It’s time once again for another edition of our NHL Rumours. We’re nearly to the mid-point of January and teams are mulling over their trade deadline plans. The NHL rumours are going to pick up even more steam with clubs ready to become a contender or be a seller. Today’s NHL rumours focus on the Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers and Vegas Golden Knights.
All NHL rumours are taken from the original source and are subject to change.
Rumour: During the Headlines segment on Hockey Night in Canada, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman said Montreal general manager Marc Bergevin is going to take his time before making an changes. Friedman went on to add that he will start deciding after the next four games.
"Four more games before he really, really decides what he'll do."
Decisions are looming for Marc Bergevin after another long losing streak has pushed the @CanadiensMTL further from a playoff spot, but changes aren't expected to happen right away.https://t.co/qvu6f8CPVO
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) January 12, 2020
The Habs play four games this week before the team’s bye week after the Jan. 18 game against the Golden Knights. Montreal’s bye week will give him plenty of time to see if Bergevin wants to make a move.
Analysis: The Canadiens were in third place in the Atlantic Division and in one of the automatic post-season spots around Christmas time. However, another long losing streak has pushed them adrift for a Stanley Cup Playoff spot. Montreal is currently seven points out of the second Wild Card spot after Saturday’s action.
Many Canadiens fans are getting restless after the team’s second losing streak of eight games. Saturday’s win over the Ottawa Senators gave the team a boost, but more work needs to be done.
Bergevin did make a low-risk signing by inking Ilya Kovalchuk to a deal. Montreal’s GM loves bargains and reclamation projects, but he may need to swing a big deal to salvage the season.
New York Rangers
Rumour: Friedman went on to talk about the crowded crease with the Rangers. The insider said general manager Jeff Gorton will listen to offers for Russian netminder Alexandar Georgiev.
With a crowded crease, the @NYRangers will listen to offers for Alexandar Georgiev that will likely have to include a young forward who is NHL-ready or close to it, @FriedgeHNIC reports.https://t.co/E45fdLBlaJ
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) January 12, 2020
He added that the Rangers will only listen if the offer impresses them. Friedman said that it would likely cost a potential suitor a young forward. That forward would have to be ready or close to being ready to play in the league.
Georgiev has a 10-9-1 record with a 3.17 GAA and a .909 save percentage in 20 games this season. He’ll be a restricted free agent this coming off-season.
Analysis: The Rangers now have the luxury of three good goalies in Henrik Lundqvist, Igor Shesterkin and Georgiev. Shesterkin seems to be the future in net while Lundqvist has an impossible contract to move.
The Rangers don’t need defence as they’ve got prospects like K’Andre Miller and Nils Lundkvist. New York is trying to balance the salary cap and a young, cheap option would help immensely.
Good goalies are hard to come by and the Rangers have a huge bargaining chip which could yield the team a nice haul.
Vegas Golden Knights
Rumour: The Athletic’s Jesse Granger (subscription required) said that the team will look to add a defenceman at the trade deadline. The recent struggles of Nate Schmidt have sounded the alarm and the management will want to fix that. The Athletic’s Craig Custance said that many general managers believe Vegas will busy at the deadline.
Upset with the Golden Knights?
Want them to trade for defensive help?
I've got just the story to cheer you up- https://t.co/UMST6YVD7t
— Jesse Granger (@JesseGranger_) January 12, 2020
One thing hindering the Golden Knights is the lack of cap space, as they only have $109,629 left in available space. Vegas is hoping that someone will be willing to take one the bigger contracts off the books.
Granger added that Anthony DeAngelo of the Rangers and Sami Vatanen of the New Jersey Devils should be targeted. However, general manager Kelly McCrimmon said Vegas isn’t interested in a rental player.
Analysis: The Knights have struggled in giving up high-danger chances. There’s been a lot of pressure on Schmidt and the emerging Shea Theodore. Adding a top-four defender would be key to helping these two defencemen out.
Granger also said that Alec Martinez, Brenden Dillon, Jake Gardiner and Erik Gustafsson are players that the Knights should look into. All of them have contracts that go past the current season and would not be rentals.
Vegas has made splashes in its first two trade deadlines and could make another one if they roll the dice on a defenceman.
DALLAS, TX – JUNE 23: Marc Bergevin of the Montreal Canadiens handles draft duties the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines Center on June 23, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)