Latest Montreal Canadiens trade rumors
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Brendan Kelly believes Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin is stuck between a rock and a hard place with captain Max Pacioretty. The 29-year-old left winger is eligible next summer for unrestricted free agent status.
Noting the Canadiens GM’s reported efforts to move Pacioretty for months, Kelly believes Bergevin’s peers know he’s desperate to trade his captain before the start of the season. As a result, they’re offering less than fair market value because they know Bergevin has little room to manoeuvre here. Pacioretty’s trade status could become an unnecessary distraction if he’s not dealt before the start of the season.
Kelly’s colleague Pat Hickey reports some Canadiens fans believe the club should try to trade defenseman Shea Weber or goaltender Carey Price. The state of Weber’s health and his hefty contract makes that unlikely while few teams could have interest in Price’s expensive new deal after last season’s meltdown. That leaves Pacioretty, who Bergevin appears keen to trade despite the winger’s desire to re-sign with the Canadiens.
What will the Toronto Maple Leafs do with Jake Gardiner?
Jake Gardiner is in the final year of his contract, and could be the latest longtime Leaf to leave the organization as a pending UFA. Last season, former GM Lou Lamoriello decided to keep pending UFAs James van RIemsdyk, Leo Komarov, and Tyler Bozak, believing they provided more value as players than trade chips. New GM Kyle Dubas could always follow Lou’s lead, but expect him to receive calls on Gardiner regardless of his stance.
The status of a Gardiner trade could depend on the progress of young defenceman Travis Dermott. Dermott got his shot with the Maple Leafs last season and left a positive impression. If he takes the right steps in his development, the young blueliner could slip into Gardiner’s spot, making the Minnesota-born veteran a bit less irreplaceable. If Gardiner sees his name hit the block, look for him to be the Leafs’ hottest available asset during the upcoming season.