NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs, Blues, Rangers, Canadiens

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, one insider revealed what he’s hearing about the St. Louis Blues and Ryan O’Reilly. What are the Toronto Maple Leafs likely to do at this year’s NHL Trade Deadline? Could Vitali Kravtsov be traded by the New York Rangers? Finally, what is Josh Anderson thinking about the chances he’s traded by the Montreal Canadiens?

Blues Likely to Trade O’Reilly if First-Round Pick Offered

According to Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic, the Blues are about as equally likely to trade Ryan O’Reilly as they are to keep him. He writes, “there have been talks between the Blues and his camp. There appears to be a desire on both sides to find a way for him to stay, and there is a real possibility of that happening.”

Ryan O’Reilly St. Louis Blues
Ryan O’Reilly, St. Louis Blues (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

However, in speaking with GM Doug Armstrong, O’Reilly has been told this is a business and the Blues want another first-round pick. The GM is going to continue to speak with teams up until March 3 and see what the market offers. Rutherford adds:

But with a keen interest in O’Reilly from a number of Stanley Cup contenders — teams I’ve heard mentioned include Colorado, Vegas, Winnipeg and Toronto (we did a trade fit with the Maple Leafs) — how can Armstrong not listen?

source – ‘What I’m hearing about Ryan O’Reilly’s future with the Blues and trade market” – Jeremy Rutherford- The Athletic- 02/13/2023

What Will Maple Leafs Do at the Trade Deadline?

Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic wrote about the Maple Leafs’ deadline plans and noted that GM Kyle Dubas hinted he won’t move his first-round pick for a rental, nor will he trade Matthew Knies. There are lesser names out there that can fill the needs of the team and in a perfect world, the Maple Leafs would add another forward.

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LeBrun talked to seven opposing NHL executives about what they think the Leafs might do and the conclusion was that they need a forward and a rugged defenseman with term. He writes the home run swing is Timo Meier and the Leafs could make his salary work this season, but two other players probably make more sense:

So that’s where I would go: a [Jake] McCabe- [Ivan] Barbashev combo or a combo of similar players. It’s not super sexy, but it’s probably what the Leafs need most.

source- ‘LeBrun: Rival NHL Execs on What the Maple Leafs Need at Trade Deadline’ – Pierre LeBrun – The Athletic – 02/13/2023

The Maple Leafs made a few moves on Monday, loaning forwards Pontus Holmberg and Alex Steeves, and goaltender Joseph Woll to the Toronto Marlies.

Is Kravtsov Being Made Available?

Elliotte Friedman noted during the 32 Thoughts podcast, “Sorry Jeff, last one quick. Hearing night, (Vitali) Kravtsov scratched for the Rangers. Think he’s been made available.”

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Larry Brown of the New York Post writes, “The Post has confirmed that Vitali Kravtsov’s camp has requested that No. 74 be moved ahead of the March 3 deadline if he is not a part of the club’s immediate plans.” He adds, “Saturday’s scratch in Carolina after having been reinserted into the lineup the previous night against Seattle following four straight in street clothes indicates that he is not.”

Josh Anderson Knows He Could Be Traded

As per Arpon Basu of The Athletic, Canadiens’ GM Kent Hughes spoke about the rumors surrounding his team and the names of certain players that are out there in the trade rumor mill. He knows that Joel Edmundson and Josh Anderson have come up a lot and he’s spoken to both players about the speculation. If the deal is right, the Canadiens will make it.

Josh Anderson Montreal Canadiens
Josh Anderson, Montreal Canadiens (Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Anderson said he didn’t really get any assurance that he wouldn’t be traded. He loves the city but understands the business of the game. He said:

The way I look at it is it’s probably a good thing that there’s a bunch of teams calling, it means you’re wanted. But at the same time, I would prefer to stay here and win here. But anything can happen, right? I don’t think he’s looking to (trade me), but if something pops up that he can’t turn down, well, there you go, right?”

source – ‘Canadiens trade deadline: If Josh Anderson is truly in demand, a deal now makes sense’ – Arpon Basu – The Athletic – 02/10/2023