NHL Rumor Mill – February 5, 2018

by | Feb 5, 2018 | Rumors | 99 comments

Latest on the Maple Leafs and Penguins plus updates on Patrick Maroon and Mike Hoffman in your NHL rumor mill.


TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan reports there’s a slim possibility the Maple Leafs could trade impending free agent left wing James van Riemsdyk at the Feb. 26 trade deadline. However, the general feeling is they’ll retain him for the remainder of the season. General manager Lou Lamoriello won’t just focus on possibly shopping other unrestricted free agents such as Tyler Bozak, Leo Komarov, Dominic Moore or Roman Polak. Winger Josh Leivo reportedly wants a fresh start elsewhere while Nikita Soshnikov could also be on the market.

Koshan notes rugged forward Matt Martin, who’s signed through 2019-20, has been a healthy scratch in the last five games. He also feels it could cost the Leafs a good young forward such as William Nylander, Mitch Marner or Kasperi Kapanen to acquire a top-four defenseman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Jonas Siegel reports Leivo’s agent said his client doesn’t want to leave Toronto but he wants an opportunity to play. The 24-year-old forward has yet to suit up in 2018. While both sides appear to be handling this situation well, the Leafs’ forward depth probably means Leivo will remain the odd man out. Maybe he gets packaged for a return that attempts to boost Toronto’s defensive depth.

As for van Riemsdyk, I’ll be very surprised if he’s moved at the deadline. While Lamoriello won’t engage in a fire sale of his pending UFAs, I wouldn’t be shocked if one of the others noted by Koshan gets moved by deadline day. Maybe Martin, too, though his grit and experience could come in handy down the stretch and into the postseason. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: Jonathan Bombulie speculates the play of versatile center Riley Sheahan could determine what moves the Pittsburgh Penguins make by the trade deadline. Of late, Sheahan’s been centering Phil Kessel on the Pens’ third line. If he remains in that role, the Pens could pursue an affordable fourth-line center such as Edmonton’s Mark Letestu or Minnesota’s Matt Cullen, or perhaps look at upgrades elsewhere. If they feel Sheahan lacks the offensive skills to remain their third-line center, they could instead pursue someone such as Ottawa’s Jean-Gabriel Pageau. If they feel he’s an “in-betweener”, maybe they look at someone like Montreal’s Tomas Plekanec.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins’ improvement since December has somewhat reduced the pressure upon GM Jim Rutherford to swing a significant trade. Doesn’t mean he still won’t do it, but if Sheahan remains comfortable in the third-line position, it could shift Rutherford’s view from center to perhaps adding a scoring winger. 

Salary-cap constraints could force the Edmonton Oilers to move winger Patrick Maroon by the trade deadline (Photo via NHL Images).


EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples points out left wing Patrick Maroon’s been a model of consistency for the Oilers over the past two seasons.

So why would the Oilers consider trading him at the deadline? “Well, there are those massive contracts with Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Milan Lucic, not to mention a big contract with Andrej Sekera, and significant deals with Kris Russell, Adam Larsson, Oscar Klefbom and Cam Talbot. Big deals are surely on the way for Darnell Nurse and, I would argue, Jesse Puljujarvi.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given the choice, I think Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli would prefer to re-sign Maroon. Maybe he can convince the winger to accept a hometown discount to stay in Edmonton. However, this is likely Maroon’s only opportunity to cash in on a big payday via free agency. If cap constraints prevent the Oilers from re-signing Maroon before the deadline, I think he’ll be on the move by Feb. 26. 

TSN: Frank Seravalli plays the “Tradecentre Match Game” with Ottawa Senators winger Mike Hoffman, listing the Carolina Hurricanes, Edmonton Oilers and New Jersey Devils as possible trade destinations. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes are struggling to score of late and that’s jeopardizing their playoff hopes. Carolina GM Ron Francis has yet to make a significant player-for-player hockey trade. That’s what it will probably take to pry Hoffman away from the Sens, who reportedly seek a young NHL-ready player in return. As per Cap Friendly, he carries a 10-team no-trade list and Carolina could be on it.

He also has an annual average value of over $5.1 million through 2019-20. That prices him out of the Oilers’ range unless the Sens are willing to pick up part of it, which is doubtful. Hoffman could be a good fit with the Devils, provided he’s willing to accept a trade to New Jersey. 



  1. Good points lyle!

    As prevously mentioned, it will cost the leafs marner or nylander for probably a number 4. Kapanen alone sont do the trick, less subject defence is on an expiring contract.

    Its funny how all the leafs fans jumped on me last week for stating the obvious.

    Klefbomb for Marner, torontos first and third in 2018 and josh levio

    • The Leafs have four – six defensmen that would be a #2 – 3 on any other team.

      With the emergence of Dermott being a possible blooming star for the team…there is no reason what so ever for the leafs to trade 2 anyone of teh biggest stars on the team for a dime a dozen #4 D man ..sorry Twin.

      People should stop listening to all the Rumours about the Leafs trading Marner and or Nylander for a #2 D man any longer …the Leafs brass have seen a glimpse into the depth they now have on the back end Dermott may be a major star in the league and the Leafs and could be that #1 Guy they have been looking for in the very near.
      The leafs will try an sign Doughty if that fails they now know that they will NOT need to trade Nylander or Marner for a top D man ..they just need to stay the course with the internal program…like the Bruins did with Mcavoy and Carlo!!

