NHL Rumor Mill – July 23, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – July 23, 2022

The speculation linking Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois to the Canadiens won’t go away. Meanwhile, the Maple Leafs face a cost-cutting trade. Check out the latest in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

LATEST DUBOIS SPECULATION

MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy suggests that Pierre-Luc Dubois accepting a one-year, $6 million qualifying offer with the Winnipeg Jets creases the skids for a potential trade to the Montreal Canadiens.

Winnipeg Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois (NHL Images).

Dubois, 24, will be a restricted free agent with arbitration rights again next summer. Murphy felt his new contract sets up what the center’s qualifying offer will be for 2023-24. It would also allow the Canadiens to sign him to an eight-year contract if they can acquire him before the 2023 free-agent market opens next July.

A source told Murphy that Dubois’ agent, Pat Brisson, is doing everything he can to make a trade to Montreal happen.

TVA SPORTS: Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes’ recent trade activity has Canadiens fans expecting another deal, perhaps one that brings Dubois to Montreal.

Within a 10-day period earlier this month, Hughes shipped Alexander Romanov to the New York Islanders for the 13th overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, flipped that pick to the Chicago Blackhawks for center Kirby Dach, and traded Jeff Petry and Ryan Poehling to the Pittsburgh Penguins for defenseman Mike Matheson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets don’t have to move Dubois this summer. However, they risk having the uncertainty over his future becoming an unwelcome distraction at a time when they’re trying to rebound from a disappointing performance last season.

Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff is said to be listening to offers for Dubois. However, he’s also set a high asking price. He won’t waiver after seeing what the Calgary Flames got from the Florida Panthers for Matthew Tkachuk.

It’s rumored Cheveldayoff sought Nick Suzuki or Cole Caufield as part of the return from the Canadiens. Both are believed to be off-limits in trade discussions. There’s also talk suggesting Hughes could part with center Christian Dvorak but it’ll take more than him as the centerpiece of a deal to pry Dubois away from the Jets.

Limited salary-cap space is also an issue for the Canadiens. They’re pressed against the $82.5 million cap and continue to await clarity over Carey Price’s recovery from complications arising from last summer’s knee surgery.

Hughes, however, isn’t under any pressure here to acquire Dubois. He was in the middle of rebuilding the roster long before the reports emerged of the center’s desire to one day play for the Canadiens. The Canadiens GM can afford to wait until next summer to try again or kick this down the road to 2024 and attempt to sign Dubois as an unrestricted free agent.

MAPLE LEAFS FACING A TRADE

THE ATHLETIC: James Mirtle believes the Toronto Maple Leafs need to make a trade after their recent free-agent signings of Calle Jarnkrok and Pierre Engvall. Sitting a projected $1.4 million over the $82.5 million cap, they must make room to re-sign restricted free agent defenseman Rasmus Sandin.

Signing Sandin would also create a logjam on the blueline. Mirtle doesn’t see Jake Muzzin, Morgan Rielly, Mark Giordano, T.J. Brodie or Timothy Liljegren going anywhere.

Mirtle examines whether the Leafs will consider moving Sandin or fellow blueliner. He also suggested forward Alex Kerfoot as the only other cost-cutting candidate.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think Holl is the more likely trade candidate. What do you think, Leafs fans? Sandin, Holl or Kerfoot? Or is there a better trade option? Weigh in with your thoughts.










NHL Rumor Mill – June 3, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – June 3, 2022

The Hurricanes hope to retain some key free agents, the possibility of some RFAs not receiving qualifying offers, plus updates on Jack Campbell and David Perron in today’s NHL rumor mill.

HURRICANES HOPE TO RETAIN TROCHECK, NIEDERREITER & DEANGELO

NHL.COM: Kurt Dusterberg reports Carolina Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell hopes to re-sign pending unrestricted free agent forwards Vincent Trocheck and Nino Niederreiter. Meanwhile, head coach Rod Brind’Amour hopes restricted free agent defenseman Tony DeAngelo also returns.

