NHL Trade Buzz: Golden Knights could seek goalie help with Lehner injured

Vegas Golden Knights

goalies Robin Lehner and forwards Max Pacioretty and Reily Smith likely will not return to the lineup soon for the Golden Knights, coach Peter DeBoer said.

“None of those guys are on my radar here tonight and I would say doubtful at least in the near future,” DeBoer said.

Lehner has not played since a 2-1 loss at the Philadelphia Flyers on March 8. Two days later, the Golden Knights announced he was being sent back to Las Vegas for a lower-body injury. He had started four of the previous five games since returning from an upper-body injury that caused him to miss five games.

Pacioretty has not played since March 11 because of an undisclosed injury and Smith has not played since March 8 with an undisclosed injury.

The Golden Knights (32-26-4) have lost five in a row and enter their game against the Florida Panthers on Thursday (10:30 pm ET; SN360, SN1, SNE, SNO, ATTSN-RM, BSFL, ESPN+, NHL LIVE) one point ahead of the Dallas Stars and Vancouver Canucks for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference.

Depending on how long Lehner is out, the Golden Knights may look to acquire a goalie before the trade deadline.

One possible goalie who could be available is pending unrestricted free agent Marc-André Fleury of the Chicago Blackhawks. The 37-year old was traded by Vegas to Chicago on July 27, 2021 after playing the previous four seasons with them, including their run to the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural season.

Vegas general manger Kelly McCrimmon said on Feb. 15 a meeting with Fleury was not going to happen.

“There is absolutely no credence to that rumor at all,” McCrimmon told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I wouldn’t normally speak (officially) on such things, but there will be so much racket about this, it’s important to let people know that’s not going to happen.”

Laurent Brossoit has started three of the four games for Vegas since Lehner was injured, going 0-3-0 with a 4.02 goals-against average and .853 save percentage. logan thompson started the other game and relieved Brossoit in a 7-3 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday.

Montreal Canadians

The Canadiens will not trade either of their two primary goalies before the NHL Trade Deadline, general manager Kent Hughes said Thursday.

Jake Allenwho is returning from a lower-body injury sustained Jan. 12, and Sam Montembeaut have started most of the games with Carey Price having not played this season because of a knee injury.

“We’re still in a period of uncertainty with Carey and I think that’s where we’ll be until we see him play in one or several games and we know that his knee has recovered properly,” Hughes said. “In the meantime, as for the goalies, Jake and Sam, they’re part of the organization and we have no plans to trade a goalie right now.”

Montreal Traded Defenseman Ben Chiarotwho could have been an unrestricted free agent after the season, to the Florida Panthers for forward Ty Smilanic, a fourth-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft and a first-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft on Wednesday.

Hughes said the Canadiens (16-36-8) are not cleaning house despite having the fewest points in the NHL (40).

“In terms of identifying players and we want to move on from, I don’t want to say that we’re looking to move on from specific players right now,” he said. “If anything, if we get phone calls on the trade that will make sense for us, we’ll definitely consider it. I’ve said it before, I’ve told the players we’re not looking to make a fire come out here and we’ve tried to reassure them.”

One player Hughes said could be traded is defenseman jeff petry, who has three years remaining on the four-year contract he signed Sept. 25, 2020. The 34-year-old has scored 16 points (four goals, 12 assists) in 53 games this season and is averaging 22:30 of ice time per game.

“If it’s a deal that makes sense for us, and if it makes sense for Jeff and Jeff knows that,” Hughes said. “I’ve spoken to him about it.”

San Jose Sharks

The Sharks are not categorizing themselves as buyers or sellers.

“I say, ‘We’re a listener,'” assistant general manager Joe Will said Wednesday. “You’re a listener, because if it’s a great deal for the franchise now or (in) the future, you have to weigh it, and that’s what we’re looking at.”

The Sharks (26-25-8) are seventh in the Pacific Division, eight points behind the Vegas Golden Knights for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference, and could miss the playoffs for the third straight season.

Center Thomas Hertl, who could have become an unrestricted free agent after the season, agreed to an eight-year contract Wednesday. The Sharks have other established veterans and have used 15 rookies this season.

“We’re trying to replenish and get some talent into this roster to help,” Will said. “It’s been a very hard-working roster this year, but we have a very talented core. We have some young prospects that the prospect pool has, I think, elevated this season. We’ve put a lot into our lineup, and now it’s a chance to just kind of be patient with our picks, prospects and opportunities and do what’s good for us at the trade deadline and moving forward.”

forwards Alexander Barabanov and Andrew Coglianoand defenseman Jaycob Megan can become UFAs. Asked about defenseman Jacob Middletona pending restricted free agent, Will said he wouldn’t comment on specific players.

“Who knows what’ll happen by Monday?” Will said. “There’s still a long time between now and Monday, and we’re going to listen.”

Dallas Stars

John Klingberg is likely to remain with the Stars following the deadline.

“Let’s be clear, I’m not calling teams about him,” Dallas general manager Jim Nill told NHL.com on Wednesday. “Again, if someone overwhelms me with a proposal, hey, I’m going to do what’s best for the team.”

Klingberg can become an unrestricted free agent after the season. The 29-year-old defenseman has scored 31 points (two goals, 29 assists) in 51 games and earlier this season said he was unhappy with contract negotiations.

Braden Holtby is also expected to remain with the Stars. The goalie is 10-10-1 with a 2.78 goals-against average and .913 save percentage in 24 games (22 starts). Jake Oettinger is 19-9-1 with a 2.45 GAA, .918 save percentage and one shutout in 31 games (29 starts).

Anton Khudobin is out for the season after having a right hip arthroscopy and labral repair Monday. He was 3-4-1 with a 3.63 GAA and .879 save percentage in nine games (seven starts) and had not played in the NHL since Jan. 15.

“I was never really actively shopping him,” said Nill of Holtby, 32. “That was kind of more of the media. People were looking at our situation thinking we had an extra goalie. You never say never in case you get an overwhelming offer, but the Khudobin surgery solidifies that Holtby is staying put.”

Dallas (32-23-3) is one point behind the Vegas Golden Knights for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference.

Seattle Kraken

Mark Giordano was scratched prior to the Kraken losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1 on Wednesday.

Giordano, a 38-year-old defenseman, has scored 23 points (six goals, 17 assists) in 55 games this season. The first captain in Kraken history, Giordano reportedly is looking to be traded to have a chance to win the Stanley Cup.

“Mark’s been great from Day One with us,” Seattle general manager Ron Francis told The Athletic on March 9. “We didn’t really have a plan to name a captain when we started. Walking into training camp, it was pretty apparent he was going to be the captain of our team. He’s been great all season long for our franchise.

“We’ve had the discussion, he obviously wants the chance to try and win, I totally get that and will do everything I can to help him get that opportunity.”

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