NHL Rumours: Toronto Maple Leafs, Anaheim Ducks, Carolina Hurricanes

NHL Rumours
TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 23: Toronto Maple Leafs right wing William Nylander (88) battles for a puck with Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk (57) in front of Carolina Hurricanes goaltender James Reimer (47) during the first period in a game between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario Canada. (Photo by Nick Turchiaro/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The NHL season is over halfway through and most teams have an idea whether they’ll be buyers or sellers at the deadline. With teams gearing up for the playoffs, there are lots of NHL rumours swirling about. Today we’ll be looking at rumours surrounding the Toronto Maple Leafs, Anaheim Ducks, and Carolina Hurricanes.

NHL Rumours

Toronto Maple Leafs

Rumour: James Mirtle said in a recent mailbag that Leafs are looking to deal Kasperi Kapanen for a top-four defenceman plus an asset.

Analysis: Kapanen has been used as a theoretical trade chip for the Leafs for quite some time now. He has had a rough 2019-2020 season, however, based on prior seasons it could be fair to assume he is better than what this year has shown. He has a unique skill set that provides value on the Leafs, but would also look very enticing for any teams looking to trade with the Leafs. Not only is he incredibly fast and able to help with offence as a middle-six forward, or top line in a complementary role, he can also kill penalties.

The Leafs could get back a top-four defence as well as something else according to Mirtle. The Leafs defence has maybe been blown out of proportion for how bad it is, however, it still isn’t a strong core by any means. In order to contend for a cup, another top-four defenceman would be good to add, especially if it meant getting Cody Ceci out of the top-six altogether. Adding that extra asset on top of a top-four would be excellent for the team, no matter what it is.

Anaheim Ducks

Rumour: In “Beyond Headlines”, Chris Johnston said that the Anaheim Ducks might be willing to take on bad contracts in exchange for sweeteners.

Analysis: Lot’s of the top teams in the NHL are currently up to the cap, or over and using LTIR room. The Ducks currently have 39 points through 45 games. They are last in the West and are firmly out of a playoff position. Being at the start of a rebuild, they can utilize their cap space to gain assets to help the rebuild along. While they only have a little over $2 million in cap space, with Ryan Kesler on IR, they can exceed the cap $6,875,000 should they max out.

Picks and prospects will be the name of the game for the Ducks. They are currently turning around an old team that was competitive for years, and it will take time. Team’s up against the cap with players to re-sign this off-season, such as the Bruins with Torey Krug, or the Penguins with Jared McCann and Matt Murray could look to unload some overpayments and Anaheim could use their position to their advantage.

Carolina Hurricanes

Rumour: According to Hurricanes beat writer Cory Lavalette, Waddell said the Hurricanes can take on a player with a 5-6 million dollar contract. They would like to also keep all bonuses under the cap this season so they don’t carry over.

Analysis: With the Hurricanes currently holding a wild-card spot, they look like they might be going to the playoffs for the second season in a row. The Hurricanes just added Justin Williams to the mix in order to strengthen their top nine. The Hurricanes have no glaring flaws in their team this season. Their weakest point would likely still be at goaltending. Between James Reimer and Petr Mrazek, the tandem provides the Hurricanes with average goaltending. With such a strong forward and defence core, it is the worst position by default.

It seems weird that the Hurricanes would try to add a goalie with their current cap space unless it was a legitimate starter, and it doesn’t seem like a player like that would be available as a deadline rental. The Hurricanes could look to add a designated penalty killer or other players to fill niche roles for the team.

