Are the Canadiens answering calls about Sean Monahan, specifically from Colorado? What’s the latest on Max Pacioretty’s torn Achilles tendon injury? Are the Devils kicking tires with Sharks winger Timo Meier? TSN Hockey experts Chris Johnston, Pierre LeBrun and Darren Dreger discuss this and more.
We know the Montreal Canadiens are sellers and Sean Monahan is coming back from injury. The Habs have said they aren’t actively buying him, but are they getting calls about the veteran striker?
Sean Monahan and Josh Anderson Pierre LeBrun: I think the Colorado Avalanche is a team to watch when it comes to Sean Monahan. For starters, let’s look at the Avs’ salary cap situation.
Captain Gabriel Landeskog hasn’t played a game this year and people around the league are starting to ask: “Do we have another Kucherov?” [situation] in our hands? Where he may not return until the playoffs and the Avs have a lot more cap space to play than we think.
The answer is no, as I found out today. The Avalanche expect Landeskog to be playing long before the end of the regular season, hopefully early March. So his $7 million cap will be on the books so they don’t have as much cap space to play with. So when it comes to Ryan O’Reilly or Bo Horvat, yeah, I think the Avs will be aware of those situations. However, they don’t have many future assets, they have spent a lot in the last few years to get too serious with [those players]. That’s why I think a guy like Monahan makes sense and that’s why he’s a name I know the Avs have talked about.
What’s the latest on Max Pacioretty after the 34-year-old suffered another Achilles tendon tear?
Max Pacioretty Carolina Hurricanes Chris Johnston: It appears that Max Pacioretty is facing a recovery of at least eight to nine months after his second Achilles procedure. What’s interesting is the distance he traveled to have it. He went to Turku, Finland, to find one of the best surgeons in the world for an Achilles injury. Everyone from soccer stars like David Beckham, to elite marathon runners and presidents, have been treated at Turku’s sports hospital as Pacioretty was this week.
We’ll see how his development picks up, but he’ll become an unrestricted free agent this summer. If you can hit that timeline, you should be healthy again at least in time for summer and early next year.
How are the Calgary Flames working out in their cap space around Oliver Kylington?
Oliver Kylington Calgary FlamesDarren Dreger: Yes, he is staying in Sweden for personal reasons. He’s been there all year and the Calgary Flames are very supportive of Kylington. They want him to get better and return to the National Hockey League. But it’s fair to question whether or not that will be this season.
He remains in Calgary’s cap but doesn’t make a roster spot. If he doesn’t return, one option the Flames could consider is to place him on long-term injured reserve and get salary cap relief. Obviously, Brad Treliving, the Flames’ general manager, would buy, use and add something at the trade deadline.
Is there any news on the level of interest in San Jose Sharks forward Timo Meier?
Timo Meier San Jose SharksLeBrun: I had an interview today with New Jersey Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald, and what he said when I asked him about a specific adjustment he’s looking for at the deadline is that the team is looking for a top-six winger.
Obviously, I wouldn’t say names. You can’t do that, that would be manipulating. But let me be the person who reads between the lines and says that Timo Meier would fit exactly what the Diablos are looking for. Why? Because Tom Fitzgerald also said that, ideally, if he adds a top-six winger, a player of that caliber, he wants a player who’s with the Devils beyond this year. He is not a player for hire. Someone he can sign, someone he can keep. I think Meier fits that description and the Devils will certainly look into that possibility.
The St. Louis Blues are receiving commercial interest for Ryan O’Reilly. Who else are they getting calls from?
St Louis BluesJohnston: Teammate Ivan Barbashev is a name that has started to make the rounds here a bit. Barbashev is having a bad year. Certainly out of rhythm for his career, a best of 60 points last season. But there are some contenders who have it on his list.
It is a name to be aware of. It certainly doesn’t hurt that he has an expiring contract, making just $2.25 million against the cap. I have no reason to believe that St. Louis, at this point, is fully ready to wave the white flag this season. But if and when they do, it could be quite interesting there.
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