      Letting go of JVR Bozak Komo this off season will free up $13 million in cap space ..its best to hit that UFA market and not give up assets that will be impossible to replace long term!

      the Leafs are trying to keep Leivo in the mix because he was to replace a few players that they may not retain next year or move at the deadline such as JVR or Komo or Kapi!

      • Kal
        You instantly lost all credibility to your post when you start with ” the leafs have 4-6 d men who would be # 2/3 on ANY other team . LOL

        That is laughable .
        Dermott has played well , in his sheltered role.

      • @ Craig


        Wow ..throwing stones today are we..LOL

        Reilly Gardiner & Hainsey would be in the top 4 mix on ANY contending team this year with there play…thats “3”

        I am not a Zaitsev fan …but he rounds out the top 4 and would be a number 2 3 4 on any other team as he is a minute eating machine !

        BNring in Travis Dermott who is in my vuiew beyond a Hannafin in development at this point and you have a possible number 4 on any other team just like the Pens did with a Matta or the Habs did this year with Metes ..

        I take umbrige on my credibility …

        You can’t just be a hater because you don’t like a team..the leafs are FULL Of D men who are on the bottom 2 lines pairing WHY IN THE WORLD would they trade one of the two best rookies in the league for a DIME A DOZEN #4 D man???
        Makes no sense they have that in spades!

        I am not looking for a fight here Craig and your welcome to your opinion.
        I really disagree however in your assumption of my insight.

        Every team is looking for a SOLID #2 D man ..every team has a boat load of #4 D men…the leafs DO NOT need a #2 D man any longer and should NOT trade for one!

        the max they should do is a rental D man or a journey man to round out the experience end of thighs …thats it!

      • Kal
        Your credibility just took a couple more hits .
        1. Dermott further along than hanifin ? Based on what ?? Dermott has played well in sheltered role , you see super star already lol .
        2. Reilly gardiner and Hainsey may be in the mix , on some teams top 4 , or near all , like you claimed . Forget Zaitsev and 5, 6, 7 .
        3. The leafs are not the deepest d group in the league . Which they would be if your comment was close to accurate .
        4. I never said they should trade Marner / nylander , just pointing out how far off and leaf dreaming your comment was . And the effect it has on your post , credibility , gone .

      • Dermott most likely will turn into a serviceable defenseman in 2 or 3 hundred games. Rilley and Gardiner are good but not great second pairing defensemen.
        Ron Hainsey has been misused since arriving in HogTown.
        Not one of those players has been, or will be as good as Hanafin though.
        I’d admire your positive thought process all the same.

      • They should read , not near all * .
        The leafs are not the pens , do not have known playoff performers in there prime (Sid and geno) . And Freddy has done what in the playoffs to date ?
        And kal , of course , that’s 1 team . You stated on ANY team .

      • If the Pens showed us anything it was you can win without elite defensemen, as long as you have the scoring and solid goaltending.
        Arguably you could say Hainsey was Pitts #1 dman in the playoffs last year and now he’s a leaf.
        Have to remember that Pitts had and has elite skill up front which Toronto doesn’t have yet, developing yes maybe but not today.
        My question to the leafs fans by doing nothing and potentially losing JVR, Bozak and Komarov next season to UFA, do they have the depth to pickup the slack? Yes the three (MNM) will have one more year experience and will take up some of the loss scoring. If the other 3 walk you are deleting a line off the roster. It will be interesting to watch to see how this plays out.

      • I’m with Craig on this one, you have the whole bunch of Leafs d-men way over-valued.

      • I wouldn’t say Gardner, Reilly, Hainsey or Zaitsev would rank out as #2 Dman on the odd team & would even battle to make the top 3 on a few of the power house D’s but all would play top 4 roles on almost any team in the NHL.

        This is a solid top 4. It is very young by NHL experience with the exception of Hainsey & Gardiner just reached full development last season. Reilly & Zaitsev have years of growth ahead of them.

        Tor’s D is coming together. As always if anyone I’m waiting to see what happens with Trouba before I trade for anyone.

        If you waiting for Doughty that’s going to be a long wait as he will be extended in LA on July 1st. Just like I said Fowler would be in Anh over a year out. LA will gladly pay Doughty 11 mil per on an 8 year extension as would I.

        Trouba, Carlsson; if not extended in Was, & then we drop to a player like de Haan a still developing solid defensive Dman with some offensive abilities. The issue there is he’s a leftie, not ideal but the only UFA right handed Dman that fits the need would be Gunbranson & not sure how his foot speed will fit in with this group.

        It would be nice if Tor could lure Gubranson out before the trade deadline to see if there is a fit long term before potentially committing 4+ mil per on say a 5 year deal.

      • Striker
        That’s a more reasonable comment than what kal posted . 4-6 d men for 2-3 roles on ANY team . Yes I think 3/4 you mentioned would play a role in most teams top 4 , not all . I didn’t say the leafs were terrible or they should trade Marner / nylander . Just said that comment was way over the top to the point of losing me for the rest of the post.

