In today’s NHL rumor rundown, Jonas Siegel of The Athletic takes a look at who the Toronto Maple Leafs might lose in the Seattle expansion draft. At the same time, Luke Fox talks about the Maple Leafs goaltending situation being “critical”. In Edmonton, Allan Mitchell similiarly examined the Oilers expansion situation and realizes the Oilers might lose a pretty good forward. The Nashville Predators are in a good spot to make an offer sheet and finally, there is news on the NHL and NHLPA negotiations and the new projected start date for the season.
Who the Maple Leafs Could Lose in Expansion
Seigel took a closer look at what the Maple Leafs will do when it comes to the Seattle expansion draft, predicting the Leafs will go the 7-3-1 route for protection. That would likely leave either Joey Anderson or Pierre Engval exposed.
The last forward spot comes down to Pierre Engvall and Joey Anderson, the latter signing a cheap three-year deal not long after coming over from New Jersey. If Anderson becomes a useful bottom six contributor next season, that contract — which will have two years left and a $750,000 cap hit, the equivalent of the NHL minimum — makes him more appealing.source – ‘Seattle Kraken expansion mock draft 5.0: Who could the Maple Leafs lose?’ – Jonas Siegel – The Athletic – 12/7/2020
On defense, Justin Holl and Travis Dermott don’t get protected and he suggests the Kraken will likely take Dermott if those are the player options left open. Siegel writes, “He’d be a nice score for Seattle, with all the physical tools — the sturdy build, wondrous skating ability and moderate skill — to become a top four defenceman in the NHL.”
What About the Maple Leafs Goaltending?
There was also talk from Luke Fox during an interview that the Maple Leafs situation in goal is “critical.” Admitting it is improved over last season, there is a lot sitting on the shoulders of Frederik Andersen and a lot riding on his 2020-21 performance. Fox notes the Leafs will have to determine what kind of workload he can handle, how many starts to give Jack Campbell and what to do with Andersen who becomes an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.
“Freddie Anderson is going into a contract year, because he’s heard his name dangled out there in trade rumors, and Kyle Dubas did poke around. I think because of the compacted schedule, and the fact that they haven’t gotten over the hump and won a playoff round, he’s going to be a major storyline this year.”
Could Predators Offer Sheet Anthony Cirelli
Adam Gretz of NBC Sports examined the offer sheet situation in the NHL and notes that the Nashville Predators are in a good spot to offer sheet Anthony Cirelli from the Tampa Bay Lightning.
He admits that Mathew Barzal and Pierre-Luc Dubois are better players, but Cirelli wouldn’t cost as much in compensation or salary and the Lightning just aren’t in a position to match. An offer sheet in the $4.5 to $5.5 million range could probably do it.
Oilers Could Lose a Very Good Forward in Expansion
Noting the Oilers may go a different direction than the Leafs and choose the 8-1 protection route, Allan Mitchell of The Athletic suggests the extra forward is more important for the Oilers than the fourth defenseman.
Mitchell notes the five best available players for Seattle will be Jesse Puljujarvi, Dominik Kahun, Zack Kassian, Kyle Turris, and William Lagesson.
He writes on Puljujarvi’s situation:
If he turns into a strong NHL player on any of the top three lines, the team will have addressed a prominent position from a mid-level talent pool. Puljujarvi’s contract is very good (he’ll have one year left at $1.175 million and be an RFA at that time) and he is just 22.source – ‘Seattle Kraken expansion mock draft 5.0: Who could the Oilers lose?’ – ALlan Mitchell – 12/08/2020
NHL Season Start Date of January 13?
According to Darren Dreger and Pierre LeBrun of TSN, it appears the NHL and NHLPA have resolved their financial issues when it comes to resuming the 2020-21 season. There is still the looming pandemic that could hold things back further and create issues but both sides have are moving forward to work out a season that could start as early as January 13.
Dreger notes that NHL training camps will likely be ten days long and there will not be any exhibition play. It also looks as though the seven teams that did not qualify for this summer’s postseason bubble will get an early pre-camp as promised.
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Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”