Are the Canadiens fielding calls on Sean Monahan, specifically from Colorado? What is the latest on Max Pacioretty’s torn Achilles injury? Are the Devils kicking tires on Sharks’ winger Timo Meier? TSN Hockey Insiders Chris Johnston, Pierre LeBrun and Darren Dreger discuss this and more.
We know the Montreal Canadiens are sellers and Sean Monahan is returning from injury. The Habs have said they are not actively shopping him, but are they getting calls on the veteran forward?
Sean Monahan and Josh Anderson Pierre LeBrun: I think the Colorado Avalanche is a team to monitor when it comes to Sean Monahan. For starters, let’s look at the Avs’ salary cap situation.
Captain Gabriel Landeskog has not played a game this year and there are people around the league who are starting to wonder, “Do we have another Kucherov [situation] on our hands?” Where maybe he doesn’t come back until the playoffs and the Avs have way more cap room to play with than we realize.
The answer is no, as I found out today. The Avalanche expect Landeskog to be playing way before the end of the regular season, they hope by early March. So his $7 million cap hit will be on the books so they don’t have that much cap room to play with. So when it comes to Ryan O’Reilly or Bo Horvat, yes I think the Avs are going to keep tabs on those situations. However, they don’t have a lot of future assets, they’ve spent a lot over the past couple of years to get too serious with [those players]. That’s why I think a guy like Monahan makes sense and that’s why it’s a name I know the Avs have talked about.
What is the latest on Max Pacioretty after the 34-year-old suffered another torn Achilles tendon?
Max Pacioretty Carolina Hurricanes Chris Johnston: It sounds like Max Pacioretty is facing a recovery of at least eight-to-nine months after his second Achilles procedure. What’s interesting is the length he travelled to have it. He went to Turku, Finland, to seek out one of the top surgeons for the Achilles injury in the world. Everyone from soccer stars like David Beckham, to elite marathoners, to presidents have been treated at the sports hospital in Turku like Pacioretty was this week.
We’ll see how his development recovers but he is due to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. If he can hit that timeline, he should be getting healthy again at least in time for summer and the beginning of next year.
How are the Calgary Flames working their cap space around Oliver Kylington?
Oliver Kylington Calgary FlamesDarren Dreger: Yes, he remains back home in Sweden for personal reasons. He’s been there all year long 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 on Calgary’s cap but he does not take up a roster spot. If he doesn’t return, an option the Flames could consider is placing him on long-term injured reserve and getting the cap relief. Obviously, Brad Treliving, the general manager of the Flames, would shop, use, and add something at the trade deadline.
Is there any news on the interest level 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 for a specific fit that he’s looking for at the deadline, is that the team is looking for a top-six winger.
Obviously, he wouldn’t say names. You can’t do that, that would be tampering. But let me be the person that reads between the lines and says that Timo Meier would fit exactly what the Devils are looking for. Why? Because Tom Fitzgerald also said that, ideally, if he adds a top-six winger, a player of that calibre, he wants a player that’s with the Devils past this year. Not a rental player. Someone he can sign, someone he can keep. I think Meier fits that description and the Devils will certainly investigate that possibility.
The St. Louis Blues are receiving trade interest for Ryan O’Reilly. Who else are they receiving calls on?
St. Louis BluesJohnston: Teammate Ivan Barbashev is a name that’s started to circulate here a little bit. Barbashev is having a bit of an off-year. Certainly off the pace of his career-best of 60 points last season. But there are a few contenders out there that have him on their list.
He’s a name to keep tabs on. It certainly doesn’t hurt that he’s on an expiring contract, making just $2.25 million against the cap. I don’t have any reason to believe that St. Louis, at this point, is totally ready to wave the white flag on this season. But if and when they do it could get pretty interesting there.
I’m a journalist who specializes in investigative reporting and writing. I have written for the New York Times and other publications.