Hurricanes captain Jordan Staal indicated he’s not thinking about a contract extension this summer, preferring to play out the final season of his contract before determining his future. Waddell indicated they want Staal to play as long as he feels like doing so.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Chip Alexander reports DeAngelo would love to stay with the Hurricanes. He said he believes everyone in the organization knows that and believes they want him back, expressing appreciation for the trust they put in him following his troubled final season with the New York Rangers.

Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Tony DeAngelo (NHL Images).

DeAngelo, 26, has arbitration rights and is a year away from becoming eligible for unrestricted free agent status. Waddell indicated there’s interest in signing him to a multi-year contract.

Alexander’s colleague Luck DeCock believes the Hurricanes need an upgrade in pure scoring skill. He suggested parting ways with forward Martin Necas, who regressed during this season and bringing in a scoring winger to replace him via trade or free agency.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Waddell called signing Trocheck a priority. That increases the likelihood he won’t become available in this summer’s UFA market. It will depend on whether the two sides can reach an agreement before free agency begins on July 13.

Trocheck tends to be a streaky scorer but he would draw plenty of interest if he tests the market. Vancouver Hockey Now’s Rob Simpson daydreamed about Vancouver signing him but there’s no indication that’s the direction Canucks management intends to take.

DeAngelo made the most of his opportunity with the Hurricanes. While both sides are pleased with how this season turned out, arriving at a suitable deal could be a challenge.

Cap Friendly indicates the Hurricanes have $19.4 million in cap space with 14 players under contract next season. Parting ways with Necas won’t free up additional cap space as he’s a restricted free agent coming off his entry-level contract.

Trocheck earned an annual average value of $4.725 million while Niederreiter’s was $5.25 million. It could cost a combined $12 million to retain them. DeAngelo, meanwhile, could seek a return to the $4.8 million annually he was earning with the Rangers before agreeing to a one-year, $1 million contract with the Hurricanes for this season. Re-signing that trio won’t leave much room to add a scoring forward.

TIDBITS FROM FRIEDMAN’S LATEST “32 THOUGHTS”

SPORTSNET: In his latest “32 Thoughts” column, Elliotte Friedman suggested limited salary-cap space among NHL teams could lead to some of them not bothering to qualify the rights of some arbitration-eligible RFAs.

Some worth watching include Carolina’s Ethan Bear, Dallas’ Denis Gurianov, Pittsburgh’s Kasperi Kapanen, Chicago’s Dylan Strome and New Jersey’s Miles Wood and Pavel Zacha. He also noted there was speculation that Ondrej Kase could depart Toronto but believes talks are underway between the winger and the Maple Leafs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those players could bolster the depth of talent in this summer’s unrestricted free agent market. There’s no certainty, of course, that most or all of them will hit the open market. Still, it could be worthwhile as Friedman suggested to keep an eye on their respective contract negotiations.

Speaking of RFAs, Friedman believes the Leafs will qualify defenseman Rasmus Sandin’s rights. However, they have a logjam on the left side of their blueline. He pointed out that their cap situation doesn’t afford Sandin contract room.

Meanwhile, there haven’t been any contract talks between the Leafs and goaltender Jack Campbell for months and anything previously discussed is no longer relevant. His agent said there’s been no material contract conversation since the end of the season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I expect the Leafs will get something done with Campbell because there aren’t many suitable replacement options in this summer’s trade and UFA markets. The best free-agent options are Colorado’s Darcy Kuemper and Minnesota’s Marc-Andre Fleury and there’s no certainty either guy can be wooed to Toronto.

As for Sandin, he’ll obviously be more affordable to sign than Campbell. Given the priority given to the latter, however, they could end up shopping Sandin if they can’t free up sufficient cap dollars to re-sign him. However, I think Leafs management will try to free up cap room by trying to move out veterans like Petr Mrazek and Wayne Simmonds, though peddling either guy won’t be easy.

Friedman believes the New Jersey Devils and Ottawa Senators will be worth watching as they have their first-round picks in play for talent with a lot of team control.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, a player with more than a year remaining on their contract.

