NHL Rumors: Montreal Canadiens, Buffalo Sabres, Dallas Stars

TAMPA, FL – JULY 07: Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) skates off the ice following Game Five of the 2021 Stanley Cup Final between the Montreal Canadiens and the Tampa Bay Lightning on July 7, 2021 at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fl. (Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Startling Carey Price news, the latest saga regarding Jack Eichel, and finally the Dallas Stars trade options, here’s your CSM NHL rumors.

Montreal Canadiens – Carey Price

Rumor: From Eric Engels – Montreal Canadiens star goalie Carey Price announced that he was entering the player assistance program. While he is seeking much needed help, how long will the Canadiens be without him, and how will this affect the team’s success?

Analysis: According to Marc Bergevin, the Montreal Canadiens general manager, “It’s a minimum 30 days,” said Bergevin, “but it could be more.”

There’s no doubt that he’ll be missed on the ice and in the dressing room. Some of his issues could be related to him putting too much blame on himself after the Canadiens lost in five games to the defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning.

“At the end of the day, I just don’t think I played well enough at the start of the series,” he said, clearly devastated by the result.

So, while Price is on a leave of absence that leaves backup goalie Jake Allen to carry the burden in net. Allen did not appear in one playoff game last season. Price played in all 22 games collecting a 13-9 record with a .924 save percentage and a 2.28 goals-against-average. He also had one shutout.

While those statistics may not be matched by Allen, who had a respectable 11-12-5 record during the past season, he can hold down the fort until Price’s return.

The big question is… when and if Price will return. His teammates are supporting his decision as well as management. We wish Carey Price the best and salute his courage to take this step.

Buffalo Sabres – Jack Eichel

Rumor: From Darren Dreger – TSN. NHL rumors have been following forward Jack Eichel around for some time now. Recently, the Buffalo Sabres have allowed interested teams to see Eichel’s medical records as discussions continue to escalate on the trade front.

Analysis: Jack Eichel is looking to have artificial disc replacement surgery, but the Sabres are against him having the procedure because it has never been performed on an NHL player and prefer him having the disc fused.

Sabres general manager, Kevyn Adams said, “The hockey world believes a healthy Jack Eichel is a franchise player and these type of situations don’t come up very often where players are moved,” Adams added last week. “We believe there’s value on Jack Eichel and we will do what we need to do as an organization to do the best we can moving forward.”

Interested teams are backing off of the return trade demands made by the Sabres. Who wants to trade for a player with an injury which is still not addressed? The TSN staff debated the situation here.

There’s little doubt that the Sabres’ management have made a mess of the whole situation. Now, we will need to wait and see how it all comes out. One thing is certain, Eichel’s days as a Sabre are done.

Dallas Stars – Trade Options

Rumor: Per Matthew DeFranks of the Dallas Morning News. The Dallas Stars are going to be busy this season and could be in line to trade defenseman, John Klingberg, goaltender Braden Holtby, and forwards Joe Pavelski and Alexander Radulov. 

Analysis: Klingberg had a good 2020-21 season with 36 points in 53 games. He is in the last year of a seven-year $29.75 million deal. He must be anxious to see what he’s worth on the open market. Could he be in the $7 million club as a top defenseman? We’ll see.

Pavelski, while getting up there in age at 37, can still turn on the red light. He’s had 39 goals and 43 assists in 123 games with the Dallas Stars. He’s ending a three-year contract worth $21 million. Is it time to put Joe out to pasture?

Holtby is another whose age is creeping up on him. At 32, he is on a one-year deal after having a disappointing result with the Vancouver Canucks as a backup. His stats with the Canucks were less than dazzling as he only managed a 7-11-3 record. His .889 save percentage was nothing to write home about as well as his 3.67 goals-against-average. It could be a prove year for him, or he will be packing his bags again.

Radulov has had decreasing production the last two seasons. He’s only managed 19 goals and 27 assists in 71 games. This after gathering 72 points a season the two previous campaigns. At 35, here’s another aging player the Stars may deal away. NHL rumors may find a home in Dallas this season.

That does it for this edition of CSM’s NHL rumors, check back next Wednesday for a new edition!

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