      • If any team in the league had 4-6 of these 2-3 d men we would talking about the best d in the NHL . That’s certainly not torontos group

      • If….IF….the Leafs were to trade either Marner or Nylander, it had better be for a bonafide #1 D-man coming back the other way. I’m no Leafs fan (Canucks fan here), but if I were, and I was convinced the guy coming back were to put us over the top, I’d pray for Duncan Keith from Chicago. I know, a stiff price to pay for a guy who is already into his 30’s, but Keith is still a horse on the blue line. Imagine what he could teach Reilly and Gardiner. I get the feeling Keith is one of those players like Chelios…..he’ll be more than serviceable when the rest of his draft class has called it a day. I can’t think of a better person for the Leafs blue line than him, to turn them into a true contender….

      • Kal El, I think you meant to say that the Leafs have 2 or 3 guys that could serve as a 6 on other teams. Guessing that was auto correct or something 🙂

      • Ya because that defense is weak they give up a ton of shots and quality scoring chances. If not for Anderson they would be in trouble

    • I’m sure Leaf fans are happy you’re not their GM. That’s way too much for Klefbomb

      • It is a steap price. If the oilers were to trade kbomb nurse or larssn thats what it would take. Thats why they will remain in edmonton

      • leaf D men over valued ….Gardiner and Reilly round out the top 10 and 20 in the League …for stats …Striker loves Stats.

        I understand the small sample size of Dermott …but if you not paying attention ..to how good this kid is going to be your just have no credibility …LOL

        Mark my words ..as the next 2 seasons unfold you will see Dermott explode onto the scene …his foot work is ELITE all ready… and he out skates most players and defends well in the corners and makes UNREAL first passes and zone exits!
        Your more than welcome to tell me what you think …but Iam telling you this kid is all ready better than Hanafin in almost everyway….

        you will see..mark my words.

      • So to be clear kal , you want to use the stats to back up Reilly / gardiner , and ignore them to back up Dermott (or any leaf defender , being ahead of hanifin ? Makes sense . Dermott has plYed well , in tiny , sheltered role . He didn’t win a job out of camp , so the leafs brass doesn’t quite see that super star yet , polak , borgman , Carrick have all got considerable time. Where does Dermott even rank among them ? Babs will probably send him back and insert polak for the stretch .

    • LOL I cannot believe how many stupid returns I have seen with the Leafs giving up Nylander (or Marner) for an older forward not a REAL defender…now, if you are actually solving a need with a solid top three defender (if and when a REAL impact defender would actually come available and the team was willing to trade him w/o a defender coming back in return…then you trade one of them. or if one of those still not rounded Leaf kids think he is a 6 million dollar work in training. Not a Leaf fan, but smell hockey writer scat when I see those speculation.

      • @ Craig …just to be very fair here …go through the last 2 penguins Stanley Cup teams and who the D men were …and how many of them were #1 #2 D men hardly any!

        They were so thin on D last year and still won …the reason was SPEED AND SKILL upfront …they did with 4 lines deep of #4 D men …and they won becuase they had skilled players like a Marner Nylander ..you never trade guys like that until you are sure that there is no other way!

        AGAIN ..iam going to go back to the Chiraelli deal for Eberle and Hall that is the equivilant of trading Nylander Marner for who …Larson and Strome as a return…LMAO !

        The Oilers should never have made those moves and Lou should look at that as a blueprint on what NOT TO DO to try and win now …everything has a process and believe in your system and draft well and let it take its course!


      • So, either the Pens won two straight Cups with a bunch of scrub defenseman…

        OR people are vastly underrating the Pens D men.

        For some reason, people would rather argue you can win Cups with a lousy D corp than acknowledge that Schultz, Cole, Maatta, Dumoulin and Daley are all better players than they realized.

        Whatever, the banners hanging tell the story.

      • Kal.

        With Letang down Pittsburgh played D by committee but all of Dumoulin a young developing D, Hainsey, Schultz, Daley & Maatta have played top 4 roles in their NHL careers & on #1 pairings some for exptended periods in their career. That’s 5 solid Dman & Cole played as their #6. Pit’s D wasn’t as bad as people try to make it out to be. No where near. As a group it’s very solid.

        Dumoulin lead the group in TOI/GP in the playoffs at 21:59, Hainsey 21:06, Maatta 20:36, Schultz 19:44, Daley 19:06 & Cole 18:50. There is solid PK abilities there in Hainsey, Dumoulin & Cole as well as elite level offensive contributions from Schultz last season in both the regular season & playoffs with Letang out.

        Just like Vgs this year no elite NHL superstar but solid across the board depth for Pit at D. Hainsey & Daley have gone on to play the same roles for Tor & Det this season as Pit last. Both play top 4 roles on either 1st or 2nd pairings.

    • haha – is this for real? Oscar Klefbom? This is an improvement on what we have? and so much so that it warrants – not Only Marner but a 1st..? haha come on..yes I’m a leaf fan but realistically what team trades a 2nd year player like Marner for Oscar Klefbom…goodness…

      • @ MG

        Your not looking at one of the major pieces in that equation…

        Marc Andre Fleury!

        Even with the mediocre D core for an entire season the last few years he was a stalwart during the regular season not Murray!

