NHL Rumors: Senators, Maple Leafs, Panthers, Oilers, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, the Ottawa Senators will need to make a decision on forward Anthony Duclair, there are questions in Toronto regarding the future of Kasperi Kapanen, and are the Florida Panthers looking to add a backup goaltender? Finally, what are the chances the Edmonton Oilers revisit talks with the Rangers regarding Lias Andersson?

Senators to Keep Anthony Duclair?

While the Ottawa Senators are still very much a rebuilding team and logic might suggest selling high on a player like Anthony Duclair, it appears the Senators want to keep him in the fold.

Senators left wing Anthony Duclair
WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 26: Ottawa Senators left wing Anthony Duclair (10) waits for a face-off during the Ottawa Senators vs. Washington Capitals NHL game February 26, 2019 at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.. (Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Duclair has done a complete 180-degree turn on his NHL career and now sits with 21 goals on the season. This comes after being tossed aside by a number of other NHL franchises because his production was almost non-existent. Darren Dreger of TSN is reporting that the Senators think he can repeat what he’s doing this season. He explained:

I supposed there could be the threat of trade–again the Ottawa Senators are still very much in a rebuild format, so they could dangle Anthony Duclair out there. But again, given the offensive production of Anthony Duclair this year it makes sense that the Ottawa Senators will do everything they can up to January 1st, maybe soon after January 1st, to get a contract done.

Dreger suggests that a three-year contract extension could work for both sides given that Duclair is two years away from unrestricted free agency. Dreger believes Duclair would jump at a contract offer like that since he hasn’t had much in the way of job security over the last few seasons and it only buys out one year of his free agent eligibility should he continue to play well.

Related: Maple Leafs: Kapanen’s Start Cause for Concern?

Kapanen’s Future Unclear in With Maple Leafs?

A struggling blue line in Toronto has led many to speculate on the future of a forward like Kasperi Kapanen, who recently signed a three-year, $9.6 million deal with the Maple Leafs. Pierre LeBrun spoke on TSN radio about Kapanen’s future and said, “I still talk to some teams that value him and like him. If he were to be made available I don’t think the Leafs would have a hard time gaining value in a trade involving him.”

Kasperi Kapanen
Toronto Maple Leafs right wing Kasperi Kapanen celebrates with the bench (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn)

But, how likely is a trade? LeBrun seemed to believe it was quite likely.

“In fact, it wouldn’t shock me if they did deal him,” LeBrun noted. But, LeBrun thinks a deal wouldn’t come until the offseason.

LeBrun notes that even though management would like to keep him, the value of his contract makes him one of the easier pieces to move and get value back in return. In other words, Kapanen’s contract has all the right components that make a trade almost inevitable. “… because of the pressure of the cap and the pressure of having to figure out the defense moving forward next year, I think he’ll be one of the expendable parts.”

Related: What They’re Worth: Contracts for Nurse and Kassian

Craig Anderson to the Florida Panthers?

Ken Warren of The Ottawa Sun speculates the Florida Panthers could become a trade destination for Senators goaltender Craig Anderson. Considering the Senators are a rebuilding organization likely to be sellers at the trade deadline, Anderson has history with the team, and Anderson’s home is just minutes away from the Panthers’ arena, the pieces seem to fit.

Craig Anderson Ottawa Senators
Craig Anderson, Ottawa Senators (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

The question is, do the Panthers need another backup? Warren writes there is a hurdle that would need to be jumped. He explains:

At this point, the Panthers are only $900,000 under the NHL’s salary cap. Anderson has a salary cap hit of $4.5 million this season, with a 2019-20 salary of $4 million.

source – ‘ Florida looms as possible trade destination for Anderson’ – Ottawa Sun – Ken Warren – 12/22/2019

Oilers Won’t Give Up Draft Pick For Andersson

Allan Mitchell of The Athletic acknowledges that there was some talk regarding Lias Andersson to the Edmonton Oilers but says don’t expect the Oilers to revisit those talks now that Andersson has asked for a trade.

Mitchell writes:

On the one hand, Andersson is not a fast centre, and the Oilers are looking to increase speed and pace. It’s also possible the Rangers’ price will be a draft pick, and Edmonton likely wants to keep the rest of its 2020 draft stock.

source – ‘Lowetide: Should the Oilers pursue Lias Andersson in trade?’ – Allan Mitchell – The Athletic – 12/22/2019

Related: NHL Rumors: Islanders, Maple Leafs, Rangers, More