Jake Gardiner a fit for the Montreal Canadiens? Maybe.
Marc Dumont of The Athletic: What if Montreal took a shot on Jake Gardiner? There would be considerable risk involved but the Canadiens need a spark from the blueline. For what it’s worth, Montreal suddenly draws some attraction. Puck moving, a left-handed shot, and top-four defenseman check off some major points.
The risk with Gardiner is his penchant for nasty giveaways. However, he turns the puck over at a rate less than Shea Weber. Consider the fact that Jake Gardiner handles the round black thing a good bit more than Weber. The problem with the defenseman was partly being paired with Nikita Zaitsev. Zaitsev endured a bit of a struggle last season and magnified some of Gardiner’s gaffes.
Gardiner meshing with Jeff Petry is unlikely but Shea Weber could be a better fit. For a 2-3 year window, Jake Gardiner presents an opportunity for Marc Bergevin to patch up his top-four and stick it to Toronto at the same time. Gardiner’s back is the only real red flag as the cost is something Montreal can absorb.
Go big? Go Erik Karlsson?
Brendan Kelley of the Montreal Gazette: Again, there was some ice cold water poured on the rumors to Montreal and Karlsson may even in San Jose.
“The word is that Erik Karlsson is taking a long, hard look at deciding if he wants to stay in San Jose,” Friedman said. “And I think we’re going to know, in about a week, if he’s going to stay or if he’s going to investigate his other free-agency options. He wants to win, the Sharks are perennially in it they’ve made a good impression on him.”
On the other hand, would Karlsson like to be closer to Ottawa? It is a question that will linger for the next week or so at least. If Marc Bergevin landed Erik Karlsson, the Montreal Canadiens would have to dump a player or two.
Yes, this is a pipe dream more or less but where there’s smoke…