Welcome back to NHL Rumours. Each day, we take a look at the newest rumours from around the league. From trades to signings, and more. Join us for Friday’s edition of NHL Rumours. Today we look at the Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, and Detroit Red Wings in a packed Atlantic Division version.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Rumour: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman was on WGR550 radio today and was discussing the Toronto Maple Leafs plan. He mentions that as of right now they are waiting, but they will be on things in the future.
Elliotte Friedman on WGR550 this morning: MTL looking for LD, NJD looking for D, BUF not getting good offers for their D yet. BUF looking for a forward. Thinks STL will look to add, TOR will wait but be in on something later, CAR will look at adding. +other teams
— James (@Account4hockey) November 7, 2019
Analysis: The Leafs haven’t had a full team at all this season. Zach Hyman, John Tavares, and Travis Dermott have all spent time with injuries. With Hyman expected to return soon, it seems reasonable that the Leafs would like to see what they have as a full roster. It has been a pretty disappointing season for the standards set for this team. However, they are still above average in all advanced statistics. They are also currently sitting in a playoff spot and this is despite a poor October from Frederik Andersen.
Andersen is a very good goalie and if he rebounds back to his normal .920 self this team will see more points come their way. However, they still need to be more responsible defensively. It has been their issue for years but a team with so much talent has struggled in their end. A more defensive type player may be who the Leafs will target. A Ron Hainsey type that can eat minutes on the penalty kill and also play in his end.
Lots of fans will ask to go and acquire more toughness. While a fighter or goon is not what this team needs, getting some depth that will battle each shift isn’t the worst call. They need to have NHL talent though. Nothing wrong with being physical but the player needs to have some puck skills too. Look for Toronto to be a popular name in NHL Rumours.
Rumour: Friedman also mentioned that the Montreal Canadiens are looking for a left-handed defenceman.
Analysis: The Habs have been looking for left-handed defenceman for a little while now. The issue remains is that if they get a lefty, it should be a top-four guy. They have plenty of bottom pair guys in the AHL and Mike Reilly is very serviceable in the NHL too. However, Ben Chiarot isn’t exactly the ideal second pair defenceman for this team. Victor Mete has been a steal for Montreal and fits well with Shea Weber, but getting a true left-handed guy to play the second pair with Jeff Petry could be crucial for this team.
The Atlantic Division is a very tight one and the Canadiens will be in tight to make the playoffs. They have a strong team but the division is top-heavy. Adding a legit top-four guy would go a long way but it wouldn’t be cheap. Looking at teams that are falling out of the race may be the best option for Montreal. Top-four defencemen are in top demand all the time so not many ever come up. When they do, the price is hefty. If Montreal wants to add a legit difference maker they will have to be ready to part with assets.
Detroit Red Wings
Rumour: On TSN Pierre LeBrun mentioned that when the Red Wings picked up Robby Fabbri it was because Fabbri was unhappy with his ice time and the St. Louis Blues told him if he doesn’t have a spot they will move him. LeBrun mentions that there may be more deals like that this season. Although, he doesn’t mention which players.
INSIDER TRADING: #TSNHockey Insiders discuss…
— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) November 7, 2019
Analysis: It seems fair to think that it is possible Detroit could be a team to take another gamble on something like this. They are a rebuilding team and much like the Fabbri trade, it would mean little risk. LeBrun didn’t mention them in specific, however, the fit seems obvious. Other teams like the Ottawa Senators may also look to do something similar, Ottawa did it with Vladislav Namestnikov and Anthony Duclair.
For the Wings, moves like these are very smart. Try and get all the talent you possibly can. Getting assets is the easiest way to rebuild and the Red Wings seem to be doing just that. Maybe Fabbri doesn’t work out. If not, there’s no risk. He’s not expensive, he’s not on a long-term deal, and you can walk away if there are better options when he needs a new deal. There is just such little risk. On the other side of things, maybe Fabbri gets healthy and shows his true potential. The benefit of that could be huge.
It’s why going forward you can expect to see teams like Detroit in NHL Trade Rumours. Looking for new potential guys to help out their lineup.