• Canadiens looking for depth at centre
• West contenders vying for Doan
• Vanek could be hot commodity
It’s Monday, Super Bowl festivities are over and you’re probably still dealing with heartburn from those extra chicken wings or pizza slices you downed last night.
What better way to make you feel better — other than water, of course — than a healthy dose of NHL trade rumours.
Let’s dig in.
The Habs could use a boost at centre and have reportedly kicked tires on Matt Duchene of the Colorado Avalanche. The 26-year-old veteran, who’s on pace to near the 60-point mark this season, is likely the No. 1 player available at the position but will come at a hefty price.
According to Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette that cost includes a young, high-end defenceman, a first-rounder and a top prospect.
Todd suggests that Arizona centre Martin Hanzal would be a better fit than Duchene for the Canadiens and speculates that the club could send 21-year-old winger Michael McCarron to the Coyotes to get a deal done.
Hanzal, 29, has been with the Coyotes since he broke into the NHL in 2007-08 and can play in any situation, writes Todd. He won’t light up the scoreboard — he’s got just 19 points in 43 games this year and his career-high is 41 points in 2015-16 — but the six-foot-six forward can be a valuable depth piece for a playoff run.
Speaking of Coyotes veterans, Shane Doan said recently that he’s open to being moved to a Cup contender and according to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, there’s plenty of interest.
Garrioch writes that the San Jose Sharks have tried “desperately” in recent years to acquire Doan prior to the trade deadline and they are trying hard again.
The Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings are also said to be in on the 40-year-old Doan, who doesn’t want to move far from Arizona, where he’s spent his entire career since the franchise moved from Winnipeg.
After somewhat of an off-year in Minnesota, Thomas Vanek is rebounding nicely with the Detroit Red Wings after signing a one-year deal in the off-season. The 33-year-old has 12 goals and 32 points in 40 games and will be “one of the jewels on the rental market,” writes Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe.
Vanek missed some time in October and November with a lower-body injury but has come on strong in December and January, scoring 21 points across 26 games.
The list of teams interested in that kind of production on an expiring contract is large. But Shinzawa cautions that, based on the prices of last year’s deadline, Detroit shouldn’t expect to receive a first-round pick in return for Vanek and should be more than content if it can get a second-rounder.