That’s it for today’s NHL rumours! Join us again tomorrow for more.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Nylander isn’t going anywhere PM. Dubas has given Nylander his word & Kyle keeps his word, unlike that idiot coach & GM we had prior to Keefe & Dubas. Also Nylander has already scored 19 goals so far this season & he’s played well for most of the season. Sure he’s had games where he hasn’t been great, but so has everyone on the team. Hell even Andersen has had a few rough games recently. No one is going to play great every game, but I have seen Nylander cut in front of the net more this season then ever before, I like that he’s started doing that more he’ll end up scoring more goals by doing that more often. I’m not expecting him to become some kind of BRUISER or anything like that, but it’ll allow him to score more. I would like to see Engvall playing with Tavares & Nylander until Mikheyev comes back. It’s really to bad that he got hurt, as that trio of Mikheyev, Nylander & Tavares looked really good together & with the Matthews line going at the time as well they were making space for one another out there. That is an injury that has hurt that line. I like Kerfoot but with Engvall‘s size he would help the Tavares line more then Kerfoot does. They should give it a try at least. Especially since when Engvall had played with Tavares for some shifts on the Tavares line before Mikheyev & Nylander really clicked with Tavares, therefore it might give the line a little more grit on the line, because he can be hard on the puck in deep & Nylander is the playmaker & with JT being the shooter it’s a good balance to the line, very much like Hyman & Marner give to the Matthews line balance, a guy heavy on the puck, Hyman for Matthews line & Engvall could do that for the Tavares line, Marner gives the playmaking to Matthews & Nylander gives to the Tavares line with Matthews & Tavares being the finishers.
    Using Kapanen or Johnsson as trade bait with Barrie, Ceci (retain $1.25 mill salary) & Bracco thrown in the mix along with Agostino, Patan & maybe a 4th rounder I think that the Blue Jackets would consider giving up Anderson, Jones & Foudy or a 1st rounder in a trade. I know that many of you don’t think that’s a possibility, but I beg to differ. Here is why, Jones will be getting his modified NTC kicking in starting next season, which makes it harder to get value for Jones. The fact that not many players want to sign with the Bluejackets as it showed last offseason with 5 players walking away as UFA’s not including McQuaid as I’m not sure what had gone down with him, he maybe didn’t want to play in Columbus either. That being said in two seasons both Jones & Zach Werenski coming up for renewal of their contract’s, I cannot see Jones resigning with the BJ. He especially will not resign if they miss the playoffs this season. With that said, miss the playoffs they will especially if they do not make some moves. Therefore Jones who will become a UFA in two seasons from now & he will walk away & go to a team that At least has a chance to compete for the cup.
    The Bluejackets loaded up last season & only got as far as the 2nd round. This season they will have a tougher time even making it into the postseason dance. They gave up so many pieces & failed to resign any of them at the end of the season, not even their own players, such as Panarin, Duchene, Bobrovsky or even Dzingel & lost one guy to the KHL as well, Sedlak. The chances of resigning Jones are slim to non, & even if a hey could, how do the BJ give two D men between $22 & $25 mill/yr to two D men & then still will be needing to improve their scoring on the forward lines? They just can’t. Even if the cap was to go up by $3.5 mill/yr that’s still only $7 mill total over the next two years. Meanwhile having other players to resign as well for instance, players like Anderson, who 3 years ago had a hard time signing last time his contract was up. He will for sure ask for a lot more money this time around since he wasn’t happy with his money on his last contract. There doesn’t seem to be meny good options for the Bluejackets going forward with these two players we have talked about. The only option is to trade them & get good young pieces.
    This is where the Leafs come into the picture. The Bluejackets need help with their scoring & preferably from young up & coming forwards. The Leafs need to improve a couple things, starting with defensive help, specifically a proper partner (RHD man) for the number one pairing alongside Morgan Rielly. Also a gritty winger who has a bit of a scoring touch & the final piece that they need is an upgrade in the backup goalie department. The first two is where the Bluejackets can help the Leafs, & in return the Leafs need to be able to help the Bluejackets with some young scoring wingers. This is as if these two were a match made in heaven. They each have exactly what the other needs & each one can spare the assets that are needed to make the deal happen. The thing about it is that it’s a perfect hockey trade, where it’s a win, win scenario. Now all that needs to happen is that the two GM’s need to realize it. Go Leafs Go

  2. Melander is a princess that floats around like the rest of the team, getting rid of him first would be a great way to show the other softies what could happen to them.

  3. Steve I agree with you, if you can get those players and I think Columbas is is willing to do something. Because they are giving up a star dfenceman like Jones they may want a Nylander who they can promote instead of a Kapanen. I’ve always liked Anderson and if matched with Tavares you would have two of the finest lines in hockey. Jones well he’s just a horse on defence and could play 25 minutes a game, I like the trade.

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