NHL Rumors: Brendan Gallagher, Jakob Chychrun, and Joel Quenneville

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The Montreal Canadiens lead off our latest edition of NHL Rumors after GM Kent Hughes end of season press conference.

Montreal’s new team led by EVP of Hockey Jeff Gorton along with Hughes have their work cut out for them. According to CapFriendly, the Habs have 17 players under contract with about $14 million in cap space.

They should be very busy at the NHL Draft with 14 picks. Montreal is hosting the event this summer.

NHL Rumors: Habs keeping Brendan Gallagher

There’s plenty of questions for the Habs to answer with the future of Carey Price at the forefront.

Jeff Petry may also be moved in the offseason with many thinking he will land in Philadelphia or Dallas. The futures of Jonathan Drouin, Paul Bryon, and Joel Armia are also unknown.

As for their interim head coach Martin St. Louis, all signs point to him signing a deal to be the head coach of the Canadiens for the foreseeable future.

One other player who has been speculated upon is Brendan Gallagher. When Hughes was asked about the fiery forward he provided his thoughts.

“Listen, Brendan didn’t have the best season,” Hughes said. “He’s not alone in that situation, and we hope Brendan will return and have a good season next year.”

Gallagher will be 30 years-old in a few days and was hampered by injuries all season. It limited him to 56 games and just 24 points.

“It was pretty much everything,” Gallagher revealed. “It was a short summer, and I can just say my body didn’t hold up.”

Montreal signed Gallagher to a six-year deal in 2020 with an AAV of $6.5 million.

NHL Rumors: Jakob Chychrun not interested in a rebuild

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Nov 30, 2021; Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA; Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun (6) shoots the puck against the Minnesota Wild in the first period at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports

When Jakob Chychrun was injured during the second period of of 3-2 loss to the Boston Bruins prior to the trade deadline, his chance to escape the desert this season was gone.

The Coyotes are asking for a lot for him and rightfully so. It is believe the package starts with a first round pick, a young player, and a prospect. This season in 47 games, he’s recorded 7 goals and 21 points. Chychrun also has a great contract with 3 years left and a $4.6 million AAV. That’s an absolute steal for a top 4 defenseman in this economy.

On breakup day, the 24 year-old defender was asked about possibly sticking around and his response was very candid.

“I don’t know. I’m signed for 3 more years,” he said. “The trajectory of where the team is going and a lot of that stuff is important to me. I want to be in a position where I’m getting to play a week from now, not packing up.”

Sure sounds like he wants out.

NHL Rumors: Joel Quenneville coming back

A report on the Blackhawks’ internal investigation into the Kyle Beach sexual assault resulted in the resignations of general manager Stan Bowman and senior vice president of hockey operations Al MacIsaac. The report also impacted former members of the Hawks organization, in particular the head coach at the time Joel Quenneville.

Bowman reportedly told investigators that Quenneville, when informed of Beach’s allegations in 2010, “shook his head and said that it was hard for the team to get to where they were (the playoffs) and they could not deal with this issue now.”

Beach told TSN in a powerful interview, “I’ve witnessed meetings, right after I reported it to (former team mental skills coach) James Gary, that were held in Joel Quenneville’s office. There’s absolutely no way that he can deny knowing it and there’s absolutely no way that Stan Bowman would make up a quote like that, to somebody who served his organization and his team so well.”

Quenneville met with the NHL and ultimately resigned himself, leaving a 7-0-0 Florida Panthers team in the process.

Now, teams with coaching vacancies will be reaching out to the NHL to see if they can get him behind their bench. Commissioner Gary Bettman must approve reinstatement in order for this to happen.