season

According to information shared by Arpon Basu, Kent Hughes, the General Manager of the Montreal Canadiens, has indicated that while not guaranteed, the current strategy involves commencing the season with Carey Price as a part of their lineup before placing him on the Long-Term Injured Reserve (LTIR). This approach offers them greater in-season flexibility compared to using the off-season LTIR route. When questioned about the possibility of needing to offload more salary to accommodate Price’s $10.5 million cap-hit contract, Hughes expressed confidence in the team’s ability to achieve this without resorting to major trade actions.

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Puck Pedia outlines a potential tactic where the Canadiens could optimize their use of LTIR. This involves sending down two players at the start of the season, subsequently placing Price on LTIR, thereby generating a cap space of over $10 million.

Related: NHL Rumors: Oilers, Bruins, Jets, Flames, Maple Leafs

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Even though the team might not have to make a trade, there could be one at the goaltending position. As reported by Marc Dumont of Montreal Hockey Now, Anthony Martineau from TVA Sports has indicated that the Canadiens are receptive to trade discussions concerning one of Sam Montembeault, Jake Allen, and Casey DeSmith. Martineau suggests that the Canadiens are actively considering offers, aiming to secure the most advantageous returns for their goaltending assets.

Sabres Likely Need to Move a Defenseman

Lance Lysowski, writing for the Buffalo News, reports that the Buffalo Sabres currently possess a surplus of nine defensemen under contract, making it impossible to retain them all. GM Kevyn Adams is likely aiming to enhance cap flexibility by trading one as the trade deadline approaches, contingent on the team’s performance throughout the season.

Ilya Lyubushkin Buffalo Sabres
Ilya Lyubushkin, Buffalo Sabres (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

He writes:

Clifton and Johnson weren’t signed to be let go a few months later. Rasmus Dahlin, Owen Power and Mattias Samuelsson are cornerstone players. Someone else in the group will be the odd man out.

source – ‘How the Sabres might solve their surplus on defense before the season begins’ – Lance Lysowski – Buffaloe News – 08/15/2023

In terms of trade likelihood, Lysowski points to four players worth watching: Jacob Bryson, Ilya Lyubushkin, Riley Stillman, and Henri Jokiharju.

Jeff Petry Trade is About Competing Now for Red Wings

After the Detroit Red Wings added Jeff Petry via trade, likely to find a spot on the team’s top-four, Max Bultman of The Athletic took a look at why Steve Yzerman made the deal for the Red Wings. Bultman writes that before Tuesday the best guess would have been for Shayne Gostisbehere to play his off hand. Now he won’t have to.

He writes:

The Red Wings are clearly thinking more about what’s best for this year’s NHL team than they are making space for prospects. They may also feel the extra time is good for Edvinsson and Johansson, too. And while scratching a moderately paid defenseman (whoever it may be) could be a strange look at first, it will certainly insulate them better from injury, and is something the Red Wings can easily afford in the short term.

source – ‘What the Red Wings’ Jeff Petry trade means for Simon Edvinsson, the blue line’ – Max Bultman – The Athletic – 08/15/2023

Wild Would Have Liked to Retain Matt Dumba

According to GM Bill Guerin, the Wild didn’t want to let Matt Dumba leave, they simply didn’t have a choice. Guerin noted during an interview with KFAN 1003, “I like Matt (Dumba) as a player and person. Would we have liked to keep him? Sure, but we just can’t….it just wasn’t happening.”

Guerin also said he wished he could have done more in free agency and is a bit frustrated the team couldn’t make additional moves.

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