The Canadiens are have indicated to teams that they’re willing to absorb a bad contract to bring in some other assets at the same time, Pierre LeBrun of TSN and The Athletic reported in an appearance on TSN 1200 (audio link). Montreal projects to finish the season with over $9.7MM in cap room which gives them plenty of flexibility heading into the trade deadline. They made a move like this over the summer when they added winger Joel Armia plus a pair of draft picks for taking on goalie Steve Mason’s deal which was promptly bought out. GM Marc Bergevin has indicated that he’s not going to be in on the rental market so this could be another way to add a piece prior to next month’s trade deadline.
Elsewhere around the league:
- Rangers center Boo Nieves could be a player to watch for heading into the trade deadline. Larry Brooks of the New York Post notes that the 25-year-old will qualify for Group Six unrestricted free agency this summer (unless New York finds a way to make the playoffs with Nieves playing every game). With that in mind, it’s likely that the team will look to either extend or trade the pivot before the trade deadline to ensure that they don’t run the risk of losing him for nothing in July.
- Although he has recently started working in the media, unrestricted free agent defenseman Kevin Bieksa hasn’t given up on playing this season. In an appearance on Sportsnet (video link), the 37-year-old indicated that he’s still training daily and is keeping his options open when it comes to potential offers. Previously, Bieksa had indicated that he wanted to remain in the California area but it remains to be seen if he’s open to expanding his options. The veteran last suited up in late December when he participated in the Spengler Cup.