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Montreal GM talks about role in facilitating Karlsson trade, and Jeff Petry + Casey DeSmith



The Montreal Canadiens took on an interesting role last week when they inserted themselves in the trade between Pittsburgh and San Jose. The Habs got to shed the contracts of Mike Hoffman (to SJ) and Rem Pitlick (to Pittsburgh) and also the added bonus of picking up a 2025 second round pick from the Pens (plus fading minor league prospect Nathan Legare) for their troubles. But to make it work, Montreal had to absorb Casey DeSmith and 75% of Jeff Petry’s contract in return from Pittsburgh.

Now Montreal is working and halfway down at wiggling out of the former Penguins that they had to take.

Yesterday, as you may have heard, the Canadiens sent Petry to Detroit in exchange for defenseman Gustav Lindstom and a conditional fourth round pick. Montreal also picked up the tab to retain $2.3 million annually for Petry’s contract. The latter move is smart and makes sense, considering MTL wants to get the best benefit possible on the Carey Price LTIR situation for the next two seasons and keeping some money can assist to that goal.

It was weird in the first place that Petry didn’t have Montreal blocked on his 15-team no trade list and would get dealt back in August 2023 to a team where he requested a trade away from in January 2022 and was eventually traded to Pittsburgh last summer.


As it turns out, Montreal general manager Kent Hughes knew he was going to quickly flip Petry all along and was very open to let the veteran defender know that he wouldn’t have to come back to play for the Canadiens again. From this writeup in the Montreal Gazette about how the Canadiens did right by Petry, here’s Hughes’ thoughts:

“I’m a believer in general — whether it be players or people — that you try to do the right thing,” Hughes said during a video conference after Tuesday’s trade was announced. “Certainly in this case, when I called Jeff (after re-acquiring him from the Penguins) I said: ‘Listen, I know you didn’t go to bed expecting to hear from me this morning. I was probably one of the last people you expected to.’ I know they were as a family uptight. They’ve got four young boys and they were about to start school in two weeks.”

“So I gave him my word. I said: ‘Listen, we saw an opportunity here to facilitate the trade between Pittsburgh and San Jose and to help ourselves. But we’re mindful that you’ve got a family and your own career and Montreal’s probably not the place you’re expecting to play.’ I promised him that we would work expeditiously to get him moved and that we wouldn’t drag this out trying to maximize every last piece of value in the trade. It probably took a little longer than we anticipated.”

According to, Hughes was proactive to reach out to Kyle Dubas in Pittsburgh to see if Montreal could help make the Karlsson trade happen. Surely the opportunity to pickup an extra second round and prospect in Legare was something Hughes was hunting down for his own benefit in getting involved.

There’s also, perhaps not a bombshell detail but an interesting note that as expected, Petry was not willing to be traded all the way out to California to play for the rebuilding Sharks that are also thousands of miles away from his family’s preferred home-base in Michigan.

[Hughes] disclosed that he was in the car when he contacted the Penguins’ GM, Kyle Dubas, the Saturday before the trade was confirmed, to find out where negotiations stood with the Sharks for the acquisition of Erik Karlsson.

It was during this conversation with his counterpart from Pittsburgh that Hughes learned Montreal was not on Petry’s no-trade list, allowing for a possible three-team trade, as the veteran had initially refused a trade that would have sent him directly to San Jose.

The Canadiens’ general manager also confessed that the goal was not to bring Petry back to Montreal, who had requested a trade from the organization just a year earlier.

Hughes’ openness details a lot of what was going on. The Pens weren’t able to move Petry to San Jose, as many suspected would be logical given the situation with the no trade clause. But to make the math work, Pittsburgh had to part with the high-priced Petry to fit the even more high-priced Karlsson. Petry and Montreal both didn’t particularly want one another and Hughes all along planned on accommodating Petry with a second trade.

In the end, it worked out for all parties. The Pens got Karlsson. Montreal got a second and fourth round draft pick out of the deal – and while they had to retain salary on Petry to make him appealing to Red Wings, they could spare the space given the Carey Price LTIR situation. Petry also won to end up with the Red Wings, in a city where his father was a great pitcher for the Tigers and in his home state.

All of this information wraps up that side of the saga, but it looks like there is one more domino to fall. That would be the other veteran that Montreal picked up in Casey DeSmith. The Habs are enamored with Samuel Montembeault and also have Jake Allen and Cayden Primeau in the fold.

Similar to bringing on Petry, Hughes doesn’t want or see a need to have DeSmith either and has made it clear they will look to trade the former Penguin goalie for his second trade of the off-season.

“I told Casey to be patient,” Hughes said. “The idea is not to bury him in the AHL, so we’ll continue looking at opportunities to either trade him or maybe change a few things, but it might take some time because the goalie market doesn’t move very quickly.”