        Murray played only the last few games of each year …Fleury took down the Caps in game 7 last year with a shutout to boot…

        Fleury made that D core look good IMO !

      • STRIKER…Agreed the penguins d-men are much better than given credit for…..

    • Again, the Leafs are going to need to look elsewhere to trade for a d-man. The Oilers do not have the depth at defence to trade a d-man, especially one of their top 3 d-man.

    • The leafs aren’t giving up Marner or Nylander for a #4 Dman nor does Tor need that. What they need is a solid 2 way Dman that can play on a 1st or 2nd pairing. That doesn’t make him a #4 specifically.

      Klefbom is Edm’s current #1, not a #4 & still no where near fully developed. Nor is Edm trading him. He & Larsson are Edm’s #1 pairing & both can get better.

      Edm is best to just wait until the summer & see what plays out in the market. If a solid Dman can’t be found to assume Hainsey’s role either as a UFA or in trade, stay the course & continue to develop from with in. Bring back Hainsey for another year, even at 36 soon to be 37 he is very effective as deployed.

      • Soory should read Tor is best to wait.

    • Dream on twin if a Leaf Hater like yourself thinks Marner or Nylander will be traded for a number 4 defenceman , not going to happen . This is just another dumb rumour from the Toronto Sun a pot stirring rag of a paper .

      • Marner and nylander are unproved and wingers. If they were centers then maybe 1 for 1 trades. Look threw memory lane to find compariables for young top 3 d with growing potential and wingers of similiar value..

        After your done that get back too us. No one is giving away minute munchin/top pairing d to toronto. Maybe on your xbox but not real life!

      • Would you trade morgan reilly for sam bennet and a small top up??? Fidnt think do

      • Twin, Both leafs wingers have shown a lot more than Bennett already.
        Reilly has shown a whole LOT more than Klefbom.

        Just simply an uninformed opinion on your part

    • “Klefbomb for Marner, torontos first and third in 2018 and josh levio” ……..beyond ridiculous
      What has klefbom shown that he gets that haul? I wouldn’t do Marner for him straight up.
      I’ll stick with Reilly, Gardiner, Hainsey, Zaitsev as top 4 with Dermott, Neilsen and Liljgren as D in development.

      What a joke

    • Klefbom?!?!..12 points and minus 9. I am pretty sure the leafs pass on that one.

  2. Why did Josh leivo ever sign his contract extension. He wasn’t playing and was due to become an UFA.
    He could’ve had his out next year. If I am him I wouldn’t be too happy with my agent.

    • Josh got over a 300,000 raise next year that’s why he sign

      • Then don’t complain about ice time and want to be traded.

  3. Hello all just a quick thought maybe the leafs should move Komorov JVR Moore and Polak now there value will only drop from now to the tdl

  4. Leafs could use another D- Im sure that applies to most teams in this league. However, some good points here in previous posts-look at the Pens run last year who was playing D for them ? Letang wasn’t even playing. They are units not individuals… The Leafs wont be acquiring Doughty or Karlsson any time-so why trade a soon to be premier forward away for someone who isn’t dramatically better than their top four. That would be CHIARELLISTIC, there is a new word for you. Just because that’s the deal he made doesn’t make it the new market? it makes it a dumb trade ..lol.

    Outside of Nashville’s – St Louis San Jose maybe a couple others – don’t see anyone dramatically better.

    This may be surprising to some but Leaf players are also subject to improvement and growth..would be curious to hear where non leaf fans rank Morgan Rielly? Is he a number four on most teams too..lol

  5. I know TWO players on each NHL team HAVE to play on the first pair and a THIRD guy must anchor the second pair. It’s easy to argue that very many of the National Hockey League teams really don’t have true number one defenseman, just players talented enough to play big minutes and do a decent job. Some of these number one defenders are average or under-sized players that push the pace and do a decent job in their own end. This even gets more skewed when you take in account the new prototypical offensemen rovers, undersized (who basically, are using their feet, getting their stick on the right side of the attacker) and are being protected in the defensive schemes. Solid two way impact with high skill and quick feet & hands are valuable commodities, and if I was a GM, I would be hesitant in trading one even if he was older, and high high Cap hit. But nah, the Chicago trio, the Nashville quads, all are valuable more avlauble than a underachieving youngster….

    • At the end of the day very team decides how close they think they are to a run at a cup. there is no desperation to procure a top 4 defenseman for a run this spring when Boston and Tampa block your path anyway… So in this particular instance NO you don’t trade Nylander or Marner for a 3rd or 4th D.. Would be silly… And for the guy who wrote Morgan Rielly is a 2nd pairing D? Seriously – ? have you watched Rielly play this year.. He isn’t an elite number 1 – but once again he would be many teams number one and without a doubt a top pairing D..

      • @ Sam

        Morgan Reilly is having a career year and is 13th among all D men in the league ..while Gardiner is 17th …

        Gardiner also had a career year last year as well did Reilly whom both are emerging this year as a top pairing D man. …its right here ..Striker likes stats ..so here it is.
        Thats the TOP Echelon of the NHL not sure what else to say!


