Welcome a new, late entrant to the list of intriguing players that could be had at the trade deadline.
Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette reports that the agent for Canadiens center Tomas Plekanec said his client would waive his no-trade clause to be moved out of Montreal after what’s been a very frustrating for both him and the Habs.
While Plekanec said Friday that he wasn’t aware of being the subject of any trade talks, The Gazette has learned that the player’s agent let it be known earlier this month that the veteran centre would be willing to waive the no-trade clause which was part of the six-year, $30-million deal he signed in 2010.
If it’s true that Plekanec is available to be had, it changes the outlook at the last minute as Plekanec is a solid two-way center with high scoring abilities. Hickey says that with how things have deteriorated in Montreal this season, especially with how Plekanec has been used, he’s open to the possibility of being sent out.
Then again, Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos says that Plekanec hasn’t been approached about waiving his no-trade clause and wants to stay in Montreal. An overambitious agent stirring things up wouldn’t exactly be a surprise.
Update (1:33 p.m.): Now you have to wonder who Pat Hickey was talking to in the first place. RDS’s Renaud Lavoie spoke with Rick Curran, Plekanec’s agent, who tells him that Plekanec is not willing to waive his no-trade clause and no such discussions have occurred with the Habs.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.
Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.
The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.
According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”
Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:
The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.
Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.
In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two: