The NHL’s Christmas “trade freeze” is in effect until December 27th, but that hasn’t stopped speculation on the Montreal Canadiens and Carolina Hurricanes.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Pat Hickey looks at what could be in store for the Canadiens in the coming weeks, instructing Habs fans hoping for a blockbuster trade not to hold their breath. If the club is out of the playoffs by the trade deadline, that could make them a seller, but it would be difficult to move some of their high-salaried veterans.

SPECTOR’ S NOTE: Canadiens fans should hope the club rallies for new head coach Randy Cunneyworth. There’s no major trade coming which will turn things around after the trade freeze is lifted.

Should Hurricanes consider moving "untouchables" like Cam Ward?

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Chip Alexander noted Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford continues to say he’s looking at potential trades and often mentioned dealing a defenseman for a forward. He also asks fans which “untouchables” should be considered trade bait.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s speculation Eric Staal might be dealt, but Rutherford swiftly denied Staal or Cam Ward were available.