      • Gardiner is Tor’s #1 this season at least if using TOI/GP, 1 of the biggest criteria in trying to determine who a teams #1 is. Your #1 plays the most minutes generally. That said to be competitive you need 4 solid NHL Dman so you can ice 2 solid NHL pairings. If you can you have a decent shot of being a playoff team & there by 1 of the better teams in the NHL. Tors top 4 of Gardiner/Zaitsev & Hainsey/Reilly is solid, & 2 of them are still years from being the players they will be in Zaitsev & Reilly.

        Ott wasn’t a playoff team before acquiring Phaneuf to help solidify their top, 4, the next season they were, this season with the loss of Methot they aren’t. It’s not quite that simply but no way Ott or Mon or numerous others were making the playoffs with the D’s they constructed. Suprstars elewhere on the roster or not.

        Tor’s rebuild isn’t complete let it ride, stay the course keep your UFA’s try to go as deep in the playoffs as possible if you lose them as UFA’s this summer who cares more than enough depth to replace them.

        Lievo, Shoshnikov & Kapanen become full time NHL players, Nylander moves to C, Brown & Hyman take on more offensive responsibilities. Hyman can get a sniff of PP time yet is 1 of the higest ES point producers in the NHL. If he can put up points with Matthews at ES he can do so on the PP as a replacement for JvR, Bozak or Komorov as well, or Kapanen or Lievo can.

      • Sam.

        I would suggest go look at everyone’s current #1’s. Here are everyone’s TOI/GP leaders at D this season.

        Anh Fowler 24:22. Arz OEL 24:17. Bos Chara 23:21. Buf Ristolainen 26:18. Giordano 24:32. Slavin 22:46. Chi Keith 24:38. E. Johnson 25:51. Jones 24:55. Klingberg 23:34. Det 22:32. Edm Klefbom 22:39. Flo Yandle 24:40. LA Doughty 27:04. Min Suter 26:43. Mon Weber 25:20. Josi 24:38. NJ Vatanen 21:30. NYI Leddy 22:46. NYR McDonagh 23:57. Ott Karlsson 26:25. Phi Provorov 24:32. Pit Letang 25:23. SJ Burns 25:23. StL Pietrangelo 25:25. TB Hedman 25:35. Tor Gardiner 22:59. Van Edler 23:26. Vegas Schmidt 22:32. Was Carlsson 25:54 & Win Buffy 23:37.

        Those are the 31 NHL teams TOI/GP leaders at D. Which 1’s would he be many teams #1’s on ?

        ” He isn’t an elite number 1 – but once again he would be many teams number one and without a doubt a top pairing D.”

        How about everyone’s #2 & 3’s by TOI/GP at D.

        Anh Lindholm 22:43, Manson 20:30, Arz Goligoski 23:10, Chychurn 21:46. Bos McAvoy 22:43, Krug 20:04. Buf Scandella 23:41, McCabe 19:42. Cal Brodie 24:10, Hamilton 21:15. Car Faulk 22:16, Pesce 20:59. Chi Oesterle 21:46, Seabrooke 19:52. Col Barrie 21:14, Zadorov 19:05; yes that Zadarov. Clb Werenski 23:25, Savard 19:39. Dal Lindell 21:59, Hamhuis 20:24. Det Daley 20:17, Dekeyser 19:46. Edm Nurse 21:32, Larsson 21:30. Flo Elblad 23:42, Matheseon 20:47. LA Martinez 23:23, Muzzin 22:34. Min Spurgeon 24:58, Dumba 22:50. Mon Petry 23:24, Alzner 20:14. Nas Ekholm 24:14, Subban 24:02. NJ Greene 21:03, Santini 20:16; I believe he was just sent down to the AHL. NYI Boychuk 20:40, Pelech 19:05. NYR Shattenkirk 20:16, Skjei 19:57. Ott Ceci 22:57, Phaneuf 20:28. Phi Gostisbehere 21:06, McDonald 20:11. Pit Dumoulin 20:25, Maatta 19:05. SJ Vlasic 22:42, Braun 21:20. StL Parayko 22:37, Edmundson 20:38. TB Stralman 21:10, Dotchin 16:47. Tor Zaitsev 22:44, Hainsey 22:18. Van Del Zotto 21:14, Tanev 19:56. Vgs McNabb 20:00, Sbisa 19:52. Was Orlov 23:07, Niskanen 22:18. Win Trouba 22:09 & Myers 21:00.

        Still a ton of really good Dman missing from the top 3 players from each team by TOI/GP including Rielly who sits 4th in Tor at present. Not meant to slight Rielly but he would make it as the #1 on maybe 3 teams today.

  6. Don Sweeney let it be known that no one of his young players or top prospects are not available; which means they won’t be doing much at the trade deadline.
    Wouldn’t mind seeing them add a forward and the one I would like to see if the NYR are sellers is Grabner. Ton of speed can play either wing. What would it take to get Grabner a 2nd round pick and a prospect? Boston is building their game on speed, skill and puck control, Grabner would compliment that philosophy.

    • Unless Rutherford swoops in and acquires Grabner first … he sure would look good skating down Sid’s wing instead of Dominic Simon.

      • Doubt rangers would trade Grabner to the pens a division rival nasH maybe….

