Welcome to the Thursday edition of Full Press Hockey‘s NHL Rumors. The trade deadline is still over six weeks away, but that does not mean the rumors are going away. The first domino has fallen with Tyler Toffoli being traded to Calgary. That means more are to follow prior to the deadline. Therefore we will be upping our NHL Rumors coverage from two days a week to four days a week. The February 17th edition of NHL Rumors will cover the Montreal Canadiens, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Chicago Blackhawks
Montreal Canadiens – Ben Chiarot
Rumor: Darren Dreger of TSN said on Insider Trading the Montreal Canadiens are getting calls from several teams from around league about acquiring defenceman Ben Chiarot.
The #STLBlues are heavily interested in Ben Chiarot, beyond that I look at Florida, I look at the #NHLBruins, I look at the Leafs, I look at #NYR. Montreal’s going to get a good amount in return for Ben Chiarot. As I said, a 1st RD draft pick and maybe a prospect as well
— NHL Watcher (@NHL_Watcher) February 16, 2022
It is no surprise there are multiple teams calling about Canadiens defenceman Ben Chiarot. The St. Louis Blues are one of the teams that are heavily interested in acquiring his services. St. Louis is looking to upgrade their defence. Even though Chiarot’s play has dipped some this year on a poor Canadiens team, he is still a better option than Marco Scandella. And the Canadiens would be wise to move him sooner rather than later. Luckily Chiarot’s injury is not too serve, so teams will not be afraid to trade for him.
At one point, Chiarot was going to be part of the deal that sent Toffoli to Calgary, but it was too rich for Brad Treliving. Outside of the Blues, teams like the Florida Panthers, New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings, and Carolina Hurricanes. The question will be are teams willing to give up a first-round pick and maybe a prospect as well to acquire him.
Do not be surprised as Pierre LeBrun points with the Jeff Gorton taking over the Canadiens and his ties to the Rangers, they will be making a trade, and possibly for Chiarot. As Kent Hughes notes if the offer is right they will take it.
Columbus Blue Jackets – Patrik Laine
Rumor: Columbus Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen was on NHL Network Radio and he wants to sign Patrik Laine to a long-term extension.
[SiriusXM Radio] pic.twitter.com/DQSKQJKCpf
— CBJ Coverage (@CBJcoverage) February 13, 2022
Ever since Patrik Laine was traded to the Blue Jackets many wondered if Laine was going to be on the move again. Under head coach John Tortorella, things were not moving in the right direction. However, this season has been a turnaround for Laine. This season Laine has recorded more points with the Blue Jackets this season than he did last year. So far in 28 games, Laine has 28 points (13 goals and 15 assists) including 15 points over his last 17 games. This is the type of offensive weapon the Blue Jackets could use going forward.
Laine is in the final year of his contract that is paying $7.5 million a season. And it will not be an easy negotiation. While he is still an RFA, Laine has arbitration rights. So the Blue Jackets have some work to do if they want to get Laine locked up long-term.
As Kekalainen pointed out it is a two-way street. And with negotiations yet to begin and tabled for the future, Laine could be in for a nice raise if he continues his production. Not to mention both sides want to do what’s best for the team and player. So this is something worth watching because if something can’t be worked out, Laine could be on the move again.
Chicago Blackhawks – Patrick Kane
Rumor: Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet on The Jeff Marek Show wonders if Patrick Kane could be moving on from the Chicago Blackhawks.
Friedman on TJMS:
One of the situations that I think is going to be very interesting to watch is going to be Patrick Kane in Chicago. The reason is Kane is starting to talk about, hey, what are we going to be doing here?
— NHL Watcher (@NHL_Watcher) February 15, 2022
It is not out of the realm of possibility Patrick Kane is traded by the Blackhawks. Now it would take a huge offer to get Kane out of Chicago. However, as Friedman notes, teams are calling about Kane and asking Chicago if they have plans for Kane in the future. It would totally send a shock to the system, but no one is untradeable. Just ask Wayne Gretzky.
However, this situation feels different. Kane feels like an untouchable along with Jonathan Toews, Seth Jones, and a few others. Kane and Toews carry $10.5 million cap hits. There is a chance one or both could not be with the team next season. However, it would take a big offer to move Kane out of Chicago.
There is a lot of change going on inside the organization and Kane has asked about the plans for Chicago moving forward. Management thought they had a team to compete hence why they traded for Jones and Marc-Andre Fleury, but clearly, they are in a rebuild. So it begs to question will one of the pillars of the three Stanley Cup Championships wants to go through another rebuild. However, if Kane is on the market, the game just changed.
That does it for another edition of NHL Rumors stay tuned for another edition on the weekend.
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