NHL trade rumors: 3 teams who should trade for Phillip Danault

Phillip Danault #24 of the Montreal Canadiens (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Phillip Danault #24 of the Montreal Canadiens (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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nhl trade rumors
Phillip Danault #24 of the Montreal Canadiens (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

According to the latest NHL trade rumors, the Montreal Canadiens are shopping center Phillip Danault around the league.

The Montreal Canadiens have some tough decisions to make this offseason. Their biggest decision is figuring out the future of their centers. Obviously, Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Nick Suzuki aren’t going anywhere. This leaves one center spot for Max Domi and Phillip Danault. The former is an RFA and the latter has one year left on his deal. According to the latest NHL trade rumors, the Canadiens are shopping Danault.

This report is courtesy of Elliotte Friedman. During a recent interview with WGR 550, here’s what he had to say about Danault and the Canadiens.

"“I think there’s a chance it could be Danault who goes instead of Domi.”"

Friedman confirmed the Canadiens are open to trading either Max Domi or Danault. However, their chances of re-signing Domi have gotten a bit better over the past week. And Danault’s not too happy about his role with the Canadiens, specifically during the postseason.

During the regular season, Danault was Montreal’s top forward. Among players who appeared in at least 25 games, his 18:51 of ice time per game led all Canadiens forwards. He was also their second-most used forward at even strength per game, averaging 14:46, just four seconds behind Brendan Gallagher.

However, in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, there were some drastic changes. While he averaged 19:51 per game, his most common linemates went from Brendan Gallagher and Tomas Tatar to Artturi Lehkonen, Tatar, and Paul Byron. Suzuki and Kotkaniemi took over Danault’s more prominent offensive role and Danault turned into more of a shutdown center.

To his credit, Danault did quite well in this role and there’s a good reason why he was a serious Selke Trophy candidate. But it’s clear he wasn’t completely happy with his new role.

If the Canadiens can’t sign Danault to an extension, it wouldn’t be surprising if they trade him and re-sign Domi. With that said, let’s take a look at three teams who should express interest in him.

Honorable Mentions

I think there’s a fit with the Winnipeg Jets, but I don’t think they want to part with the pieces the Canadiens want (Nikolaj Ehlers and Patrik Laine). Nor do I believe the Habs would simply trade Danault for draft picks.

The New York Rangers could be a dark horse candidate for Danault. They need help defensively and as stated earlier, Danault was a serious Selke Trophy candidate. The Rangers could also give Danault the playing time he wants if they decide to trade Ryan Strome.

Watch out for the Buffalo Sabres too. They’ve got a huge second line center hole to fill. The Sabres will have options, but few of them are better than Danault.