  7. I really think the leafs should atleast inquire about OEL or possibly webber. Webber is on the decline, and montreal and toronto dont trade often but hed fit in there “window of oppratunity”

    Just a thought

    • Great comments Bill Placzek…

      @ Twin…I understand where you are going with your thought process ..but you are stuck in an ERA that no longer exists for the Leafs …I have pondered the Weber idea long and hard as well…Iam just not so sure they need that contract ..but in a window of 3 years yes it is tempting!

      but 8 years at $7.5 million on Weber is a tough pill to swallow….hes 32 now.

    • OK I’ll bite. Why is Weber on decline?

      • Well he is 32. He still has it( not like 5 years ago)

        But as kal mentioned that may get ugly in say year 4 of that contract.

      • I have Weber aging gracefully like a fine wine. ha-ha! His game isn’t built on speed but smarts, physicality & a howitzer of a shot. I assume he’ll transition just like Chara to a complete shut down Dman eventually.

  8. Just my opinion but either Jeff Skinner or Bill Peters will not be a Carolina Hurricane by the end of this summer.

    • Since Peters removed Williams from RW on a line with Skinner, Skinner has been invisible. The problem with Carolina is partly on Peters. I’m not a huge analytics fan but the possession & scoring chance #’s when these 2 players are together are overwhelmingly positive. Why he won’t play them together at ES is very odd.

      It hasn’t effected Williams breaking them up but has Skinner profoundly.

      • Striker, I was thinking the same thing during the San Jose game. Peters tried to reunite Stempniak with Skinner which in the past was a very effective combination. It worked for a few games but I think Stempniak’s conditioning from not playing all season caught up with him. Ryan, the center on that line hasn’t played as well since the trade rumors started.

        Williams has a way of keeping pucks in play, plays a good 2 way game and makes everyone he plays with a better player.

    • Prior to the all star break the coaches were praising Lindholm’s effort and physical play this year compared to previous years. While I agree with a lot of what Luke mentions in the article I think he intentionally went a little overboard.

      • I have.
        Peters sounds frustrated.
        So does the author.

      • Noah Hanifan lost?

      • Yeah, i read that part too.
        Like I said, the author sounds frustrated.
        According to him there’s no one worth playing past Aho and a couple of others.
        His word means as much as yours or mine.
        Hanafin is real good and getting better.
        Just like MR in Tor.
        JG is ok.
        RH is all heart and that makes up for anything else he lacks.
        I’m not trying to disrespect Toronto’s D.
        Just disagreeing with Kal.

    • I’ve been debating with Ducock via email about his take in this article. Ha-ha! 1 of his come backs was Francis let all his UFA’s just walk away. I pointed out that actually it’;s just the opposite. He traded all of them.

      “Do you actually believe this BS your spouting? Let most of the contracts expire as opposed to trading them?

      Virtually every UFA of value has been moved out at the trade deadline for something since Francis took over. In no particular order. Versteeg for Zykov. Tlusty for a 3rd & conditional 6th. Gleason a 4th. Sekera a 1st & McKeown. E. Staal for Saarela & 2 2nds. Liles for a 3rd & 5th & Hainsey for a 2nd; Francis resigned Hainsey to a 3 year contract just before he became a UFA shortly after being hired.”

  9. “If he remains in that role, the Pens could pursue an affordable fourth-line center such as Edmonton’s Mark Letestu or Minnesota’s Matt Cullen…”

    I’d just as soon use Carter Rowney at that point.

    “…or perhaps look at upgrades elsewhere. If they feel Sheahan lacks the offensive skills to remain their third-line center, they could instead pursue someone such as Ottawa’s Jean-Gabriel Pageau. If they feel he’s an “in-betweener”, maybe they look at someone like Montreal’s Tomas Plekanec.

    Pageau’s not really an upgrade on Sheahan, but he is better than Rowney and it could give them some mix and match options with Pageau being a right shot. I wouldn’t hate that, but meh.

    No thanks on Plekanec. The Pens don’t own a time machine.

    Sheahan’s improvement and Simon’s emergence allows Rutherford to more selective that it looked like he’d able to be a month ago.

    I’d like to see them go after a guy who’s an indisputable upgrade like Derick Brassard. Someone who could really click with Kessel or replace Sid or Geno as a top 6 center should one of them get hurt.

    But a depth D is still the main need.

  10. The Leafs need to look to the offseason to make a move for long-term future. If you watched the game on Saturday night you can see how far away they are from being true contenders. There is no way they get past and/ or Tampa. Another building year with a playoff spot, who expected more anyway? The Leafs are really not that far off and have the assets to make a deal that involves acquiring beyond the rental status. Wait for the offseason.

    • Agree, Steven. Boston showed the Leafs how they need to play, game in and game out, to be a true contender. I’ll be interested to see how Toronto plays in the next couple of weeks; if they pick it up, they might want to stick with this group until the summer. Otherwise, listen to offers for pending UFA’s. There are prospects with the Marlies who are ready to audition. I still think the defensive corps needs forwards who get back to give them outlets to exit their zone. The problem, imo, is with the forwards, not the defence.

  11. Assessment: Even though it was only one game, the Leafs were horrible against the Bruins on Saturday night. Why?

    Half the team took the night off.

