NHL Rumor Mill – October 5, 2020
The latest on Patrik Laine, Tyler Johnson and Matt Murray plus updates on the Leafs and Flames in today’s NHL rumor mill.
THE LATEST ON LAINE
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports there’s talk the Philadelphia Flyers are making “an aggressive push” to acquire Patrik Laine. He believes they have the ability to make a deal for the left-winger if the right fit can be found with the Winnipeg Jets.
A league executive speculated the Flyers could see if the Jets have an interest in Shayne Gostisbehere. The defenseman has three years remaining on his contract with an annual cap hit of $4.5 million. The Jets could also want a second-line center as part of the return.
Garrioch said the Columbus Blue Jackets and Montreal Canadiens are believed to have made pitches for Laine. He thinks the Jets would want center Phillip Danault in return. He also claims the Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, New York Rangers, Minnesota Wild and Florida Panthers all have interest in the winger.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t think the Jets would be interested in Gostisbehere given the decline in his stock over the last two years. Ivan Provorov or Travis Sanheim would be more to their liking and I don’t see the Flyers parting with either guy in a package deal for Laine.
The Blue Jackets need more offense but I believe they’re more interested in landing a scoring center. I suspect the Jets could ask for Zach Werenski as part of the return. Recent reports out of Montreal suggest Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin isn’t pursuing Laine because of the high asking price. Of course, he could always change his mind.
LIGHTNING DISCUSSING TRADE WITH JOHNSON
TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports hearing the Tampa Bay Lightning have talked to Tyler Johnson’s representatives about working together on a possible trade. The 30-year-old forward has a full no-trade clause and four years remaining on his contract worth an annual average value of $5 million. “Let’s see where this goes,” said LeBrun.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch reports there’s talk Johnson has no interest in waiving his clause. If not, other trade options could include Ondrej Palat, Yanni Gourde and Alex Killorn. CapFriendly indicates Palat and Gourde also have full no-trade clauses while Killorn has a 16-team no-trade list.
UPDATE ON MURRAY
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports there’s a chance the Pittsburgh Penguins will trade Matt Murray before the draft ends on Wednesday. If not, he’ll receive a qualifying offer from the Penguins. Garrioch believes Murray will get $5 million to $6 million via arbitration. The Chicago Blackhawks, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers and Ottawa Senators have kicked tires on Murray. It’s believed the Penguins would prefer shipping him to a Western Conference club.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was rumored the Penguins sought a first-round pick from the Oilers for Murray. That asking price could explain why he hasn’t been traded yet. The deadline for qualifying offers is Oct. 7 at 5 pm ET.
THE LATEST ON THE LEAFS
TORONTO SUN: Lance Hornby reports of ongoing speculation of a Matt Murray/Jack Campbell reunion with the Maple Leafs. Leafs GM Kyle Dubas had Murray and Campbell as his goalie tandem when he was general manager of the OHL’s Soo Greyhounds in 2011-12.
Hornby feels Dubas can’t afford to lose current Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen to free agency next summer. Signing Murray, 26, for the long-term would be preferable to doing the same for the 31-year-old Andersen. However, Hornby wonders if Dubas envisions Campbell becoming the Leafs’ No. 1 goalie, which would put less pressure on him to find a replacement for Andersen.
Regarding rumors linking the Leafs to Alex Pietrangelo, Hornby doubts they can free up sufficient cap space to sign the St. Louis Blues defenseman if he hits the open market on Friday. He points out Morgan Rielly is slated for a new contract in 2022, making him difficult to re-sign if they invest heavily in Pietrangelo.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dubas reportedly told Andersen that he’s received calls from other clubs expressing interest in the Leafs starter but he’s not shopping the netminder. I don’t believe Dubas will trade him unless he can get a suitable replacement. That might not be Murray, who’s struggled with injuries and consistency over the last two seasons.
Unless Pietrangelo’s willing to accept a one- or two-year deal, I don’t see him coming to Toronto. Even then, it wouldn’t make sense for the Leafs to shed a lot of cap space to invest in him on a short-term basis.
IS A BIG MOVE COMING FOR THE FLAMES?
CALGARY SUN: Wes Gilbertson thinks Flames GM Brad Treliving will make a splash this week. It could be a blockbuster trade, a marquee free-agent signing, or both. Treliving has $17 million in cap space and some top-end talents rumored to be trade bait.
Gilbertson believes the Flames GM has an interest in Jacob Markstrom. The Vancouver Canucks goalie is slated to become a UFA on Friday and could see a deal equivalent to the five-year, $25-million contract that Robin Lehner inked Saturday with the Vegas Golden Knights. The Flames have also been linked to Alex Pietrangelo, but Gilbertson suggests Vancouver blueliner Chris Tanev would be a more affordable option.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames will be worth watching this week. There was considerable disappointment in their performance this season and in the playoffs. There was talk of shopping a top-line forward like Johnny Gaudreau or Sean Monahan but Treliving could be unwilling to go that route right now.
They definitely need to improve their goaltending if Cam Talbot isn’t re-signed. Markstrom or Braden Holtby could be on their radar. I also don’t see them landing Pietrangelo but I don’t think Tanev is the right fit. Treliving could go the trade route to address his blueline needs.