Is there anything better than NHL Rumours ahead of the trade deadline? Of course not! Last Word On Hockey agrees, which is why we’re dedicated to bringing you the latest rumblings from the league. Tuesday’s edition of NHL Rumours will focus on the Minnesota Wild, Calgary Flames and New York Rangers.
All NHL Rumours are taken from the original source and are subject to change.
Michael Russo said on the Russo Souhan show that he heard a rumour from the Wild org, but couldn’t confirm, that Paul Fenton offered Niederreiter and Dumba for Nylander during the contract dispute and Toronto said no. Also said Kapanen not really a fit bc Wild need Centre’s not W
— J (@Account4hockey) February 2, 2020
Rumour: Michael Russo of the Athletic mentioned that the Wild are focused on finding a suitable top-six center to join their team. After expressing interest in Toronto Maple Leafs forward Kasperi Kapanen, the Wild decided he was not the right fit.
Analysis: Minnesota isn’t looking to wild these days. The Wild are at the bottom of the Central Division, with just 52 points. General Manager Bill Guerin has his work cut out for him as the deadline creeps up. Shake things up on the roster or ride the wave of desperation and hope the players shake their slump?
The Wild have been the focus of numerous trade rumours lately. Not that that’s something unfamiliar to the team. The team was basically blown up last season and their reconstruction was not exactly stellar. Guerin coming in on his first year and repeating the cycle might not go over well. Now that he is deciding that Kapanen is ruled out as a new addition, he’ll hit the drawing board and start searching again. Even with Kapanen no longer an option, there is still a large group of centre’s on the market. It’s just a matter of who he deems compatible with the organization.
It’s been a shaky first half to the year for Minnesota. They’ve been inconsistent all season. Guerin is giving them a chance to get their act together before deciding who’s shipping out. The Wild desperately need to add to their core. The roster they have now is not going to rapidly improve the way they need to.
Analysis: The Flames are itching to get their hands on a solid forward for their right side. If the Kings are after a first-round pick for Toffoli, they’ll be searching for a long time. LeBrun’s proposed deal makes sense for both sides.
LeBrun’s suggestion is that the Flames send the Kings a second-round pick, a contingent fourth-round pick, and prospect Adam Ruzicka. He notes the Kings would need to retain 30% of Toffoli’s salary. Fair enough.
Calgary needs secondary scoring. Toffoli won’t light the lamp every night but he would tip the scales in the Flames favour. For that reasonable of a price, the team should be running to Los Angeles. The Flames are hot on the tail of the Vegas Golden Knights for third place in the tight Pacific Division. Bring Toffoli in now, keep pushing up the standings and re-sign him next year.
New York Rangers
Analysis: You can’t talk trade rumours without hearing about Kreider. He is number one on TSN’s trade bait board after all. Kreider will be an unrestricted free agent after this year, and if the Rangers don’t move him they could risk losing him with no return.
The nightmare scenario for a team in the throes of a rebuild like the Rangers. The reality is that Kreider doesn’t have a place with the team. They’re retooling the entire franchise, and keeping the veteran on doesn’t make any sense financially for the club.
Kreider is the most attractive trade piece the Rangers have, and there’s no shortage of teams courting him. LeBrun reported that there were about eight clubs that inquired about him. It’s no surprise. Kreider is another player who can bring scoring depth to a lineup.
His veteran presence would also lend itself to a younger team’s locker room. While the Rangers have reportedly tried to re-sign him unless he is willing to take a team-friendly deal, keeping him on board doesn’t fit for the revamping organization. The club is asking for a first-round pick and a prospect in return, which is fair for the club who’s hoping to catch an upswing in the future.