    One quarter of the team had to overcompensate for those that took the night off and for the other quarter that play with eggs in their pocket (JVR, Bozak).

    They have no intention of signing JVR, Bozak, Polak, Komarov and Moore. Players like Leivo, Soshkinov and for much of this year until now Kapanen can’t get in because Babcock has this loyalty to the fingernail twins Bozak and JVR.

    It makes no sense to give Leivo and Soshkinov away for mid round picks, when the UFAs will leave anyway and then you are starting from scratch.

    Lamouriello should shop them to get maximum return. He’ll get nothing for them later. They are not going to win the Stanley cup with these UFAs.

    • Frank I could not agree with you more in terms of moving (at least) JVR & Bozak. I am a realistic Leafs fan and I do not see this as the year they make big strides in the playoffs. With the Lighting, Bruins & Pens in the east to get through, Toronto has to continue looking at the longer term. Assets picked up in those deals could help them get the defense upgrades we need so badly during the off season. While letting the likes of Leivo, Soshnikov & Kapenen more playing time.

      • Who are the Leafs getting as defensive upgrades ? Teams don’t just give away top defenceman . Jeez and it’s not like Boston has had a 20 game stretch where they beat everybody wow didn’t we beat them twice earlier this year without AM.

    • You are 1000 percent correct on your comment Frank.

      Can we trade coaches with the Marlies or Babcock call in 😷 ..frustrating to watch!

      I have a suspicious feeling that he will suit up Polak and send Dermott back to the Marlies..

      Kadri too is a bit fragile ..he looks slow and not syncing, with his line mates..

    • Agreed Completely Frank!

    • Frank are you basically saying the season over, based on one game, funny how you mentioned the UFA and yet no mention of Matthews who was matched up against Bergeron and was absolutely invisible.
      I do not see the leafs throwing in the towel, I believe this year more then any other year you get in a you have a chance.
      If the leafs were to move the UFA they have to bring hockey players back because the leafs do not have the depth to sustain the loss of Bozak, JVR and Komarov.

      • Marleau, can play C, Nylander can play C, if Bozak, JvR or Komorov go down I think Tor has the depth to cover for almost all of them although Komorov’s hitting, puck pursuit, penalty killing would be missed. Leivo, Shoshnikov & Kapanen dress. Brown & Hyman can take power play time, more for Brown than he’s getting now & Hyman doesn’t even get any know & could easily step on to a PP unit & prodcue he’s 1 of the best ES point producers in the NHL today.

        1 of the advantages Tor has over a great many teams is their depth.

        & who wants to replace Babcock behind the bench. Whoaaaaa you need help.

      • Not directed at you Caper but who ever suggested such. Insane. He’s only 1 of the 3 greatest coaches the NHL has ever seen.

      • Striker, you can replace all 3 yes and you would have to because them players would be gone; however the quality doesn’t match what has left. Therefore you are not getting the same production and then there is the trickle down effect to the next lines. You are depreciating the quality of each line other then the 1st and then new guys stepping in have to play against better players because they’ve moved up in the lineup.
        I going to say Toronto does not move any of the three.

      • I don’t think Tor is moving out Bozak, JvR or Komorov either, nor do I condone doing so. Part of the reality of today’s NHL is you can’t keep everyone. As soon as Marleau was signed for 3 years at 6.25, there is room for 1, ideally Komorov but at the right salary & term. Much will depend upon if he wants to stay & is willing to accept term & salary or he cashes in as a UFA.

    • How far are the Leafs into their rebuild? Keep your UFA’s make as best a run as you can in the playoffs. If they lose to Bos in the 1st round that’s nothing to be ashamed of. The Leaf’s are 2 years ahead of schedule be happy.

      If they lose all 3 UFA’s they don’t get nothing, they get a ton of cap space & the potential for a long playoff run. With a little luck & a hot goalie at just the right time anything is possible. We have seen it time & time again.

      I assume Gubranson or a very similiar D will end up in Tor. It will cost the Leafs a Leivo, Shishnikov type prospect & potentially 2 2nd’s, maybe a 2nd & a 3rd, or similar type compensation.

  12. Did the Habs call Arizona and ask them what would it take to get Domi apparently he’s available … Go get this kid Montreal he will be a steal offer up Lindgren and A.Shaw for Domi or tell them look we will trade you Paccioretty for Domi, Storme, 1st round pick this year

    • Why would Arizona want Paccioretty ? I agree with Striker Leafs ride it out with the lineup they have now maybe a add a defenceman and see where that brings them.

    • Haha their first round pick (not top 10 pertected) is worth the moon. Even if they lose all 3 lottery drafts they will pick 4th lol.

      Strome hasnt lived up to his draft billing third in 2015, but look at the 2 picks before him

  13. Nash has supplied the NYR with his list of no trade teams according to Bob Mckenzie.
    Nash had The 7 Canadian teams on his list, I wonder if he changed it to 3 Calgary, Winnipeg and Toronto seeing the other 4 will not be participating in the playoffs and won’t be trading for a UFA, this would give Nash more leverage over his desired location.

  14. Im on the side of the leafs being very weak defensively. Hainsey can only be played so much. When he’s not out there, everyone holds their breath waiting for the inevitable screw up. You need another Hainsey……I wonder what it would take to pry Methot out of Dallas now that he’s about to return.

