There’s a gigantic Saturday night rumors dump, courtesy of Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek on Sportsnet’s Hockey Night in Canada. It starts with maybe the most-discussed name on the trade bait list in recent days in Montreal Canadiens defender Ben Chiarot. Talks are reportedly heating up, with Friedman singling the St. Louis Blues on the program as a team interested in Chiarot’s services. It’s entirely likely that Chiarot is another name gone before the deadline, as the Habs certainly don’t seem to be afraid to get out ahead of the action. Chiarot would give the Blues three options with considerable NHL experience at left defense, as Niko Mikkola, Jake Walman, and the injured Scott Perunovich have competed for ice time there this season as well. But none of them have the games played and playoff experience at the NHL level that Chiarot has.
More notes from the Eastern Conference today:
- The Arizona Coyotes are holding Ilya Lyubushkin out of the lineup as a healthy scratch, and Friedman names the Toronto Maple Leafs as one of the top teams interested in the Russian defender’s services. With Nick Ritchie falling out of favor in Toronto, and Arizona’s willingness to take on buried contracts, the fit seems logical as Friedman suggests. Lyubushkin would be a spectacular depth add for Toronto’s right side defensively, who, aside from T.J. Brodie, has faced inconsistency this season.
- Jeff Marek reports that prior to the commencement of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, the Montreal Canadiens reached out to the representatives of Canadian women’s forward Marie-Philip Poulin about what her career plans were after the games, suggesting Montreal had an interest in having Poulin within the organization. While no official job offer was ever made, all indications point to Poulin wanting to continue her on-ice career. The 30-year-old forward still has multiple opportunities to represent Canada on the international stage.