The Montreal Canadiens are sitting fourth in the North Division as they deal with a COVID shutdown through Sunday, but have played fewer games than all of their division foes. One might think that would push GM Marc Bergevin to add to his squad and try to climb even higher in the standings, but the Montreal executive once again downplayed the idea at media availability today.
As Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic tweets, Bergevin was asked multiple times about his trade deadline plans and repeatedly explained that no one should expect much from the Canadiens because of difficult cap restraints. Of course, no matter how many times he says it, Bergevin isn’t convincing some of his peers. Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet wrote earlier this week that some other managers around the league believe the Canadiens made a push for Mattias Ekholm. Bergevin’s availability was before the report came out about Canada potentially reducing the quarantine for NHL players to seven days, though it is unclear if that would have any effect on Montreal’s deadline plans.
- If you thought Tyler Pitlick could make for a good depth addition at the deadline, perhaps not. The Arizona Coyotes forward is out “week-to-week” with a lower-body injury. The 29-year-old Pitlick has 11 points in 33 games this season for the Coyotes and is signed through next season at a $1.75MM cap hit. He had been seeing more and more ice time recently, including a whopping 24:08 earlier this month in an overtime loss to the Colorado Avalanche.
- The New York Rangers have several wingers at the NHL level that were selected at the very top of the draft, but perhaps it is one that went 174th overall that fans should be excited about. Morgan Barron scored another two goals today for the Hartford Wolf Pack and now has seven in his first 11 professional games. The sixth-round pick was a star at Cornell University, becoming a Hobey Baker finalist and scoring 32 points in 29 games during the 2019-20 campaign. Standing 6’4″ with enviable skill, he’s turning heads at the minor league level already.
- The Florida Panthers have assigned Noah Juulsen to the AHL on a conditioning loan as he works his way back from injured reserve. Juulsen hasn’t played since February 25 and has just four appearances on the season. The 23-year-old has been injured basically his entire professional career, never playing more than 54 games in a season at all levels combined. The Panthers have also recalled Eetu Luostarinen from the taxi squad, sending Brett Connolly back to it in his place.