‘Twas the night before the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline, and all through the NHL, trade chatter was stirring after a flurry of deals this weekend.
While there was no indication anything was imminent or even close to being consummated out of the NHL Trade Deadline war room of the Montreal Canadiens, there was still plenty of trade chatter on the Habs Sunday night and with less than 24 hours until the deadline.
My partner-in-scribe at MHN, Marco D’Amico, did a splendid two-piece series Sunday on the NHL trade pieces the Canadiens still had in play as of Sunday and what may happen with each player before the deadline. As of early Sunday evening, Montreal Hockey Now can confirm that all of the players Marco listed are still very much in play but based on chatter Sunday, Canadiens forward Artturi Lehkonen and defencemen Jeff Petry and Brett Kulak were getting the most attention.
One team that seemed to have interest in all three players for at least the last few weeks and based on NHL Trade chatter this weekend is the Los Angeles Kings. Now, it must be noted that my go-to-Kings source would not comment on this, but as is usually the case, where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and many times sources from the teams involved go silent when something is usually going on. So let’s just say, odds are that the Canadiens are in talks on something with the Kings and former Habs GM Marc Bergevin.
Note: I can say with confidence that the Kings have inquired on all players. More specifically, they have inquired on Jeff Petry more than once, even before he was dealt to the Canadiens in 2015.
Now onto a more specific rumour that gained plenty of traction Sunday and that’s the potential trade destination of Kulak. Multiple and reputable NHL insiders reported Sunday that Kulak’s name was gaining traction on the NHL trade market, with Ryan Rishaug saying the Edmonton Oilers had been zoning in. I can definitely confirm, Kulak was being bantered about more than ever as of 7 PM ET Sunday night.
They may or may not make another trade before the NHL Trade Deadline at 3 PM ET Monday but one thing is for certain, Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes and executive vice president Jeff Gorton were doing their due diligence Sunday. Whether they complete more trades now or in the future, the groundwork was being laid down.