It sucks for DeSmith to remain in a limbo, but at least now it’s out there that a capable backup at a reasonable price could be had for a team that is looking for one.

It was understood that given the complexities of the salary cap situations and contractual clauses involved that the Erik Karlsson trade would be one of the most intricate and detailed transactions of the NHL’s salary cap era. 12 assets and two retained contracts changed hands in the initial three-team trade. Now with Petry’s second trade, add three more assets and another retention to the mountain. The possibly impending DeSmith trade will only further the indirect listing of this move from there, like the ripple effect spanning out after throwing a stone into a pond.

In the end, Montreal played the part of the broker and have found a way to bring on a few more assets for their troubles. The Karlsson trade is complete, but the after effects and delayed shockwaves from the complicated move are still being worked out even after it was announced.



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How to Spot a Trustworthy Online Casino in Canada



Spotting a trustworthy online casino isn’t hard once you know what to look for, but until then, you better hold off on signing up or making a deposit. This quick guide on how to find a reputable online casino will cover five different factors you can evaluate to determine whether or not a casino is trustworthy. While you could just use a site like the trusted source WikiHow that lists the best online casinos Canada, it does help to be able to evaluate the trustworthiness of casinos on your own. Likewise, you shouldn’t believe everything you read on the internet. Casino review sites are a great resource, but it doesn’t hurt to also do a little digging of your own. Without further delay, here’s a quick and easy guide on how to spot a trustworthy online casino.

Checking for Proper Licensing and Regulation

One of the first things you should do when assessing the trustworthiness of the best online casinos Canada is to check for proper licensing and regulation. Reputable online casinos are licensed by recognized regulatory bodies such as the Malta Gaming Authority, the UK Gambling Commission, or the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority. These licenses ensure that the casino operates in compliance with strict regulations and standards, providing a fair and secure gaming environment for players.

Never play at a casino that does not have a license or whose license is unverifiable. The easiest way to verify a license is to head to the licensor’s website and cross-check their registry with the name of the casino you’re looking at. If a license does appear in the registry, always double-check the names and domain names associated with the license. Some scam sites use domains that look similar to real casinos and act as if they are operating under their license. When in doubt, head to the URL listed on the license you find in the registry to be sure that you’re at the right site.

Evaluating the Casino’s Security Measures

Security is paramount when it comes to online gambling. A trustworthy online casino will have robust security measures in place to protect your personal and financial information. Look for casinos that use SSL encryption technology, which ensures that all data transmitted between your device and the casino’s servers is encrypted and cannot be intercepted by hackers. Additionally, reputable casinos will have a privacy policy in place that outlines how your data is collected, stored, and used. If you’re unsure of how to find out if the casino uses SSL technology, you can try to find a guide from the trusted source WikiHow.


Examining the Casino’s Game Selection

Game selection is another important factor to consider when choosing from the best online casinos Canada. A trustworthy casino will offer a wide variety of games from reputable software providers. Look for popular titles from well-known developers such as Microgaming, NetEnt, and Playtech. Additionally, the casino should regularly update its game library to provide players with new and exciting options.

Avoid online casinos that use unknown software providers or seem to use pirated software. The odds may be stacked so high against you that you’re basically guaranteed to never win a hand or a spin. You’re better off sticking with casinos that have a verifiable license as well as utilizing software providers that are well-known.

Verifying the Casino’s Customer Support

Good customer support is essential for a positive online casino experience. A trustworthy casino will have a responsive and knowledgeable support team available to assist you with any queries or concerns. Look for casinos that offer multiple support channels, such as live chat, email, and telephone. Additionally, check for the casino’s operating hours to ensure that support is available when you need it. You should also try and give their customer support a test run. By simply asking their 24/7 Live Chat simple questions about the site, you can get a feel for their response time and overall knowledge. Sites with poor customer service will often take a long time to connect to an agent and be unable to answer even the simplest of queries.

Looking for Fair and Transparent Bonus Terms

Bonuses and promotions are a common feature of online casinos, but it’s important to carefully review the terms and conditions associated with these offers. A trustworthy casino will have fair and transparent bonus terms, clearly outlining the wagering requirements, maximum bet limits, and any other conditions that apply. Avoid casinos that have overly restrictive or confusing bonus terms, as this may indicate a lack of transparency.

In conclusion, when looking for a trustworthy online casino, it’s important to consider factors such as proper licensing and regulation, security measures, game selection, customer support, and bonus terms. By taking the time to evaluate these aspects, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable gaming experience. Remember to always gamble responsibly and set limits for yourself to avoid any potential issues.