He also doesn’t expect St. Louis Blues winger David Perron will hit the open market on July 13.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 12, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – April 12, 2022

The Jets keep their playoff hopes alive, Evgeni Malkin is suspended, Drew Doughty is done for the season, the three stars of the week and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: The Winnipeg Jets got third-period goals from Evgeny Svechnikov and Adam Lowry to double up the Montreal Canadiens 4-2 in the only game on Monday’s schedule. Jets forward Paul Stastny reached the 20-goal plateau for the first time since 2013-14. With the win, the Jets (81 points) move to within five points of the Dallas Stars for the final Western Conference playoff berth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rookie Morgan Barron collected his first two points since joining the Jets at last month’s trade deadline from the New York Rangers in the Andrew Copp deal. Meanwhile, his younger brother Justin missed his third straight game with the Montreal Canadiens with a suspected broken right ankle that could finish his season. Like his older brother, the younger Barron was also traded on deadline day. The Canadiens acquired him from the Colorado Avalanche in the Artturi Lehkonen trade.

Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin (NHL Images).

  PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: The NHL department of player safety handed down a four-game suspension to Penguins center Evgeni Malkin for his “retaliatory and aggressive” crosscheck on Nashville Predators defenseman Mark Borowiecki on Sunday. It’s the second time in Malkin’s NHL career that he’s been suspended for a stick infraction.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Kings defenseman Drew Doughty will miss the remainder of the season after undergoing wrist surgery on Monday. He’s expected to be fully recovered in time for training camp in September.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Doughty is the Kings’ top defenseman. His absence could cripple their efforts to secure their first playoff berth since 2017-18. The Kings are clinging to third place in the Pacific Division with 86 points, two points ahead of the surging Vegas Golden Knights.

NHL.COM: Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews, Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson, and Florida Panthers winger Jonathan Huberdeau are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending April 10.

THE DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog has not yet returned to on-ice activities in his recovery from knee surgery. However, he’s still expected to return to action when the playoffs begin in early May.

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs defenseman Rasmus Sandin (knee injury) has resumed solo skating but there’s still no timetable for his return to the lineup. Leafs winger Ondrej Kase remains sidelined with a concussion.

STLTODAY.COM: Blues defenseman Torey Krug could return to the lineup tonight against his former club, the Boston Bruins. He’s missed the last 10 games with an upper-body injury.

MLIVE.COM: Sam Gagner is slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer but hopes to return with the Detroit Red Wings next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wings reportedly appreciate the 32-year-old Gagner’s experience, leadership and two-way skills. He’s on a one-year, $850K contract and should be an affordable re-signing if they wish to bring him back next season.

THE ATHLETIC: Eric Stephens reports sources indicate Dallas Eakins will return next season as head coach of the Anaheim Ducks.










NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 22, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 22, 2022

Recaps of Monday’s games, the stars of the week are revealed, Evgenii Dadonov trade held up by the league, plus some notable contract signings, injury news and waiver moves overshadowed by yesterday’s trade deadline in NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.COM: Nashville Predators winger Filip Forsberg scored twice and collected three assists in a 6-3 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. Matt Duchene tallied two goals and added an assist as the Predators sit in third place in the Central Division with 78 points. Ducks winger Troy Terry netted his 30th goal of the season.

Nashville Predators winger Filip Forsberg (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sidelined since March 8, Ducks winger Jakob Silfverberg is listed as week-to-week with a blood clot in his right leg. It is being managed and he could return to action before the end of the season.

The league-leading Colorado Avalanche (95 points) opened a five-point lead over the Florida Panthers in the overall standings by beating the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 on an overtime goal by Mikko Rantanen, who finished the night with two goals. Kailer Yamamoto had a goal and an assist for the Oilers (75 points) as they sit one point behind the second-place Los Angeles Kings in the Pacific Division.

