Last Word on Hockey is back with another day of NHL Trade Rumours. Today, we will be looking at rumours from the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Philadelphia Flyers, Calgary Flames and Columbus Blue Jackets. Stay tuned every day for more NHL Trade Rumours.
NHL Trade Rumours
Rumour: Elliott Friedman mentions in 31 Thoughts that Marc Bergevin has recently been watching the Anaheim Ducks and he thinks he is looking to acquire some forward depth. He also mentions they could be looking at Brett Ritchie from the Dallas Stars.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) February 5, 2019
Analysis: Friedman mentions that Bergevin doesn’t tip his hand and he’s exactly right. Bergevin has said, “expect the unexpected.” Just when you think you know what he’s about to do, he comes out of left field and does something completely different. Bergevin has shown he isn’t afraid to make big moves. He also has said he doesn’t want to move futures. However, take this with a grain of salt. If Bergevin sees a move he believes will better his club both present and future, he will pull the trigger. Left defence and powerplay scoring is something the Habs will certainly be looking for at the deadline. However, he won’t dip into the rental market. If Bergevin makes a move, it will most likely be for a player with term left on their deal past this season.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Analysis: Hard to believe that we’re having this conversation but they’re not wrong. Marner has arguably been the Leafs best player since the Stanley Cup playoffs last season. Marner is starting to (if he already hasn’t) earn elite status due to his play since those playoffs. His speed, work ethic and hockey IQ are second to none on the Leafs. So why shouldn’t he get paid the same as Matthews?
I couldn’t begin to guess how that one ends up or goes, but I would suggest this: Marner’s term will be either three years or 6/7/8. A four-year term would walk Marner to UFA; a five-year term would have him expire at same time as AM34. Neither is good for the club.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) February 5, 2019
Kyle Dubas will certainly be looking to get this contract signed as soon as possible so he doesn’t get tangled up in another William Nylander scenario. However, Marner’s camp has remained firm on waiting until the off-season. The risk is there of an offer sheet which is certainly something the Leafs will want to avoid. They want to be able to control how the contract talks go. If Marner does demand the $11 plus million that Matthews received, Dubas is going to have to get creative. There will be a lot of moving parts, but Dubas is a smart hockey mind. Numbers are his thing. This is going to be one of the most interesting stories to follow over the next few months.
Rumour: Pierre LeBrun mentions on Insider Trading that despite the recent win streak, the Flyers are still expected to move Wayne Simmonds at the deadline.
Analysis: No surprise here. The Flyers are still sitting five points back of the Columbus Blue Jackets for the final wild-card position with two more games played. LeBrun mentions there is a lot of teams calling about the Flyers forward so the Flyers should be able to get a solid return for Simmonds. Letting Simmonds walk at the end of the season just isn’t an option. Calgary, Toronto, Nashville and Boston are a few of the teams that could look at acquiring the power forward.
Analysis: The Flames are looking to bolster their forward group in hopes of a long playoff run. They already have the second best offence in the NHL right now sitting just eight goals behind the league-leading Tampa Bay Lightning. Acquiring a player like Zuccarello could be the piece that puts the Flames over the top and solidifies them as a legitimate Stanley Cup contender.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Rumour: Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky rumours are swirling and will continue until the day after the trade deadline. Larry Brooks of the New York Post mentions that the Florida Panthers are thinking about trading for Bobrovsky. Elliott Friedman mentions on 31 thoughts that if the Blue Jackets do trade Panarin or Bobrovsky, they will need players who will help them now. Friedman also says to not be surprised if the Blue Jackets target Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick if they do, in fact, move Bobrovsky.
So @NYP_Brooksie says that Florida is chasing Sergei Bobrovsky, seeking to land him so they can offer an 8-year contract. Perfect fit, as obviously the Panthers would have no concerns about his postseason record.
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) February 4, 2019
Analysis: The Blue Jackets are currently sitting in the final wild-card position in the west. They won’t be moving Bobrovsky or Panarin unless it helps them this season. Whether that’s a hockey deal between the teams or flipping the returns on the players for immediate help, its yet to be seen. However, with both contracts expiring at the end of the year, it’s hard to imagine Jarmo Kekalainen will take the gamble and hold on to these players. Keeping them for a playoff run just to have them walk at the end of the season is just not worth the risk.
VANCOUVER, BC – OCTOBER 30: Dallas Stars Right Wing Brett Ritchie (25) shoots past Vancouver Canucks Defenceman Alex Biega (55) in a NHL hockey game on October 30, 2017, at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, BC. Dallas won 2-1 in Overtime. (Photo by Bob Frid/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)