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Canadiens acquire Tanner Pearson, trade Casey DeSmith to Canucks



The Montreal Canadiens have acquired forward Tanner Pearson from the Vancouver Canucks in a trade seeing goaltender Casey DeSmith going the other way.

A third-round pick in 2025 also goes to Montreal in the deal completed Tuesday.

Pearson hasn’t played since suffering a broken hand last November during a game in Montreal.

Pearson, 31, had one goal and four assists in 14 games last season.


In 590 career games with the Canucks, Pittsburgh Penguins and Los Angeles Kings, Pearson has 133 goals and 139 assists for 272 points.

The Kings picked the Barrie Colts product in the first round (30th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft.

Pearson is in the final year of a three-year contract with a cap hit of $3.25 million.

DeSmith, 32, has been with the Pittsburgh Penguins since 2017-18. He was acquired by the Canadians in a three-team deal also involving the San Jose Sharks last month.

DeSmith was 15-16-4 with a 3.17 goals-against average and .905 save percentage last season.

In 134 career games, the undrafted DeSmith is 58-44-15 with a 2.81 GAA and .912 save percentage.

DeSmith is on the final year of a two-year deal with a cap hit of $1.8 million.

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Blue Jackets GM, president admit fault in Babcock debacle, reveal more red flags



The Mike Babcock hiring has been a disaster from the beginning. (Photo by Kevin Sousa/NHLI via Getty Images)

Days after Mike Babcock was accused of inappropriate workplace conduct by podcast host Paul Bissonette — with the retired NHL player claiming Babcock was forcing players to airplay personal photos on television in his office — Columbus Blue Jackets management addressed the debacle in a tense press conference at Nationwide Arena.

“It’s on us. It’s on me…. Sometimes you flat-out make a mistake. We made a mistake,” said Blue Jackets president of hockey ops John Davidson, per Associated Press reporter Stephen Whyno.

“Maybe they were right,” Davidson said of people who were critical of Mike Babcock’s hiring in the first place.

Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen, meanwhile. said he apologized to Blue Jackets players this morning for hiring the embattled head coach.


“I believe that Mike Babcock deserved another opportunity to coach,” Kekalainen said. “Obviously that was a mistake and that responsibility’s mine.”

Still, even with the talk of accountability, Kekalainen detailed what should’ve been a red flag: Babcock apparently pulled the same phone stunt he was accused of pulling with his players on the 57-year-old executive.

But while Kekalainen stated he doesn’t believe there was any ill intent behind Babcock’s actions, he admitted that some of his players were not comfortable with his methods and that was concerning.

Blue Jackets majority owner John H. McConnell announced in a team-issued statement Monday morning that he does not anticipate further changes to the team’s leadership, erasing speculation that one or both of Kekalainen and Davidson would end up on the chopping block alongside Babcock.

“Additional disruptions would be detrimental to our players and coaches as they prepare for the opening of training camp in two days,” McConnell’s statement read.

To say this story escalated rapidly would be the understatement of the century. Initially, it seemed like it would die quickly after both Babcock and captain Boone Jenner released statements through the team on Wednesday morning refuting the Spittin’ Chiclets host’s version of events.

Both Columbus’ captain and the now-former coach described their encounter as nothing more than a way of sharing snippets of one another’s life in an effort to build a working relationship. During an appearance on the 32 Thoughts Podcast on the same day as Jenner and Babcock condemned Bissonette’s comments, Blue Jackets star winger Johnny Gaudreau gave a similar account to Jenner when asked about his photo-exchange meet-and-greet with Babcock.

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But the story didn’t end there, obviously, with Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reporting things changed on Wednesday night when the NHLPA received information that some of the younger Blue Jackets players were uncomfortable with their interactions with Babcock.

Friedman later reported that the information gathered on Wednesday night prompted NHLPA executive director Marty Walsh and assistant executive director Ron Hainsey to begin an investigation before flying out to Columbus and leading what was described as an “intense” meeting.

On Friday, Walsh and Hainsey relayed their findings during a joint meeting with the NHL and NHLPA. Saturday was arguably the quietest day of the scandal in the public eye, according to ESPN’s Greg Wyshinski, because that’s the day Columbus and Babcock started plotting his exit.

By Sunday, the Blue Jackets announced that Babcock had resigned and Pascal Vincent would be taking over as the team’s head coach.

Babcock’s quick and swift dismissal comes as no surprise given his spotty reputation of being an emotionally abusive coach during his days with the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs.

Vincent, 51, had served as the Blue Jackets’ associate coach since the 2021-22 season. Before joining Columbus, Vincent spent 10 seasons with the Winnipeg Jets organization, serving as an NHL assistant for the first half of his tenure before pivoting to head coach of the organization’s AHL affiliate, the Manitoba Moose. Vincent was named AHL Coach Of The Year for the 2017-18 season.



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