NHL Rumors: Montreal Canadiens, and the Washington Capitals

Canadiens GM on pending RFA forward Cole Caufield

Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic: Montreal Canadiens GM Kent Hughes when asked by Ryan Rishaug about pending RFA Cole Caufield and if there’s any update on a potential deal.

“Well, the one area I haven’t talked much to the media about is contracts, and it’s not because I don’t want to talk about them; it’s just because contracts have a way of, there’s rarely a straight line to a deal. And I feel like when you create an expectation and there’s a detour, everybody starts to question that there may be something wrong. And sometimes people are just busy and there’s other things that are affecting timelines. I would say, the conversation has been very positive. Cole wants to be a Montreal Canadien and we’d like to have him. We’re working through it.”

On the Capitals Peter Laviolette, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Connor McMichael, Hendrix Lapierre, Anthony Mantha and Connor Brown

Tarik El-Bashir of The Athletic: (mailbag) At this point, don’t have a sense of what direction the Washington Capitals will go with head coach Peter Laviolette. Wouldn’t be surprised if they went a different direction, but also not surprised if they were re-signed and brought back. If the Capitals look to make a coaching change, would expect ex-Capitals player Jeff Halpern (Lightning assistant) would be a candidate.

Soon-to-be 31-year-old forward Evgeny Kuznetsov has two years left on his contract at a $7.8 million cap hit. If the Capitals want to compete next season, they’ll need more from him than they’re getting his season. Not where things go from here.

Unless a center is moved in the offseason, there isn’t much room for Connor McMichael or Hendrix Lapierre down the middle. Didn’t hear either’s name in the rumor mill this year. They may want to continue developing them but they aren’t untouchables. If they are able to one a package deal for a top-six forward, that might be something they consider.

Could see the Capitals trading forward Anthony Mantha.

The Capitals are interested in bringing pending RFA forward Connor Brown back next season if they can get him on a deal that makes sense. Not sure if he’ll be able to return to the lineup before the season’s end.