According to Sportsnet and TSN, Montreal Canadiens forward Alex Kovalev will return to the Habs this weekend. Kovalev denied a Russian report that he blamed Montreal's recent struggles on the habits of some of the younger players on the team. La Presse also reported that GM Bob Gainey has shopped Kovalev around the NHL for the past two weeks. Brochu's take: Kovalev's value is at an all time low right now, so Gainey's smart enough to know he won't trade him. After Kovalev returns from Exile Island, I think he will be a much better player.
The Forecaster on CBC is reporting that defenseman Jay McKee is unhappy with his current situation with the St. Louis Blues and would like to move on. It's possible that the Blues would send McKee to the minors and call him up on re-entry waivers. Brochu's take: McKee's $4 million salary this year and next appears to be the big stumbling block. This sounds more like a scenario where you trade a bad contract for another bad contract.
The Forecaster report is also saying that the Carolina Hurricanes, Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers would also love to Edmonton Oilers forward Erik Cole for the stretch run. Brochu's take: Suddenly, Cole's price goes up. But I would imagine the Oilers holding on to him, unless they get blown away by a package. Source
Matthew Sekeres of the Globe and Mail is reporting that the Vancouver Canucks are still far apart in contract negotiations with Daniel and Henrik Sedin. The twins are seeking five-year deals that average $6.5-million a year. The Canucks have countered with $5.5-million over three or four years. The Canucks are also talking contract with impending UFA Alex Burrows, and the rumor is that the deal could be in the three to five year range, averaging $2 million a season. Brochu's take: Statistically, the Sedins are worth around $6 million each. However, GM Mike Gillis might want to see what they will do in the stretch and the playoffs before he commits that much salary cap space to two players. As for Burrows, that is a decent number for a player of his calibre, especially considering his humble roots in the ECHL. Source