NHL Rumors: Sam Bennett trade talk, Draft delay expected, Canadiens and Phillip Danault cease negotiations

Phillip Danault contract
Aug 19, 2020; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Montreal Canadiens center Phillip Danault (24) controls the puck against the Philadelphia Flyers during the third period in game five of the first round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

When it comes to NHL trade rumors, the dominant talk is centered around Flames gritty forward, Sam Bennett. After being a healthy scratch, speculation he will be traded is off the charts.

NHL Rumors: Sam Bennett trade speculation

Last night on TSN’s Insider Trading, Darren Dreger touched on Bennett’s healthy scratch. “It certainly amplifies the trade speculation,” he said. “Many wrongly assume a trade must be imminent.”

nhl trade rumors maple leafs
Mar 8, 2020; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames center Sam Bennett (93) during the face off against the Vegas Golden Knights during the first period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Another Insider, Bob McKenzie recently noted the Flames were interested in Tony DeAngelo. That was followed up by a report by Larry Brooks late yesterday that they were conducting “due diligence” on a deal. He also added Sam Bennett was discussed coming the other way.

However, reporters out in Calgary are suggesting this isn’t happening. Eric Francis who covers the Flames wrote:

I can dispel any rumours linking Tony DeAngelo and Sam Bennett via trade. No interest on the Flames part in the $4.8 million defenceman. Flames will take their time on this one.

Larry Brooks responded to him with a simple, “Not quite but thanks for playing.” We will see where this goes.

NHL Draft likely to be delayed

There’s a lot of concerns with COVID related postponements that the NHL Draft may be delayed. It’s currently scheduled for July and is worth keeping an eye on.

As was recently pointed out by Elliotte Friedman, there’s some discussion with regards to conducting two drafts in 2022. One for kids born in 2002-2003 and then another for the year later.

There are several brainstorms, including moving the draft back to December or January, and one idea I really love — two drafts in June 2022 in Montreal, several days apart. The first would be for late-2002/2003-borns, the second for the next year. The NHLPA has to approve this, and a significant problem would be about preventing some very talented players the possibility to be in the NHL next season. That’s why I wonder if a solution is one round in July, the rest later.

Elliotte Friedman

NHL Rumors: Phillip Danault talks stopped

The Montreal Canadiens have a very good problem and that’s center depth. Nick Suzuki and Jesperi Kotkaniemi are two young and up coming stars, but what about Phillip Danault?

New reports are emerging that after rejecting a 6 year deal with an AAV of $5 million in September, the Canadiens have ceased negotiations for the season.

According to a source close to the organization, TFP has learned that barring a sudden change from management, contract talks between the Canadiens and Danault have been tabled for the rest of the season. There are no negotiations scheduled and Danault’s camp will wait until the off-season to revisit discussions, unless Bergevin picks up the phone, the source, speaking on the basis of anonymity, confirmed.

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