NHL Rumors: Canucks changes looming; Rangers need a winger; and Habs in on Samuel Girard?

Latest NHL Rumors

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Apr 22, 2021; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Canucks defenseman Travis Hamonic (27) and defenseman Quinn Hughes (43) battle with Ottawa Senators forward Josh Norris (9) and forward Brady Tkachuk (7) in the second period at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

The Vancouver Canucks qualify as one of the most disappointing teams in the NHL.

A promising squad that boasts high-end talent in Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes, J.T. Miller, Bo Horvat, and Brock Boeser should be better than 5-9-2.

Factoring in the acquisitions of Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Conor Garland will only make your head hurt more.

NHL Rumors: Canucks changes?

So what will the Vancouver Canucks be doing about it?

“Hearing [Canucks] owner Francesco Aquilini to meet with GM Jim Benning this afternoon,” Elliotte Friedman reported. “Neither individual will comment, but from what I understand, this is a meeting to understand why the team is losing and address it, not to make a change at the position.”

If this isn’t about firing the GM, one has to wonder if Travis Green may be the first casualty of a bad start.

The Canucks gave Green a multi-year extension, but it wouldn’t be the first time in sports history that a newly signed coach was released soon after inking a new deal.

Rangers need a winger

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Nov 8, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers left wing Sammy Blais (91) at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers shaved some future cap issues by trading Pavel Buchnevich to the St. Louis Blues. In exchange they received Sammy Blais as part of the compensation.

Unfortunately for Blais and the Rangers, he will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL.

That leaves Kaapo Kakko as the only legit right wing for the top six. Barclay Goodrow is now being pressed into the role, but was originally slated to third line duties. Vitali Kravtsov is in self exile in the KHL and not coming back, and Julien Gauthier is just trying to stick with the team.

Maybe they were not interested in trading for the 34 year-old Phil Kessel before, but he’s the most readily available top six NHL forward.

Would the Rangers even consider Vladimir Tarasenko? The 29 year-old still has another year on a deal that hits the cap at $7.5 million, so it is unlikely. That is unless the Blues retain salary or a third party gets involved.

The Golden Knights have Reilly Smith, and will need to shave cap space themselves. Could the Rangers get him out earlier than the deadline?

Another potential option could be David Perron in St. Louis, or maybe something with the Canucks if they want to shake things up.

Habs in on Samuel Girard?

Mike Chambers of The Denver Post was recently on The Jeff Marek Show and said he believed that Girard was part of the offer for Eichel.

“I believe that Sam Girard was the big piece in the efforts to get Jack Eichel here,” Chambers said. “I still think that Girard is going to get traded… the Avs want a forward for him and they want to lose his $5M cap hit.”

Girard, 23, is a left shot defenseman drafted in the 2nd round of the 2016 NHL Draft. He has recorded 5 assists in 9 games with the Avs this season.

One team that needs help on the blue-line are the Montreal Canadiens.

Philippe Boucher of TVA Sports noted that Girard is a player the Habs should try and acquire

“I would look towards Colorado (Girard). This is something that would greatly interest me if I were the general manager of [the Habs],” he said.