NHL Rumors: Montreal Canadiens – Ilya Kovalchuk, Tomas Tatar, Max Domi, and Jeff Petry
Canadiens decision on Kovalchuk could go down until Monday

Arpon Basu of The Athletic: Ilya Kovalchuk could be preparing to play his final game with the Canadiens, or he could be preparing to call it home for a while. He’s not saying much on the situation. Kovalchuk on the contract talks.

“I’m not J.P. or Marc,” Kovalchuk said Friday. “I just want to play, and we’ll see what happens. But like I’ve said multiple times already, I love everything here and it’s a great place to be.”

Pierre LeBrun: Think the Ilya Kovalchuk – Montreal Canadiens situation goes until Monday as they balance the cost to re-sign against the trade offers they receive for him.

Montreal Canadiens trade deadline primer

Eric Engels of Sportsnet: The Montreal Canadiens are now sellers and should be looking to upgrade their blue line and to get bigger up front – at the deadline and in the offseason.

Assets the Canadiens could move are Nate Thompson, Dale Weise, Nick Cousins, Ilya Kovalchuk and Tomas Tatar.

At least five teams have shown interest in Kovalchuk. The Canadiens may prefer to keep Tatar, but if they get a big offer they’d have to consider. They do have depth down the left side.

Draft picks

2020: 1st, 2nd, 2nd (CHI), 2nd (STL) 3rd, 4th, 4th (ANA), 4th (WPG), 5th, 5th (FLA), 6th, 7th (CHI)

2021: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 3rd (CHI), 4th, 5th, 5th (OTT), 6th

A bold move would be to trade Max Domi for a power forward or a top-four defenseman. The could keep Tatar and move Domi.

The Canadiens have been linked to Columbus Blue Jackets Josh Anderson. Mike Russo of the Athletic wondered if Domi could be used in a deal involving Mathew Dumba or Jonas Brodin.

The Canadiens shouldn’t trade defenseman Jeff Petry. They can talk extension after July 1st and should do so.

Bergevin could be a total wildcard at the deadline

Sportsnet: Elliotte Friedman on his 31 Thoughts Podcast on the Canadiens ahead of the deadline.

“Here’s the thing. I’ve heard rumours about (Max) Domi, I’ve had people say he’s out there, I’ve had other people absolutely shoot it down to me. I think they’re trying to extend (Jeff) Petry, he’s eligible July 1. Tatar, I don’t think they want to do it, but you look at the prices — do they say we gotta do it? I’ve had people tell me no on Drouin, I don’t know. I think (Bergevin) could do anything. I don’t believe the Price to Colorado stuff, there’s no way Colorado is adding that kind of term when MacKinnon’s up in three years and Makar they gotta pay in a year.

“I think (Bergervin’s) a total wild card… I think he could do anything, or nothing.”