In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news out of Chicago pertaining to Duncan Keith and his desire to move on to a contender, buzz as to what the Toronto Maple Leafs will do now that Andreas Johnsson is out, plus speculation surrounding the San Sharks and New Jersey Devils when it comes to the NHL Trade Deadline.
Keith Not Leaving the Blackhawks
Speaking with Mark Lazerus of The Athletic, 36-year-old defenseman Duncan Keith indicated that he’s not interested in leaving Chicago despite speculation the team might ask him to waive his no-trade clause. “I have that control. I have the ability to do that,” Keith said.
Suggesting the Blackhawks are thinking he might want to move to a contender if the team goes through a rebuilding, Lazerus writes:
“…once again, Keith’s name has surfaced in trade speculation. Wouldn’t Joel Quenneville love to have him for Florida’s playoff push? Wouldn’t he be a great fit on the back end in Toronto? Or Edmonton? Or Carolina? Hell, what team couldn’t use a defenseman of Keith’s caliber and experience?source – ‘As the trade deadline nears, Duncan Keith has no intention of waiving his no-movement clause — with a caveat’ – Mark Lazerus – The Athletic – 02/14/2020
Keith will lead the Blackhawks in ice time again this season and has three years remaining on his contract after this one with a $5.538 million AAV. Even if he were to agree to move, it might not be the easiest contract for another team to take on.
What Will Maple Leafs Do Without Johnsson?
Add another name to the list of players the Toronto Maple Leafs might be without until the playoffs this season, assuming they make it there. Andreas Johnsson is out now for eight weeks with a knee injury.
As has already been reported, the salary comes off the books for the team and onto LITR this season which allows them spend Johnsson’s $3.4 million on another player. If he comes back for the playoffs, the Maple Leafs will have an extra forward.
That said, there is some concern now about Johnsson’s long-term health and he’s been plagued with injuries.
Related: Sharks With 100-Point Seasons
Sharks Considering Two Big Trade Options?
Like many others, Brian Witt of NBC Sports believes Brenden Dillon is the most likely member of the San Jose Sharks defense corps to be moved. That said, Witt has added Brent Burns or Marc-Edouard Vlasic to his list of names fans might want to watch at this year’s trade deadline when it comes to the Sharks.
It’s not likely either player moves but perhaps the Sharks are thinking about it because those two might fetch the Sharks the greatest return. Burns has a three-team no-trade clause which is almost like a total no-trade clause so if he’s not interested in moving, there’s certainly no chance the Sharks will do so.
Witt suggested the Montreal Canadiens for Vlasic and the Columbus Blue Jackets for Burns.
Devils Could Be Very Busy
TSN’s Bob McKenzie and Darren Dreger note that the New Jersey Devils could be a busy team over the next few days as the Vancouver Canucks might have interest in New Jersey Devils winger Wayne Simmonds and GM Tom Fitzgerald is looking at moving as many as five players.
For the Canucks, their interest in Simmonds will depend on the health of Micheal Ferland. As for the four other players, Dreger notes that there could be “a ton of activity” that also includes Andy Greene, Sami Vatanen. Kyle Palmieri and Blake Coleman. Palmieri and Coleman aren’t rentals so the asking price would be steep.
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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.”