NHL Trade Rumours: Toronto Maple Leafs, Washington Capitals and Colorado Avalanche

OTTAWA, ON - JANUARY 06: Carolina Hurricanes Defenceman Brett Pesce (22) stretches during warm-up before National Hockey League action between the Carolina Hurricanes and Ottawa Senators on January 6, 2019, at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, ON, Canada. (Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Last Word on Hockey brings you another round of NHL Trade Rumours. With today’s rumours focusing on the Toronto Maple Leafs, Washington Capitals, and Dallas Stars.

NHL Trade Rumours

Toronto Maple Leafs

Rumour: Elliotte Friedman published 31 Thoughts today. While it was full of info, one of the most intriguing parts was him mentioning the Maple Leafs. Friedman believes the Leafs may be scouting Carolina Hurricanes defenceman, Brett Pesce.

Analysis: This is not much of a surprise. However, the player choice is interesting. It is known the Canes need forwards that can score. Something the Leafs have lots of. However, it is also known the Leafs need good defence. Something the Canes have a lot of. Trade between these two teams has made sense since the beginning of the season.

The Leafs would have to give up a big price to get Pesce, who is a very good defenceman making just 4 million for 5.5 more seasons. The Leafs would almost certainly be sending a roster player and likely a prospect and/or pick back the other way. However, it may just be worth it. Pesce is a very good, cost-controlled defenseman. Just what Toronto needs.

Washington Capitals

Rumour: Next in our NHL Trade Rumours, is the Washington Capitals. The Caps are reportedly looking for mid-round draft picks for Andre Burakovsky.

Analysis: This would be a good return for the Caps on a player they are barely using. Burakovsky has fallen out of favour in Washington. But, a change of scenery could be good for both teams. The Caps prospect cupboard is dry, so it makes sense they want picks. Any team looking to pick Burakovsky up is likely not going to be giving up a deadline player for Washington. However, they can either draft with those picks for the future. Or, flip them for an actual player at the deadline.

Ultimately, a change would be good for both parties here. Burakovsky just hasn’t worked out in Washington.

Colorado Avalanche

Rumour: Also on 31 Thoughts, Friedman reported that the Avalanche would be testing the market on RFA defenceman, Nikita Zadorov.

Analysis: This has come as a bit of a surprise to fans. However, with the Avs drop in the standings this year, it is clear they want to change it up. Zadorov is just 23 years old and could be a solid piece going forward. It is very possible the Avs are looking for scoring depth, something that has plagued them all year, as a return.

Is it possible they take a chance on previously mentioned Burakovsky? Maybe, however, the caps would have to be willing to do a player swap. The other thing is, Zadorov is a restricted free agent this summer. Meaning, whatever team trades for him, also will need to re-sign him. He currently makes just over 2 million dollars. It’s fair to say he will likely receive some type of raise.

Join us for more NHL trade rumours every day at Last Word on Hockey.

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