    That’s the type of D man you need. No nonsense – no bs – big minutes – bitch to play against.

  15. As much as it pains me to see NYR potentially pull the plug they don’t have the depth to ride out all these mounting injuries. They didn’t to even ride out just losing Kredier. I would wait until the last moment to truly decide but moving out the pending UFA’s if more than 4 points out of the last wildcard spot spot come Feb 26th makes sense to me now as well.

    • They didn’t have the depth either way… these are the things I’ve been banging home all year on deaf ears!

  16. Caper, good observation on Matthews, perhaps his worst game defensively and offensively but I think he’ll learn from that. I’m not saying getting rid of UFAs mentioned will necessarily throw in the towel on the season. I’m sure they can get someone back or have picks they can creatively use to get more complete players back. That’s how I see it.

    It’s clear the concern is that there isn’t enough depth to replace them. I can see that for a centre but not necessarily on wing because they can excess wingers. Bozak just does not contribute enough to keep around. Sliding in Marleau at centre might be better anyway and can shift wingers, unless they can get a good two way centre (Pageau from Ottawa perhaps?)

  17. Wow. Big day already.

  18. Why so much talk about Toronto moving UFA are they not in a playoff spot. I thought teams in the playoff picture keep free agents for a run.
    We have all seen 8 seeds make it to the finals.
    Boston outplayed Toronto last game doesn’t mean much.
    Toronto beat Boston twice earlier this year.
    I’m a Bruins fan and Boston has been hot.
    How did Anaheim beat Boston then go to Ottawa and Montreal and lose.
    Every team has ups and downs.

  19. 3 weeks to go to this years trade deadline.

    In 2015-16, Phaneuf was traded 20 days before the trade deadline. 2016-17 M. Stone kicked it off on Feb 20th, 8 days before the deadline.

    I assume we get to wait at least another 10 days to 2 weeks before anything happens. Arghhhhhh

    We can hope that someone gets this party started sooner as several teams have huge holes to fill if they plan to make the playoffs this season & waiting isn’t helping their cause.

    • the party will get started when NYR trades SMITH =) LOL

      • Ha-ha! Then let’s get that party started.

    • All seriousness perhaps Nash gets dropped off in Dallas tonight………?

      Obviously NYR has no problem eating half of Nash’s salary so he can be a great 2nd LW behind Benn

      I am sure they can figure how to work out the cap. Rangers can take back a solid pick and prospect.

  20. TO needs to retain JVR. There is no one in the organization that can replace his skill set. Komorov and Bozak can be replaced by Grundstrom and Nylander while Martin has use for certain games. This also opens up a permanent spot for Kapenin. Leivo and Soshnikov are decent bottom six players but if there is no room might as well get some assets for them.

    I personally like how Polak, Martin, Lievo and Soshnikov play but the team needs to set a roster for next year so they can gain experience to be real contenders not just playoff teams. The NHL is moving toward more and more speed so the Leafs need to exploit that.

    Other teams can keep Doughty, McDonough, Karlsen, Nash, Weber and other older expensive players. Let the younger guys play.

    In regard to defense Reilly, Gardner and Zaitsev are good #2s or at least #3s. Dermott and Liljgren have the potential to be in that group while Carrick is a 4 or 5. Hainsey has a unique role that is more important than the #3 or #4 level of his skill set. Reilly and Gardner have shown flashes of being a #1 but not consistently and it remains to see if they can. Right now the future is a mobile defense that achieves as a group not with a dominant guy.

    • Mcdonagh is a #1 making 4.7…. you may want to look at what 3-4 guys are making then make that call. How much should he be? 2 per? Good luck with finding that!

      Older? Aye aye aye!

  21. The only moves the Leafs should make at the deadline is trade for a solid 4th line center and trade Bozak so that Nylander can play center where he belongs. The Leafs defense is fine for now.Speaking as a Long time Leafs fan, the Leafs are not ready to challenge for the Stanley cup yet. When they are, that is the time to add pieces to get them over the top

    • Good point, i read an article the other day that babcock wants the players to push lou to make the trades to make a run.

      They are in a rather weak division, buff ott and mon all bottom feeders.

      Its an easier schedule then other divisions and had they been in the central or metro they may not even be in a playoff spot.

      I say they should trade their free agents( doubt they beat tampa or boston in round 1)) and at the draft use the pics ect to land a top pairing d to play with Reilly.

  22. Maybe the Oilers should trade Draisaitl for 2 or 3 players or perhaps a first round pick and a 4-5 mil journeyman

  23. So I’m not sure I agree with the whole Nylander and Marner are superstars/untouchable mindset given they have 38 and 36 pts in 54 games. It takes 41 pts to get into the top 50 in scoring. Neither of them are exactly renowned for much other than offence at this point in their careers. I can see that they have upside given they have skill and youth but not sure I’d give up a top pairing D man for either of themm

    Somehow Kapanen is now also among these “elite” young forwards that is going to get a top 4 D man? Sorry I just don’t see it.

  24. With the play off format as it is ,Toronto plays Boston first and then probably Tbay. I think things will not happen this year regardless of what they do at the TDL