NHL Rumors: Blackhawks, Maple Leafs, Kings, Oilers, Blues, More

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Chicago Blackhawks have made Mattias Janmark a healthy scratch. Does that mean his fate is sealed and a trade is coming? Meanwhile, the Edmonton Oilers are willing to move their first-round pick for a player with term and the St. Louis Blues could be both buyers and sellers before Monday. The Toronto Maple Leafs need to make a decision without really knowing the status of Frederik Andersen’s injury, and the Los Angeles Kings are taking calls on Alex Iafallo.

Blackhawks Sit Janmark Ahead of NHL Deadline

Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton told reporters on Saturday that Janmark wouldn’t be playing in Saturday’s game versus the Columbus Blue Jackets. He was being made a healthy scratch and the move was being labeled an “organizational decision”.

Of course, this will lead to speculation that the depth center could be moved ahead of Monday’s deadline. The Blackhawks have already been active on the trade front, making a deal with the Florida Panthers and retaining some salary in the process. It’s not clear if any move involving Janmark would be a similar type deal, or if this trade would simply be a rental deal sending the pending UFA to another team for a draft pick or prospect.

Scott Powers of The Athletic noted on Twitter Saturday morning: “A scout thought a few weeks ago Janmark could fetch a 2nd-rounder. That was when Janmark was pretty hot. He has one point in his last 10 games. We’ll see.”

Still No Timeline for Maple Leafs Andersen, Cap Implications

Head coach Sheldon Keefe said there remains no timeline for Frederik Andersen’s return from injury as the NHL’s trade deadline approaches. Some believe the Leafs will stand pat regardless of the lack of information and others believe a deal is coming because Andersen was placed on LTI Friday as part of the series of moves GM Kyle Dubas made that included landing Riley Nash from the Blue Jackets in a trade.

Toronto Maple Leafs Frederik Andersen
Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young)

The expectation is that Dubas wanted to add some wiggle room on his cap to add salary before the deadline. He’ll be able to do so with Nash’s acquisition taking cap accrual out of the equation. So too, if Andersen doesn’t return before the end of the regular season, the Leafs have opened up approximately $5.8 million in cap space, according to PuckPedia.com.

If Andersen does return before the end of the regular season, his cap will count. It’s important that the Maple Leafs know Andersen’s status prior to making any big money moves on Monday.

Related: Maple Leafs: Campbell’s Journey From ‘Lost Soul’ to Franchise Records

Blues Could Be Active

TSN’s Frank Seravalli wonders if St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong might be both a buyer and a seller before Monday’s trade deadline comes and goes. We’ve already touched on Armstrong’s history to be active and the talk that he could move pending UFAs like Mike Hoffman. Is he doing so in an effort to land a bigger fish?

The Blues are among the teams with an interest in Buffalo Sabres winger Taylor Hall. In a way, it could turn out that the Blues swap Hoffman for Hall while the Sabres retain half of Hall’s $8 million salary-cap hit.

Kings Taking Calls on Iafallo

Seravalli also notes that the Los Angeles Kings have been taking phone calls on Iafallo, who is a pending UFA. The NHL insider has moved the forward up to No. 5 on his trade bait board. That said, the Kings and Iafallo’s representation continue to talk about a possible contract extension.

Alex Iafallo Los Angeles Kings
Alex Iafallo, Los Angeles Kings (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

The trade chatter involving Iafallo could simply be Blake making sure he’s got a move to make if the negotiations with the player on an extension fall apart.

Oilers Willing to Trade First-Round Pick For Player With Term

General manager Ken Holland was asked during a media availability if he was adverse to trading his first-round pick this year since the team doesn’t have a lot of other draft picks. He said he wouldn’t move the first for a rental, but that if there was a player with term available that made sense, he would be open to it.

Obviously, the Oilers would still need to move salary in such a trade because they have next to no cap space available. That means, even though Holland is open to it, the odds of it happening are still extremely low.

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