No two ways about it, the Montreal Canadiens have been one of the most disappointing teams during the 2017-18 NHL season. Pegged by many fans and analysts to be a Stanley Cup contender during the preseason, the Habs have stumbled their way through a truly awful season and once again find themselves looking at a bottom five finish in the NHL standings. Of course, as die hard Toronto Maple Leafs fans, nothing puts a smile on our face quite like seeing the Habs in such disarray.
But, here’s the thing… as if it’s not weird enough seeing Tomas Plekanec in a Leafs jersey, get ready to see several other players jump ship between the two squads this upcoming offseason. In his latest article for SB Nation’s Pension Plan Puppets blog, Leafs blogger Adam Elseldo shines a lot on the Habs’ rebuild strategy and notices a strange trend: it’s full of Leafs castoffs.
They need a quick rebuild, and they’re going about it in a peculiar way: Signing and trading for the castoffs of the Maple Leafs.
Exhibit A: Kerby Rychel and Rinat Valiev
Exhibit B: Nikita Korostelev
Exhibit C: Bryon Froese
Who’s next? Frederik Gauthier? Matt Martin? Nolan Vesey? Stephen Desrocher? Elseldo does a great job of highlighting some odd moves by Habs general manager Marc Begervin, if only because they’ll make you go, “oooooh yeah! I remember that guy!”
For the full article check out the link below:
Leafs’ UFA linked to Canucks in huge offseason rumour
In case you missed it, legendary Vancouver Canucks forwards Henrik and Daniel Sedin dropped a bomb on the team’s fanbase announcing that they’ll be retiring from the NHL following this season. The franchise leaders in goals, assists, points and games played will walk away from the game at age 37 as potential Hall of Famers. And it’s not as if these guys still can’t play, the Canucks will be hard pressed to replace their 100 points between the two of them from this season.
Once all the praise and well wishing of the Sedins calmed down on social media, fans woke up to the reality that they team will now over $14 million in cap space to spend during this upcoming offseason’s free-agency period. It’s likely that Canucks general manager Jim Benning has his sights set on some big free-agents including New York Islanders superstar John Tavares, but one Canucks insider, Sportsnet 650’s Rick Dhaliwal, dropped a hot rumour concerning Toronto Maple Leafs centre Tyler Bozak.
Check it out:
Interesting. Here’s the thing, it’s almost a certainty that Bozak will be available come July 1st. The Leafs’ signing of Patrick Marleau last offseason has made it a near guarantee that Bozak will be leaving the team. He’s been a good player for the Leafs the past few seasons, but he’s a luxury at this point. He’s not a player that the Leafs need to have in the lineup each and every night, especially given the emergence of Nazem Kadri as a true #2 centre.
So, yeah… Bozak will go to market. If the Canucks come calling he’d be wise to listen, as well. With Henrik retiring the Canucks have Bo Horvat, Brandon Sutter and Sam Gagner down the middle. Bozak fits pretty neatly into that as either a first, second or third line centre. While the Canucks won’t be competing for a Stanley Cup anytime soon, Bozak could at least get some job security in Vancouver and likely make a good chunk of change given the team’s cap situation.
It’s not the craziest rumour out there. Especially when you consider that the Canucks have been linked to several other free-agent names out there, like Leafs winger James van Riemsdyk:
Interesting times in Vancouver. You can almost bet that this team’s moves this offseason will have a major impact on the Leafs. Definitely worth keeping an eye on.