NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs, Canadiens, Devils, Oilers, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news from Elliotte Friedman’s 31 Thoughts article, there are rumors of more than just Taylor Hall being moved out of New Jersey and are the Edmonton Oilers worried about dropping attendance?

Maple Leafs Backup Goaltending Situation Staying a Situation?

Friedman notes about the Toronto Maple Leafs, “I’m not convinced Toronto’s going to alter its backup situation.” He says his feeling is that the Maple Leafs just don’t love what’s out there for them to choose from.

Friedman doesn’t believe the names the Maple Leafs might be most interested will really be available based on how these backups have played. Tristan Jarry has been unbelievable for the Pittsburgh Penguins and Alexandar Georgiev might be the future goaltender for the New York Rangers.

Toronto Maple Leafs Kasperi Kapanen
Toronto Maple Leafs forward Kasperi Kapanen (Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports)

In other Maple Leafs news, Friedman said he was informed that there’s a healthy appetite in the NHL marketplace for Kasperi Kapanen and that, if the Maple Leafs wanted to move him, they’d have no trouble getting a good return. As it stands now, the Maple Leafs do not want to move him.

Related: Oilers History: The Importance of Jimmy Carson

Canadiens Not Interested in Taylor Hall?

There are plenty of rumors regarding Taylor Hall, including the fact the New York Islanders may become a bidder as they look for a scorer. One team that probably won’t be interested is the Montreal Canadiens.

Taylor Hall New Jersey Devils
Taylor Hall, New Jersey Devils (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

TVA Sports’ Renaud Lavoie reports the Canadiens aren’t interested in acquiring Hall, noting that speculation the Devils don’t want to give Hall a six- to eight-year deal is a huge red flag for them. Instead, the team is more focused on improving their defense and that spending all their assets on Hall would be mismanaging where they need to improve the most.

Devils to Move P.K. Subban?

The focus of trade talk in New Jersey will be on Taylor Hall this season. That doesn’t mean other players won’t be moved. One of the surprising names that seems to have just popped up is P.K. Subban.

P.K. Subban New Jersey Devils
P.K. Subban, New Jersey Devils (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

“His name is out there,” an NHL source told SBRPicks.com. Noting that the contract will be hard to move and the Devils will have to retain salary to get a deal done, the source also noted:

“it’s not as crazy an idea as some may think and it may be the best thing for P.K. and the Devils. There just hasn’t been a fit there, and I’m talking hockey wise. This is nothing to do with P.K. as a teammate or person from all I’ve been told.”

Related: Cleveland Barons NHL Draft History

Sorokin to Stay in Russia?

There are reports out of Russia that CSKA Moscow is trying to extend Islanders goalie prospect Ilya Sorokin. If this is true, any deal could bring the netminder to unrestricted free agency in North America and the Islanders would essentially lose him for nothing.

Related: James Neal: Still “Real Deal” for Oilers?

Oilers Ready to Make Loud Noise?

Allan Mitchell took a look at five loud noises the Edmonton Oilers could make right now to improve the excitement level around the team. They include any combination of trades for Taylor Hall, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Chris Kreider, Tyler Toffoli and Mike Hoffman. It’s not that the Oilers will do any of these things, but there is concern in Edmonton over a drop in attendance despite a winning record.

Edmonton Oilers celebrate
Edmonton Oilers celebrate (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson)

Mitchell writes:

“… it’s possible Daryl Katz wants to see more excitement in Edmonton surrounding the Oilers. A Tuesday night game against the Carolina Hurricanes that featured miles of empty seats can’t sit well for the owner or the organization.

That said, mortgaging the future again this winter is not a formula for winning. Holland’s Oilers are still in first place in the Pacific Division, the general manager owes it to Tippett and the players to see how far they can go. There is not yet a seven-game losing streak or a two-week dive into the deep freeze of the Pacific.

source – ‘Lowetide: Five loud noises Ken Holland could make to help the Oilers immediately’ – Allan Mitchell – The Athletic – 12/12/2019

There are a number of reasons attendance could be dropping. From the economy to ticket prices and concession rates to a fan base that promised it wouldn’t support this team until it had shown consistent improvement. The balancing act will be what GM Ken Holland can do that is best long-term for the organization but doesn’t dent the wallet of the owner.

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