NHL Rumors: Canucks, Canadiens, and Flyers

nhl rumors
Feb 27, 2021; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Montreal Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher (11) skates in on Winnipeg Jets defenseman Sami Niku (8) during the third period at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Today’s NHL Rumors looks at the Vancouver Canucks coaching situation. Plus the Montreal Canadiens offseason and Ryan Ellis’ future with the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Vancouver Canucks are still battling for a playoff spot, despite the chances of them making it being slim.

One thing is clear, for a team that seemed destined to be one of the top contenders for a high lottery pick in October they’ve come along way. That’s due in large part to head coach Bruce Boudreau.

NHL Rumors: Vancouver Canucks

When the Vancouver Canucks opted to fire head coach Travis Green, they did so with their record at a lowly 8-15-2. The Canucks brought in 67 year-old veteran Bruce Boudreau and the team took to him immediately.

In the 52 games since he grabbed the reins, the Canucks are 30-13-9 with a .663 points percentage. Vancouver is 4 points out of a playoff spot in the West with a 6.4% chance of getting in per MoneyPuck.

In a recent article, I looked at all the potential coaches on either an expiring contract or interim basis and felt that Boudreau would be a likely candidate to return. However, Elliotte Friedman noted some uncertainty due to Boudreau having an option to leave.

Pierre LeBrun also feels that he will be back and expanded on the issues writing in the Athletic:

At the time of his hire, it was announced he agreed to a two-year deal ($2 million this season, $2.5 million next season) but it’s actually a one-year deal with an option for next season. While no one will confirm this, I think it’s the kind of option where if the Canucks don’t pick it up, he gets paid some cash out of it to walk if he’s not kept on. Either way, it requires Jim Rutherford and Patrik Allvin to make a decision — which I suspect they’ve already made, but are waiting until after the season to announce.

Pierre LeBrun

NHL Rumors: Philadelphia Flyers

nhl rumors
Sep 28, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ryan Ellis (94) against the New York Islanders at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

When the Flyers acquired Ryan Ellis from the Nashville Predators on July 17 in exchange for fellow defenseman Philippe Myers and forward Nolan Patrick they did not expect his or their season to go this way.

Ellis has played a grand total of 4 games with Philadelphia amassing 5 points. Meanwhile the Flyers have long been eliminated from playoff contention.

The Flyers really are a mess and will likely be looking for a new coach this offseason, with my money on Rick Tocchet. They will also retool the team and Ellis could be one of those players moved.

According to one source, some within the Flyers wonder if Ellis even wants to be part of the organization. As I was told earlier in the week, Ellis has not been seen around the team in three weeks.

The Fourth Period

Trading the 31 year-old defenseman won’t be easy. Injury issues aside, he has 5 more years at $6.25 million per season against the cap.

Would the Flyers be willing to eat some of that cap hit too facilitate a trade? Is a buyout in Ellis future?

Bottom line is that he has no trade value at this point, so it would make sense for him to come back and regain his form.

NHL Rumors: Montreal Canadiens

After Jeff Gorton and Kent Hughes were hired by the Montreal Canadiens, talks about a rebuild began to grow around the city.

One veteran who didn’t really seem keen on the idea was Brendan Gallagher. He along with some other veterans, including Carey Price, are coming up in trade rumors.

Hughes would probably like to unload the final five seasons of Gallagher’s six-year, US$39-million contract with an annual salary-cap hit of $6.5 million. The 29-year-old right-winger probably wouldn’t mind going to a team that has a better chance of winning the Stanley Cup in the near future.

Stu Cowan, Montreal Gazette

Gallagher, 29, has 19 points in 51 games this season. To say it’s been a struggle for him would be an understatement.

For his career, all with the Habs, he has 376 points in 633 career games. Montreal selected Gallagher in the fifth round of the 2010 NHL Draft.

The Habs should have no shortage of suitors if they place him on the trade block. One team that Cowan highlights are the L.A. Kings. However, his five years left at $6.5 million per season are not going to be anything too many teams want to take on in full.

So just how much would the Habs eat? The answer to that question will determine if he is moved prior to the start of next season.