Brad Marchand scored twice, including the winner in overtime, to lead the Boston Bruins over the Montreal Canadiens 3-2. Canadiens goaltender Jake Allen made 43 saves. With 83 points, the Bruins hold a three-point lead over the Washington Capitals for the first wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before the game, the Bruins signed winger Jake DeBrusk to a two-year contract extension with an annual average value of $4 million. The 25-year-old DeBrusk requested a trade in November so this move caught many observers by surprise. I’ll have more about this in today’s Rumor Mill.

Minnesota Wild goaltender Cam Talbot turned in a 28-save shutout to blank the Vegas Golden Knights 3-0. Nicolas Deslauriers scored the winning goal in his first game with the Wild since being acquired from the Anaheim Ducks over the weekend. With 78 points, the Wild are tied with the Nashville Predators but hold second place in the Central Division with two games in hand. The Golden Knights, meanwhile, cling to the final Western Conference wild-card berth with 72 points.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks earlier in the day, Marc-Andre Fleury suited up for the Wild as Talbot’s backup.

HEADLINES

NHL.COM: 33 trades involving 54 players were made leading up to yesterday’s 3 pm ET trade deadline.

LAS VEGAS SUN: The NHL’s Central Registry is holding up a trade that would send winger Evgenii Dadonov from the Golden Knights to the Anaheim Ducks. The issue involves Dadonov’s 10-team no-trade, with reports indicating the Ducks were on that list. It’s uncertain if the winger agreed to accept a trade to Anaheim.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reports Dadonov filed his 10-team no-trade list last summer while a member of the Ottawa Senators. The Golden Knights appear to be claiming they didn’t receive his no-trade list from the Senators when they acquired him in July.

NHL.COM: Nashville Predators captain Roman Josi, Winnipeg Jets winger Kyle Connor, and Arizona Coyotes winger Lawson Crouse were named the NHL’s three stars for the week ending March 20, 2022.

NEW YORK POST: The Islanders signed forward Cal Clutterbuck to a two-year contract extension worth an annual average value of $1.75 million and winger Zach Parise to a one-year extension worth $1.5 million.

NHL.COM: The Ottawa Senators inked goaltender Anton Forsberg to a three-year extension worth an annual cap hit of $2.75 million.

TSN: Speaking of goalies getting new three-year contracts, Karel Vejmelka agreed to one with the Arizona Coyotes worth $2.725 million annually.

PHILLY HOCKEY NOW: Flyers defenseman Ryan Ellis will miss the remainder of the season with what’s believed to be a hip/groin injury. He appeared in just four games with the Flyers.

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Capitals winger Carl Hagelin will undergo a second surgery for an eye injury suffered on March 1. There is no timetable for his return.

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs defenseman Rasmus Sandin was placed on long-term injury reserve with a knee injury.

NEW YORK POST: Rangers forwards Kaapo Kakko (wrist injury) and Kevin Rooney (upper-body injury) remain sidelined for the remainder of March.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: The Arizona Coyotes claimed goalie Harri Sateri off waivers from the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Seattle Kraken claimed defenseman Derrick Pouliot from the Vegas Golden Knights, and the Vancouver Canucks claimed forward Brad Richardson from the Calgary Flames.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas wasn’t pleased with the Coyotes plucking Sateri away after the Leafs signed him on Sunday to a one-year contract. However, the Coyotes were well within their rights to do so.

A player who skated in a European league during the season who signs with an NHL club must first clear waivers before he can join that team. Dubas knew this but I suspect he was hoping Sateri would pass unnoticed through waivers.










NHL Rumor Mill – February 11, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – February 11, 2022

Could Mark Stone’s injury provide cap relief for the Golden Knights? Are the Panthers still pursuing Jakob Chychrun? What’s the latest on Tyler Toffoli, Rasmus Sandin and Pavel Zacha? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.

STONE INJURY COULD ALLOW GOLDEN KNIGHTS TO ACTIVATE EICHEL

DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli took note of Vegas Golden Knights coach Peter DeBoer saying captain Mark Stone continues to deal with a nagging injury that already cost him 29 games this season. If Stone should be sidelined until the playoffs, it could provide the club with the necessary cap relief to active Jack Eichel without having to trade a forward such as Reilly Smith or Evgenii Dadonov.

