NHL Rumor Mill – November 11, 2019
Could the Bruins pursue Tyler Toffoli or Kevin Fiala? Should the Senators trade Jean-Gabriel Pageau? Should the Leafs shop for a backup goalie? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.
TOFFOLI OR FIALA ON BRUINS’ RADAR?
BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy recently reported the Boston Bruins are doing due diligence on Tyler Toffoli and other members of the Los Angeles Kings. Murphy cites an NHL source claiming the Bruins’ interest in Toffoli is exploratory at this point as they attempt to determine the asking price for the 27-year-old winger.
Murphy also claims another NHL source said Minnesota Wild general manager Bill Guerin is receiving plenty of interest in Kevin Fiala. The 23-year-old winger is earning $3 million annually on a two-year contract. He’s been a healthy scratch on more than one occasion. The source noted the Bruins looked at Fiala during his days with the Nashville Predators but couldn’t say if they’re revisiting that interest.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bruins GM Don Sweeney isn’t in any hurry to make a move with his club off to a strong start. I wouldn’t be surprised, however, if he’s keeping an eye on the trade market for a second-line winger. That move could come in the weeks leading up to the trade deadline. That’s usually when he makes his biggest in-season deal. He acquired Rick Nash near the 2018 deadline and Charlie Coyle and Marcus Johansson last February.
Toffoli would provide more immediate help to the Bruins. Fiala is younger, has offensive potential and would be more affordable to acquire. Toffoli, however, is a better two-way player with Stanley Cup experience.
SHOULD THE SENATORS PUT PAGEAU ON THE TRADE BLOCK?
THE ATHLETIC: Graeme Nichols recently made the case for the Ottawa Senators to trade Jean-Gabriel Pageau. He notes the winger turns 27 today and his prime years are winding down. His strong play thus far this season would make him enticing to playoff contenders.
The Senators have also built up depth at the center position and won’t have room for everyone. If Colin White’s defensive game continues to improve it could give the Senators the flexibility to cash in on Pageau’s value now.
Nichols acknowledged there is a risk to trading Pageau for draft picks. He cites their moves during the 2011 trade deadline in which the two additional first-rounders they received failed to pan out.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pageau’s future in Ottawa could depend upon his willingness to stay with the rebuilding Senators and if they see him as part of their long-term plans. His asking price could also be a factor.
SHOULD THE LEAFS SHOP FOR A BACKUP GOALIE?
TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan believes goaltending is an issue for the Maple Leafs as backup Michael Hutchinson continues to struggle in the early going. Hutchinson allowed three goals on the first six shots in last night’s 5-4 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. Koshan believes few would blame the Leafs if they called up Kasimir Kaskisuo from the Toronto Marlies.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hutchinson is 0-4-1 this season with a bloated 4.44 goals-against average and a lousy .879 save percentage. If GM Kyle Dubas is reluctant to call up Kaskisuo, he could be forced into the trade market at some point in the season.