The latest Leafs rumors and Oilers goalie Viktor Fasth reaching a career crossroads.
TORONTO STAR: Mark Zwolinski reported on recent trade rumors about the Maple Leafs, none of which has been confirmed by the club. Among the notable speculation: Different teams have interest in Phil Kessel and Dion Phaneuf, the Dallas Stars have interest in Joffrey Lupul, and there’s talk the Leafs could ship a defenseman (Jake Gardiner or Cody Franson) and a top-six center (Nazem Kadri or Tyler Bozak) to the Colorado Avalanche for versatile forward Ryan O’Reilly. Zwolinski also reports the Leafs are believed in talks to re-sign Franson and forward Mike Santorelli.
TORONTO SUN: Dave Hilson also reports on the Leafs supposed interested in O’Reilly.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Both reports note the Leafs players are hearing the growing speculation but are trying to ignore it. If they really want to do something about it, start stringing together some wins. Easier said than done, I know, but that’s the only realistic way to silence the chatter from the punditry.
As for the Stars supposed interest in Lupul, I don’t understand that one. Lupul’s been in and out of the lineup this season with injuries and is currently sidelined until February. He has a lengthy injury history and is earning $5.25 million per season through 2017-18. I realize the Stars need scoring depth but surely to Buddha they can find better options than Lupul in the trade market.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports Oilers goalie Viktor Fasth is reaching a career crossroads as he tries to prove he can be a reliable NHL goaltender. Fasth has struggled since joining the Oilers. He’s a UFA this summer and could become a trade candidate by the March deadline. Matheson suggests the Oilers, still in need of a proven starting goalie, could pursue San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi this summer via free agency or attempt to acquire Carolina Hurricanes netminder Cam Ward via trade.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I expect the Oilers will listen to offers for Fasth or Ben Scrivens leading up to the trade deadline. They’ll likely keep Scrivens and move Fasth.