Vegas Golden Knights captain Mark Stone (NHL Images).

Eichel’s annual average value is $10 million while Stone’s is $9.5 million. The move would also enable them to reactivate sidelined defenseman Alec Martinez.

THE ATHLETIC: Jesse Granger also weighed in on the conjecture, pointing out there’s nothing certain about the Golden Knights plans, only that league sources were speculating about it. It’s uncertain whether Stone’s injury will sideline him for the remainder of the season. If he were to return to the lineup following the trade deadline and before the end of the regular season, the club wouldn’t be able to make a cost-cutting trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Call it the “Kucherov Gambit” when a team places a player on LTIR for the remainder of the season to garner cap relief only to welcome him back into the lineup for the postseason when the salary cap doesn’t count. That’s what the Tampa Bay Lightning did last season with Nikita Kucherov. Actually, it should be known as the Patrick Kane gambit, since it was the Chicago Blackhawks who set the standard in 2015 when Kane was sidelined by a broken collarbone.

It’s a form of cap circumvention but it’s also allowed under the CBA. Some general managers might grumble but they’re not about to do anything about it because they know they can also benefit from it if facing similar circumstances.

No one’s faking an injury here. Kane and Kucherov suffered legitimate injuries that took time to heal and their recoveries were monitored by the league to ensure everything was above board cap-wise. They’ll do the same for Stone and the Golden Knights if he ends up on LTIR for the remainder of the regular season.

ARE THE PANTHERS STILL INTERESTED IN CHYCHRUN?

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: In a recent mailbag segment, George Richards was asked if the Panthers still had an interest in Jakob Chychrun. He believes they do but doubts they can meet the Arizona Coyotes’ asking price for the 23-year-old defenseman. He felt they would be fine with a rental like the Montreal Canadiens’ Ben Chiarot.

Richards also doused any talk of the Panthers part with rookie star Anton Lundell to acquire Chychrun, calling him untouchable. “Get his name out of any rumor right now – in fact, it probably shouldn’t have been brought up.” However, he doesn’t dismiss the notion of giving up goalie Spencer Knight for the Coyotes blueliner.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe it was Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek who suggested the Coyotes could ask for Lundell as part of the return. As Richards observed, they could ask for him but that doesn’t mean the Panthers will do it.

There’s no reason for the Panthers to part with Lundell as he’s already become an indispensable part of their lineup. Trading him for Chychrun would address their need for another skilled puck-moving blueliner but it would create a hole on their forward lines that could prove difficult to plug.

LATEST TIDBITS FROM TSN’S INSIDERS AND SPORTSNET’S 32 THOUGHTS

TSN: Discussing what could be next for the Edmonton Oilers following yesterday’s coaching change, Darren Dreger suggests their need for a top-four defenseman is greater than their requirement for reliable goaltending depth. He considers the addition of a right-shot blueline a priority.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I still believe addressing their goaltending is the priority. Given the limited options available or the cost of acquiring Chicago’s Marc-Andre Fleury if they’re not on his 10-team no-trade list, adding a defenseman would be the next best option. The Dallas Stars’ John Klingberg would be the best rental blueliner but the Oilers might not have sufficient assets to win a bidding war for his services.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman repeated his speculation that the Calgary Flames could be interested in Montreal Canadiens forward Tyler Toffoli. He also suggested a reunion with the Los Angeles Kings, who are seeking some scoring.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Toffoli is also the type of player the Canadiens could prefer retaining for their upcoming rebuild. If he forces the issue and wants out, the Habs could seek a first-round pick and either a top prospect or good young NHL player in return.

There were rumblings the Dallas Stars may have considered a coaching change. Friedman believes they’d decided to stick with head coach Rick Bowness.

Friedman would be surprised if the Toronto Maple Leafs traded defenseman Rasmus Sandin.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As would I. It would be premature to give up on him for a quick fix.

