It’s time for another edition of our NHL rumours. We’re just over two weeks away from the NHL trade deadline and general managers are trying to figure things out. Contract extensions and deals are on the agenda for team executives and time is running out. Today’s NHL rumours focus on the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, and Anaheim Ducks.
All NHL rumours are taken from the original source and subject to change.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Rumour: During Luke Fox’s Quick Shifts column for Sportsnet, Fox brings up the possibility of Kyle Clifford re-signing with the Leafs in the off-season. The newly acquired forward from the Los Angeles Kings is a big fan of the club and of Mats Sundin. Toronto general manager Kyle Dubas is hesitant to get a rental, so he might have ideas of keeping Clifford in the fold.
The 29-year-old forward currently makes $1.9 million a season and becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
Analysis: Clifford is a solid bottom-six forward and a solid locker room leader. The Ayr, Ontario native has won a pair of Stanley Cups and can do all the little things.
Dubas said guys like Clifford are hard to come by and he’d be willing to negotiate a new deal with him. However, the main issue would be the cap hit.
Toronto is always up against the number and Clifford should get somewhat of a raise. There’s certainly the possibility of a hometown discount, but that’s not always something a general manager can bank upon.
New York Rangers
Rumour: Both Pierre LeBrun and Elliotte Friedman are reporting that the Rangers and winger Chris Kreider have opened contract talks. The Boxford, Mass. native has been the subject of several rumours and is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
Many thought it would be a foregone conclusion for the 28-year-old to get traded by the deadline. However, Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton and Kreider’s agent Matt Keator will talk soon. LeBrun states this is the first time the two sides have spoken about an extension.
The TSN insider said a contract will be difficult to get done, but both parties will make an effort.
Analysis: Kreider is in the same vein as Mats Zuccarello as they both love the Rangers franchise. However, the forward makes $4.625 million a season and is angling for a raise. Kreider has 19 goals and 37 points for the Blueshirts.
Gorton has and will likely receive plenty of offers for the winger. He’s the top name on TSN’s Trade Bait board. However, there may be a sliver of hope that he stays with the Rangers.
It’s going to be a tall order and the Rangers have one of the best prospect pools in the league. There are plenty of young players that could be cheaper and ready to go. However, there may be a chance the Rangers can get it done and keep one of their most proven scorers.
Rumour: LeBrun tweeted on Friday that Anaheim forward Derek Grant would make a very good under-the-radar rental at the deadline. Grant has a career-high 13 goals in 43 games.
Very much an under the radar trade deadline rental. https://t.co/48vyxY43B3
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) February 8, 2020
Analysis: Grant makes only $700,000 and would be a cheap option for any club looking for a solid depth player. He’s been a great player in Anaheim for the Ducks.
The 29-year-old has bounced around the league, but has found a home with the Ducks. There’s always the possibility that Grant returns to Anaheim after he gets dealt. He is in the final year of his contract and worth a shot at a rental.