Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 5, 2020
Updates on Tyler Toffoli, Matt Murray, and Jean-Gabriel Pageau, plus updates on the Flames and Predators in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.
AVS INTERESTED IN TOFFOLI?
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Los Angeles Kings winger Tyler Toffoli could be moved by the Feb. 24 trade deadline. Word among league executives is the pending UFA could be available.
COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Adrian Dater reports the Colorado Avalanche are being linked to Toffoli. He observes the Kings had a scout at the recent game between the Avalanche and New Jersey Devils. He also cites a source claiming the Avs and Kings could be trade partners before the Feb. 24 deadline. Dater believes that doesn’t mean the Avs are no longer interested in New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider, but it’s uncertain if the Rangers have him on the trade block.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I expect Toffoli will be moved by deadline day, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the Avs are among the suitors. As for the Kings scouting the Avs-Devils games, it could be because they’ll face both clubs next month.
LATEST ON KREIDER, MURRAY AND PAGEAU
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports there’s talk the Boston Bruins are among the clubs interested in New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider. The Rangers, however, haven’t decided if they’ll shop him.
With Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry playing well, Garrioch wonders about Matt Murray’s future in Pittsburgh. He’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer. Garrioch doubts the two-time Stanley Cup champion will be moved this season, but his situation could be worth monitoring in the offseason.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Jarry should carry the Penguins on a deep playoff run this spring, perhaps Murray hits the trade block leading up to the 2020 NHL Draft weekend in June.
Garrioch cites a couple of league executives suggesting every team in the hunt for a playoff spot will be interested in Ottawa Senators center Jean-Gabriel Pageau. The Penguins, Flames, Bruins, Oilers, Jets, and Avs could be among the suitors, but the Senators are expected to hold contract talks with the pending UFA before reaching a decision.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unlike previous notable Senators UFAs, there’s been little new regarding Pageau’s contract status and whether he’ll be available by the deadline. He could be shopped, but no certainty’s going to happen. The Senators are a promising club and Pageau is an Ottawa native, so perhaps he’ll stay put if he gets a suitable contract offer.
FLAMES DON’T WANT TO WASTE CAP SPACE ON RENTAL PLAYERS
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Calgary Flames freed up salary-cap space by trading winger Michael Frolik ($4.3 million) to the Buffalo Sabres last week. General manager Brad Treliving would like to add some scoring help.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Flames aren’t that interested in signing rental players, preferring to add a player with term remaining on his contract. They have over $4.8 million in cap space, and Treliving has indicated he intends to use it before the Feb. 24 trade deadline. Elias Lindholm’s role in the roster will also be a factor. If he’s a center, Friedman believes they’ll look for right wingers. If he moves back to the right wing, they’ll consider other options.
IS LAVIOLETTE ON THE HOT SEAT?
OTTAWA SUN: With the Nashville Predators struggling, Bruce Garrioch reports there’s no shortage of talk suggesting head coach Peter Laviolette is on the hot seat. In a radio interview last week. Predators GM David Poile didn’t exactly give Laviolette a ringing endorsement, saying he’s not contemplating a coaching change “at this time”. Garrioch suggests former New Jersey Devils bench boss John Hynes as a possible replacement for Laviolette.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman noted Poile said he’s not replacing Laviolette, but he’s burning up the phone lines to see what’s out there in the trade market. If the Predators don’t improve soon, Friedman speculates some kind of roster change could be coming.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Predators fail to gain ground in the standings, Poile could become a seller rather than a buyer. That could mean shipping out pending UFA forwards Mikael Granlund and Craig Smith, and perhaps continuing his efforts to shop Kyle Turris. If a coaching change is necessary, it could come in the offseason.