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Ilya Kovalchuk is making it hard for the Canadiens to trade him away – Habs Eyes on the Prize

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At least three teams are reportedly interested in the availability of Ilya Kovalchuk. According to Eric Engels, the Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames, and Edmonton Oilers might like to see if they could deal with the Montreal Canadiens for his services. But even with all of the reported interest, the aging Russian is making a very compelling case to stay in la belle province.

At 36-years-old, he still has the ability to be the type of difference maker that the Habs were lacking for most of this season. He stole the show yet again, and celebrated accordingly.

When Nick Suzuki gets the breakaway, that is the opportunity you might expect to end the game. He gets poke-checked, however, and it’s up to the trailing Kovalchuk to pounce on the loose puck. It’s a finisher’s goal, and it secured an incredibly valuable two points for a Habs team that seems determined to hang on to their playoff hopes.

I’ve stated numerous times that I believe the best thing for the Habs to do is to capitalize on Kovalchuk’s trade value, but he is finisher that the Habs have been lacking all year. This is going to make it harder for them to let him go, particularly if they can continue this streak.

It definitely wasn’t his best game in a Habs uniform. He was sub-50% in on-ice shot attempts-for, and he was on the ice when John Tavares put the Habs down by one in the early goings of the third period. But the Habs were never a bad possession team, they lacked finish, and the fact that he provides them with some of that just might make the race to the playoffs a lot more interesting than it was supposed to be.

That he managed to show that finish against Toronto — on a night where the Florida Panthers also lost — gives hope to Canadiens fans. Whether that hope is misplaced or not remains to be seen, but all of a sudden the idea of this team sneaking into the playoffs seems considerably less crazy than it did even a week ago.

They still have a long way to go, but last night was a massive step in the right direction. I still think that moving Kovalchuk is a logical conclusion to this story, but if he can steal a few more games before the trade deadline, he might put them in a position where they need him around to finish the run.

And after that goal, and the raucous celebration that followed, I’m finding it hard to accept that he should leave despite my personal opinion on the matter.

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Alouettes trade for QB Trevor Harris – CFL.ca

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MONTREAL — The Montreal Alouettes announced on Sunday that the team has acquired veteran quarterback Trevor Harris from the Edmonton Elks in exchange for American defensive end Antonio Simmons.

In six games this season, Harris completed 135 of 192 passes, collecting 1,568 yards, adding six majors.

Harris (six-foot-three, 212 pounds) is in his ninth season in the CFL after playing in Toronto, Ottawa and Edmonton. In 139 career games, he completed 1990 passes for 23,750 yards, adding 126 touchdown passes. The 35-year-old quarterback has hoisted the Grey Cup twice (2012, Toronto; 2016, Ottawa). The Waldo, OH native was selected on the East Division All-Star Team in 2016. The former Edinboro University Fighting Scots suited up for the Jacksonvile Jaguars in 2010 and the Buffalo Bills in 2011.

“Trevor is a veteran who knows the league well and what it takes to win”, said Montreal Alouettes General Manager Danny Maciocia. “We are pleased to have been able to complete this transaction. We are confident that Trevor will work well with our quarterbacks. We thank Antonio for his services and wish him well.”

In 23 career games with the Alouettes, Simmons made 52 defensive tackles, five quarterback sacks and forced a fumble.

Simmons is currently in his second CFL season and joins the Elks after originally signing with Montreal in May of 2019.

The Georgia Tech product played all 18 regular season games for the Als in 2019, recording 45 defensive tackles, three sacks, and a forced fumble. In five games this season, Simmons has registered seven defensive tackles and two sacks.

A native of Jacksonville, Florida, Simmons played four years (2014-17) at Georgia Tech, collecting 83 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, and seven quarterback sacks. He spent time in 2018 with both the Denver Broncos and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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Flames D Andersson fined $5K for roughing Oilers F Yamamoto – TSN

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Calgary Flames defenseman Rasmus Andersson has been fined $5,000 for roughing Edmonton Oilers forward Kailer Yamamoto.

Andersson was fined the maximum allowable under the collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and the Players’ Association.

The money goes to the players’ emergency assistance fund.

Andersson was assessed minor penalties for both roughing and elbowing at 14:33 of the first period Saturday in Edmonton.

The Flames lost their season-opener 5-2 to the Oilers.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 17, 2021.

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Report: Maple Leafs to ease up on dress code restrictions for game days – Sportsnet.ca

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The Toronto Maple Leafs are apparently planning to loosen up on dress code restrictions for players on game day.

Players are required to wear jackets, ties and dress pants to and from the arena, as outlined in the CBA, however, teams can ease up on the mandate if they choose.

The Arizona Coyotes were the only team that opted to do so entering the season, but the Maple Leafs now plan to follow suit, according to Lance Hornby of The Toronto Sun.

The decision comes just a few days after ESPN published an article on Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews, who has shown a flair for unique fashion while away from the arena, discussing his displeasure with the NHL’s strict dress code.

“I don’t mind wearing a suit, but it gets old pretty quick,” Matthews said. “I think it’d be fun to wear different things and be able to express yourself, similar to what the NBA does or even the NFL a little bit.”

The 24-year-old Matthews, who led the NHL with 41 goals in 52 games last season, missed the first three games of the season while recovering from wrist surgery and is expected to make his 2021-22 debut Monday night against the New York Rangers on Sportsnet.

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