Things were looking a little grim there for the Montreal Canadiens on Monday.
The New Jersey Devils had, at one point, a 2-0 lead. At least in some corners there were murmurs about a bad start for Claude Julien. Then their big guns swung the game.
The comeback started with Alex Radulov, though the drama was just beginning:
From there, Alex Galchenyuk scored the overtime-winner for Montreal on the man advantage. Radulov got yet another secondary assist – he ended up with four points tonight – while Shea Weber nabbed the primary helpers on the last two tallies.
Long story short, the Canadiens biggest names came through, allowing Julien to maybe utther a sigh of relief.
If there was any doubt about the Washington Capitals going “all-in” to win a Stanley Cup, they erased it on Monday. They sent a pick-heavy package to the St. Louis Blues to land defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, according to a slew of reports.
Yes, that’s right; the top team in the NHL standings landed the biggest trade deadline target. They also edged other contenders hoping to land Shattenkirk, including division rivals in the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers.
Do note that the teams haven’t made the deal official by the Blues or Capitals just yet, likely due to the complexity of some of the conditions.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeremy Rutherford reports that Shattenkirk is headed to the Capitals, per “multiple league sources.” There are a “few conditions” to iron out, but it’s a go “barring a collapse,” according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
TSN’s Darren Dreger and Frank Seravalli both report that Shattenkirk is expected to play for the Capitals against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday.
TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports possible elements of the deal: the Blues will receive a 2017 first-rounder, a conditional second-rounder in 2018 and Zach Sanford as the “main parts” of the trade. LeBrun reports that the Blues likely retained some salary to make it all work, though he believes they retained less than 50 percent.
There could be more assets involved, though. Also, that second-rounder needs clarification:
Sanford, 22, was a second-round pick (61st overall) by the Caps in 2013. He has three points in 26 NHL games this season and also played 25 games (compiling 16 points) in the AHL.
Almost exactly one year ago, Capitals GM Brian MacLellan said that he believed the team has a two-year window to win a Cup, or at least as their best opportunity to win it all. He’s backing up those words with this bold move.
(And maybe he was playing coy by stating that he was only looking to improve his team “on the fringes.”)
As has become a custom, NHL teams are being proactive and making big moves before the actual day of the trade deadline. So, what’s bubbling below the surface even with Ben Bishop and Martin Hanzal off the market?
Let’s take a look at what’s out there.
TSN’s Insider Trading segment from Monday night provides a bounty of interesting things to consider, even if it’s important to note that these rumblings don’t argue that anything is imminent. The full video is absolutely worth your time, in part because some bits aren’t covered here.
An especially interesting potential destination for Matt Duchene
OK, so the most important part to note is that Bob McKenzie reports that the Colorado Avalanche remain firm on what they want for Matt Duchene: three or four “high-end” pieces, preferably an NHL-ready defenseman. McKenzie reasonably notes that such a deal might be more feasible during the off-season instead of this week.
The segment does bring in a fascinating possibility, remote or not: what if the New York Islanders go in on Duchene, with Travis Hamonic maybe helping to make a deal possible?
It might be a long shot – the Islanders are labeled a “dark horse” for Duchene, a market that’s already seemingly shaky since Colorado wants a lot for the speedy forward – but it’s fun to imagine an Islanders center duo of Duchene and John Tavares.
Anyway, that would be fun on the outside chance it could happen.
The battle for Shattenkirk
Some people might be tired of hearing about St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, especially since he’s allegedly nixed some deals. Still, there are plenty of interesting teams connected to the high-scoring blueliner.
TSN’s Darren Dreger notes the Washington Capitals interest in Insider Trading … though it’s possible that Washington is just as interested in driving up the price for other contenders as they might be in acquiring him. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman makes the Blues – Capitals connection, too.
The Blues understandably want to drive the price up one way or another.
Puck Daddy acknowledges the possibility of the New York Rangers landing yet another blockbuster in Shattenkirk. Former GM Brian Lawton wonders if the Capitals are in a bidding war with the Pittsburgh Penguins for Shattenkirk.
There … are just a lot of things flying around.
- TVA’s Renaud Lavoie reports that the Tampa Bay Lightning might not be done making moves.
- Here’s a full post on the Vancouver Canucks possibly remaining busy, too.
- That TSN Insider bit indicates that the Penguins are frustrated by a lack of offers regarding Marc-Andre Fleury.
- Conditional picks seem to be a big ask these days.
- This post covers another year of the Arizona Coyotes being sellers.
Overall, there’s a lot to take in. Enjoy pondering all the possibilities.
Add the Minnesota Wild to the unsettling pattern of teams affected by mumps this season.
It’s not clear how much time they might miss nor is it clear if anyone else on the team is dealing with symptoms. Here’s a release via the Wild:
Members of the organization that have symptoms are being tested immediately and placed in isolation for a five-day period. Team doctors recently provided players and staff an MMR vaccination and the organization will continue to work closely with the NHL, NHLPA and the Minnesota Department of Health to help prevent further infection.
Martin Hanzal and Ryan White are set to make their debuts tonight. Their presence could be especially welcome if this becomes a more widespread issue for Minnesota. (You may remember the Wild dealing with an outbreak in 2014, too.)
Tyler Graovac and Jordan Schroeder are expected to be in Minnesota’s lineup tonight, according to the Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo. Russo indicates that assistant coach Scott Stevens may also be dealing with mumps.