It’s time for another edition of NHL rumours to start the week. Some big dates are coming soon with the NHL Draft and the start of free agency upon us. This means the NHL rumours are going to come at an even faster clip. Teams are trying to figure out their rosters and make them fit in the flat cap era. Some teams may have to make some hard decisions and trade off some key players. This Atlantic Division edition of NHL rumours focuses on the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning.
All NHL rumours come from the original source and are subject to change.
Analysis: The 26-year-old netminder did well with a suspect defence in front of him. Montembeault helped Team Canada win the gold medal at the 2023 IIHF Men’s World Championships. That performance proved that maybe the Bécancour, Quebec native might deserve a chance at being the Canadiens starter at some point.
His statistics were good for a team that’s still trying to figure things out on defence. Montembeault went 16-19-3 with a 3.42 goals-against-average and a .901 save percentage. However, he faced a high volume of shots for a struggling and injured Montreal squad.
The Canadiens do have Jake Allen signed for the next two seasons at $3.85 million per season. Allen may become a trade chip at some point and the would give Montembeault a chance to be the number one goalie. “Monty” is signed at a very agreeable $1 million for the next season. However, he can sign an extension after July 1. General manager Kent Hughes and Montembeault might be on the mood to get a deal done sometime in the summer.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Sharks and Karlsson on same page seeking a trade, plus latest rumblings on Meier, Barbashev, Hellebuyck, and more in weekend Rumblings
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) June 16, 2023
Analysis: Colton is arbitration eligible RFA this off-season and is looking for a raise from his $1.125 million salary. The one-time 20-goal scorer will likely be out of the Lightning’s price range because of the trio of contact extensions kicking in. LeBrun also said that Tampa Bay wants to take a run at bringing back Alex Killorn. There’s also the matter of trying to sign restricted free agent Tanner Jeannot.
Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois has been doing the annual salary cap dance of trying to fit their star players under the cap. The $83.5 million is going to be tricky to get under, but BriseBois has experience in doing it. Tampa is a yearly contender for the Stanley Cup, but sometimes talent has to get sacrificed because of the cap. Players like Yanni Gourde and Ondrej Palat have moved on to new teams via expansion or free agency.
There are going to be some tough decisions for the Lightning. However, the team can lure low-price veterans thanks to Florida not have a state income tax. Colton may be another young player that gets moved due trying to keep some veteran scorers.
Main photo by: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
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