It’s Sunday and it’s another edition of our NHL trade rumours. We’re two days away from the NHL trade deadline and we’re breaking down all the action as we race towards Monday. Today we look at NHL Trade Rumours surrounding the Ottawa Senators, Winnipeg Jets, Florida Panthers, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Montreal Canadiens.
NHL Trade Rumours
Rumour: Bob McKenzie reports that the main focus of Ottawa is to get rid of Mark Stone. However, deals still seem very far off as a result of a steep asking price for Stone.
That said, the primary focus for OTT GM Pierre Dorion is obviously trading Stone and serious suitors include WPG, NSH, CGY, BOS, amongst others. Usual grumbling about the price being way too high, but it is, as they say, a process.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) February 23, 2019
Analysis: The Senators have been looking to trade Matt Duchene, Stone, and Dzingel all year long. They managed to trade Duchene to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday, knocking off the top player on their list. Next, Dzingel was also traded to the Jackets on Saturday.
Of the teams listed by McKenzie, the Winnipeg Jets have been the most active. They have had multiple scouts at recent Senators games. Senators general manager, Pierre Dorion, was also spotted at a handful of Jets games. The Jets currently rank among the top of the Western Conference. However, they’re battling with the Nashville Predators for the top spot in the Central Division. Obviously, the hope is that adding Stone will both win them the Conference and also carry the team far into the postseason. With that said, all other teams mentioned would benefit greatly from adding Stone and are no-doubt keeping up with the Senators.
Analysis: The Winnipeg Jets acquiring Hayes makes perfect sense. He is a far cheaper target for the team, as they even out their roster for the playoffs. Kypreos mentioned that the Jets could likely acquire Hayes for merely a first-round pick and a middle-ground prospect like Logan Stanley.
Hayes would fit well into the Jets lineup. He’d move into the second-line center role, allowing Bryan Little to move back to winger. With 42 points in 51 games, there’s no doubting Hayes production either. If the Jets aren’t able to acquire Stone, Hayes is a great substitute. Kypreos reports that the team is leading the pack in both Stone and Hayes talks. There’s no doubting that they’ll likely end up with one or the other before Monday night.
Rumour: The Florida Panthers held recently acquired Derick Brassard out of the lineup on Saturday. According to David Pagnotta and George Richards, the expectation is that Brassard will be dealt by the Panthers again before the trade deadline.
Panthers are scratching Derick Brassard for today’s game vs LA. Expectation is he’ll be dealt again by Monday’s deadline
— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) February 23, 2019
Going to talk to #FlaPanthers coach Bob Boughner now…expectation is team will sit Derick Brassard tonight with trade coming soon. His last game with the team was likely Thursday v Carolina.
— George Richards (@GeorgeRichards) February 23, 2019
Analysis: The Florida Panthers acquired Brassard from the Pittsburgh Penguins, along with Riley Sheahan and three draft picks, on February 1. They sent away Jared McCann and Nick Bjugstad. However, the feeling around the trade was that the Panthers would quickly flip Brassard.
The team asked the forward to submit a list of team’s he’d approve a trade to, a few weeks ago. This was in an effort to comply with his modified no-trade clause. There’s no doubt that they’ve started to ask those teams about a potential deal.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Rumour: Again during Sportsnet’s ‘Saturday Headlines’, Chris Johnston reported that the Toronto Maple Leafs likely won’t have enough to make a major trade this year.
Analysis: This comes as no surprise. We learned Friday night that the Leafs weren’t willing to disturb their current NHL roster. With their first-round pick missing and stinginess on dealing away prospects, a big trade didn’t seem very appetizing for Toronto. Now, Johnston has apparently confirmed that they are in no position to make a deal.
There is still a bit of surprise to learning this. The Leafs have been in hot pursuit of a right-handed defenseman for a while now and seemed to have a few different options available. Among these options were players like Brett Pesce and Justin Faulk, two Carolina Hurricanes that the Leafs have been keeping an eye on. Nonetheless, the team will likely not be able to make any significant moves between now and Monday.
Rumour: According to David Pagnotta, the Canadiens are willing to retain a portion of Karl Alzner‘s contract if it meant dealing him away.
On Canadiens: Karl Alzner remains available. He's down in Laval. Just doesn't fit the Habs' system, needs new environment that compliments his shutdown style. Sense is Habs willing to retain portion of contract.
— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) February 23, 2019
Analysis: Alzner has been with the Canadiens AHL system since February 9. Montreal signed the 30-year-old to a five-year contract on July 1, 2017. The deal has a yearly cap hit of $4.625 million and a no-trade clause every year. Both traits have been clearly undesirable for potential trade targets. Alzner’s struggles could be thwarted with a change of scenery, per Pagnotta. With the Canadiens being willing to retain a part of his large salary, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a few teams contact Montreal.