It’s time for another edition of NHL rumours as we rocket towards Monday’s trade deadline. Teams are making their final pushes to get deals done and the rumours will keep flying. The deadline will strike at 3 p.m. ET on Monday. Today’s NHL rumours focus on the Toronto Maple Leafs, Carolina Hurricanes and Ottawa Senators.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Rumour: Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston said during Saturday’s Hockey Night in Canada Headlines segment that a few teams have been asking about Leafs defenceman Tyson Barrie‘s availability. Some of those teams include the Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks and Vegas Golden Knights.
With the NHL trade deadline less than 48 hours away, a contingent of Western Conference teams are waiting to see the availability of @MapleLeafs defenceman Tyson Barrie. #SNTradehttps://t.co/gvOMDHeahk
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) February 23, 2020
Analysis: It looks like the Leafs are going to focus their energy on giving Jake Muzzin a contract extension. Both talented defenders are unrestricted free agents at the end of the season. Muzzin makes $4 million a season while Barrie commands $5.5 million. The Colorado Avalanche retain $2.75 million of that deal.
This season has been a struggle for Barrie, as he has five goals and 33 points in 62 games. Toronto is perpetually up against the salary cap and trading Barrie would relieve some pressure.
However, Kyle Dubas isn’t going to leave his defence without one of its more veteran players. It’s a reasonable request for Toronto to want an NHL-ready blue-liner in return. All of those Pacific Division teams would love a solid defender like Barrie.
Rumour: Pierre LeBrun of TSN and The Athletic speculated that the team may be in the market for a goalie with the run of injuries they had.
Carolina thought they were out on Lehner because asking price was too high. Now who knows. Depending on their goalie injury updates, may make calls around the league before the deadline. This is just me, but if I’m Carolina, I would check on Ryan Miller in Anaheim.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) February 23, 2020
Miller would make an inexpensive rental for a team as he only makes $1.125 million. He’s also an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. The East Lansing, Mich native has played well backing up John Gibson in the Ducks’ crease.
Could someone like a Robin Lehner or Corey Crawford be available on the trade market? The Chicago Blackhawks do have to make a decision on which goalie they think will be next year’s No. 1 starter. Both players are UFAs at the end of this season.
Carolina has other veteran goalies that they can keep their eye on. A move should happen if either netminder is out for an extended period of time.
Rumour: TSN’s Bob McKenzie said on TSN 1200 in Ottawa that it’s more like the Senators deal centre Jean-Gabriel Pageau at the deadline. The club had been trying to sign him to a new contract, but it looks like that may not be in the cards.
— TSN 1200 (@TSN1200) February 22, 2020
Analysis: Pageau is 27 years-old and earns $3.1 million a season. He is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. The Ottawa native is having a breakout year with 24 goals and 40 points in 59 games.
It sounds like another star player won’t be extending their stay in the Canadian capital. Ottawa just can’t seem to keep its star players. However, it’s a smart play to trade someone that won’t re-sign a new deal. At least the Senators are going to get some sort of asset for a player like Pageau.
Ottawa has tried to nail down Mark Stone to a new deal last deadline, but they made the trade with Vegas when it realized an extension wasn’t happening. It looks like the same tactic was tried on Pageau, but has netted the same results.