ANAHEIM, Calif. – Avalanche at Ducks tonight. The Honda Center has been something of a house of horrors for our good and righteous lads over the years, and I expect a tough game again. As mediocre as the Ducks have been all year, they’re still a 12-12-3 team at home.
The trade deadline is now four days away, and there is the usual hoi-poloi of rumors and speculation as to who is going where.
I would say this: there definitely seems to be some kind of “relationship” going on between the Avs and a few teams – which I would include as Montreal, the Rangers, Columbus and Chicago, with maybe the San Jose Sharks thrown in too. Or, maybe every single other NHL team too.
The Avs, we know, want a “depth” goalie. Everyone from Henrik Lundqvist to Louis Domingue has been mentioned so far, so we have the essential gamut of possibilities. If Philipp Grubauer is, as Joe Sakic said the other night, one of the several injured Avs players who will be back before the playoffs, I don’t really see what the acquisition of a Lundqvist would do for this team – especially with Pavel Francouz healthy and playing pretty well.
From just about every angle – age, contract, recent play – there would seem to be little fit between Lundqvist and the Avs. But it hasn’t stopped some of the foremen of the rumor mill from spinning his name around the dial.
What about in Montreal, where the Habs actually got a win Thursday night in Washington, despite the scratching of young forward Artturi Lehkonen from the game. What about Tomas Tatar? Or, maybe Jeff Petry?
All I know is, the Canadiens have been scouting the Avs plenty of late and it seems like something might go down.
My belief on who the Avs would most like to get from Montreal is: Tomas Tatar, the veteran forward who entered the weekend with 53 points in 61 games. Tatar has a bit of mileage on him, but he’s a proven semi-regular point producer who can probably serve as an adequate short-term fill-in for Mikko Rantanen. Problem is: where does Tatar go when Mikko comes back before the end of the regular season, as Our Joe said he would?
We’re hearing big forward names such as Namestnikov and Anderson as possible depth/Rants fill-ins too. I don’t know. I still remain skeptical the Avs will do anything too huge, but if they can pull of a Kreider trade, that constitutes fairly huge. Will Georgiev be thrown in as a goalie as part of a semi-blockbuster?
I don’t know why he would, unless:
- The Avs already know Francouz will leave for greener pastures over the summer and
- They don’t think Grubauer will be healthy enough to rely on for the playoffs
- In Montreal, nobody seems to know what’s going on (Montreal Gazette)
- Same thing in San Jose. Is Joe Thornton available or not? Does anybody ever ask the man what he wants to do? (The Athletic)
- The Arizona Coyotes look like they’re falling apart, despite giving analytics “guru” GM John Chayka a contract extension and Chayka’s acquisition of Taylor Hall from New Jersey. (Arizona Republic)
- Seven struggling players who could use a change of scenery by the deadline (Hockey News)
- The financial problems facing the New York Rangers at the deadline (NY Post)