Despite speculation about Nick Paul’s future with the Ottawa Senators, a source told Friedman he’s pessimistic Paul would be available by the trade deadline.

Teams are showing interest in New Jersey Devils forward Pavel Zacha and New York Rangers winger Vitali Kravtsov, who is expected to return to the NHL next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zacha was the sixth-overall pick by the Devils in 2015. While he hasn’t blossomed into a star as hoped, he’s put up decent numbers in a secondary role.

The 24-year-old Zacha is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights who’s a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility. The Devils could be reluctant to part with him but perhaps they’ll entertain offers if they feel he’ll be difficult to retain beyond 2023.










NHL Rumor Mill – February 10, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – February 10, 2022

Could the Flames have an interest in Tyler Toffoli or Christian Dvorak? Are the Capitals any closer to acquiring Marc-Andre Fleury? What’s the latest on the Leafs? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.

COULD THE FLAMES PURSUE TOFFOLI OR DVORAK?

THE JEFF MAREK SHOW: Elliotte Friedman said “a lot of people” think Montreal Canadiens forward Tyler Toffoli could end up with the Calgary Flames by the trade deadline. He feels it makes a lot of sense. The Flames are in the market for secondary scoring plus Toffoli played for head coach Darryl Sutter during their tenures with the Los Angeles Kings.

Montreal Canadiens winger Tyler Toffoli (NHL Images).

Friedman also mentioned there’s “some traction from teams in the West” who’ve seen Christian Dvorak quite a bit during his tenure with the Arizona Coyotes. They liked what they saw then and believe what they’re seeing of his play with the Canadiens isn’t him. Marek wondered whether the Flames would be interested, pointing out Dvorak and Flames star Matthew Tkachuk played together with the OHL’s London Knights.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens management could prefer retaining Toffoli and Dvorak. They carry reasonable contracts and they would maintain some veteran skill if the front office is going forward with a roster rebuild as expected. However, that doesn’t mean they won’t listen to offers.

If the Flames are interested in either guy it’s going to cost them. The asking price could include a first-round pick and a top prospect such as Jakob Pelletier, Matt Coronato, Connor Zary or Dustin Wolf. I don’t believe the Canadiens will be interested in fading 27-year-old center Sean Monahan, who’s only a year away from becoming an unrestricted free agent.

CAPITALS UNABLE TO LAND FLEURY

WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Sammi Silber cited Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reporting the Capitals made a push to acquire the Chicago Blackhawks’ Marc-Andre Fleury. However, it appears their efforts to land the 37-year-old goaltender was unsuccessful.

Seravalli also said the Capitals were in the market for a “jack-of-all-trades” forward who can work well with the club’s younger players. Potential trade chips include their 2022 first-round pick, goaltender Vitek Vanecek and defenseman Michal Kempny.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The pickings are slim beyond Fleury for contenders like the Capitals who are in the market for a goalie upgrade. As for Capitals trade bait, The Athletic’s Tarik El-Bashir also listed Carl Hagelin, Daniel Sprong, Justin Schultz and the Capitals 2020 second-round pick in his “let’s talk” tier.

LATEST ON THE LEAFS

THE ATHLETIC: Jonas Siegel listed prospects Matthew Knies, Nick Robertson and Rodion Amirov, a first-round pick in 2022, and defenseman Travis Dermott among his list of possible trade assets for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Blueliners Timothy Liljegren and Justin Holl, winger Nick Ritchie and their 2023 first-rounder as other potential trade chips.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Toronto Star’s Kevin McGran speculates Liljegren and Rasmus Sandin could find themselves as trade bait by the March 21 deadline. He pointed out Leafs GM Kyle Dubas brought them up unprompted during a recent interview, indicating he wants to see what they can do over the next several weeks. McGran also believes Dubas could be reluctant to part with draft picks after having just three picks in last year’s draft and only three in this year’s.

Liljegren and Sandin could be the Leafs’ best trade chips if they’re seeking a player with term on his contract who can help them beyond this season. Whether they have enough value to draw that type of return has yet to be determined.