We’re smack dab in the middle of November, but the NHL rumours are always flying. Teams usually start figuring out who they are during the months of November and December. Some are trying to load up for a run at the post-season while others are trying to salvage it entirely. Today’s NHL rumours focus on the Toronto Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh Penguins and Los Angeles Kings.
All NHL rumours are taken from the original source and are subject to change.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Rumour: During Saturday night’s Headlines segment on Hockey Night in Canada, Elliotte Friedman said that the Leafs have gotten calls on defenceman Tyson Barrie. Friedman pointed out that the Victoria, British Columbia native has not asked for a trade. However, things have not worked out so far and he hits the free agent market this off-season.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) November 17, 2019
The Leafs are against trading him right now, but the cap hit for any team that wants him would only be $2.75 million. This is because the Colorado Avalanche retained half of his $5.5 million salary when they dealt the 28-year-old to Toronto.
Analysis: Barrie wants to make dollar value more desirable but has struggled with the Leafs so far. He has only five assists in 21 games so far. This season is an audition for anyone looking to land the righthanded shooting defenceman.
He’s been close to 60 points in his last two seasons with the Avalanche and should get some interest if he hits the open market. However, his struggles may cost him a few bucks off that payday.
Friedman said that both sides are willing to give it another month to see if things can turn around. However, the recent slump and the uncertainty over Mike Babcock’s future have put many things up in the air. A team could get a low-cost option that can put up points should Toronto decide to cut bait on the season.
Rumour: Chris Johnston said on the same Headlines segment that the Penguins have an available goalie and Tristan Jarry might be the one they trade. Johnston said Pittsburgh has the luxury of having both Jarry and Casey DeSmith as capable backups behind Matt Murray.
DeSmith is currently down in the AHL with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton as he costs $1.25 million towards the salary cap until the end of the 2021-22 season. Jarry only costs $675,000 and is a restricted free agent at the end of the season.
Analysis: Johnston immediately pointed out that the Maple Leafs would be a good fit for the Surrey, British Columbia native. However, it seems like they’ll stick with Kasimir Kaskisuo as the backup to Frederik Andersen for the time being. That could change if the young Finn struggles in his appearances like he did on Saturday against Pittsburgh.
Another thing that makes Jarry attractive to teams is that he’s only 24 years old. That is very early in the lifespan of a goaltending and a team could be getting a potential top goalie. Jarry has been solid in his starts with a 2.25 goals against average and .929 save percentage. He may only be 1-3 in his starts, but he has gotten a lot of offensive support.
Johnston also said Pittsburgh won’t deal either of their goalies unless the right deal comes along. General manager Jim Rutherford is a Hall of Fame executive and won’t just give away a potential cornerstone goalie without getting something big in return.
Los Angeles Kings
Rumour: Josh Cooper of The Athletic (subscription required) speculated on if the Kings have hit a snag in their rebuild. Cooper said that general manager Rob Blake hasn’t made a major trade since the end of the last off-season.
Did the Kings read this? I have no idea, but the Ilya Kovalchuk move definitely seems to have shown that the patience is worn out … plus good on Todd M. for trying to see what he had giving guys a chance and making the hard choices. https://t.co/iti61Pf3E6
— Josh Cooper (@JoshuaCooper) November 13, 2019
The Kings have dealt players like Jake Muzzin, Tanner Pearson and bought out Dion Phaneuf. However, progress has seemingly slowed in dealing players like Jeff Carter, Alec Martinez and Tyler Toffoli. The recent news about Ilya Kovalchuk has moved the conversation forward a bit, but there’s no solution so far.
Analysis: Kovalchuk is a hard player to move due his $6.25 million salary for this season and next. The veteran forward also has a no-movement clause, which could hamstring Blake. Chris Johnston of Sportsnet said they are playing to find a solution via a buyout of a trade.
Cooper’s article in The Athletic said that Carter and Kovalchuk may be hard to move. The article said that Cater even rejected a trade and wants to finish in Los Angeles.
Toffoli and Martinez will likely get the most interest due to their young age and potential. Martinez has been off to a solid start this season and Toffoli has responded after an early-season benching.
UNIONDALE, NY – NOVEMBER 13: Toronto Maple Leafs Defenceman Tyson Barrie (94) prior to the National Hockey League game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the New York Islanders on November 13, 2019, at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, NY. (Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)