In today’s NHL rumors, there is news on the Toronto Maple Leafs negotiations with Jake Muzzin, speculation that the Montreal Canadiens and Minnesota Wild could be a good fit in trade, plus news that the Winnipeg Jets will look to replace the injured Bryan Little before the trade deadline closes.
Muzzin and Leafs Getting Close
The Toronto Sun’s Lance Hornby, among others are reporting that the Maple Leafs and Jake Muzzin are close to agreeing to a four-year contract, with many suggesting it will be in the $5.5 million per season range. The Maple Leafs just might not officially announce that deal until March 1, 2020.
Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston explained on Saturday during Hockey Night in Canada that there is a stipulation in the collective bargaining agreement that required the Leafs wait to go over the cap ceiling. He explains:
“You can only commit so much salary to the season following the one you’re in, but that amount goes up by 10 per cent on March 1. So it does seem as though the Leafs and Jake Muzzin are on the path here to reaching a contract extension, but I wouldn’t be surprised if everything isn’t signed, sealed and delivered until after that date.”
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Latest on Joe Thornton Trade Talk
Adrian Dater of Colorado Hockey Now believes that Joe Thornton might be interested in waiving his no-trade clause to go to a contender and that the Colorado Avalanche could make sense as a destination.
The idea behind the Avs trying to acquire Thornton would be as a short-term replacement for sidelined center Nazem Kadri or an upgrade over Tyson Jost or Vlad Kamenev.
The Colorado Avalanche may have other options in mind and Thornton would also be in total control over any trade situation, so it’s best to chalk this one up as unlikely. There is other speculation he may be interested in a return to Boston.
Max Domi to the Minnesota Wild?
There is a rumor linking Montreal’s Max Domi to the Minnesota Wild in trade. The rumor comes from The Athletic’s Michael Russo who suggests the Canadiens could be targeting Matt Dumba and/or Jonas Brodin.
“The Canadiens would likely part with center Max Domi, maybe in a trade for Brodin because they have a surplus at Domi’s position and could use a quality left-shot defenseman.”
Domi could essentially be that first-line center the Wild are looking for in return, even if his production this season makes slotting him as a first-line center a bit questionable.
Russo did not say the Canadiens are pursuing Brodin, only that the trade could make sense for both sides.
Russo also writes that the Toronto Maple Leafs have shown more interest in Matt Dumba than any other team but he’s not sure what piece would be going back the other way. He explains:
The Maple Leafs appear to be the most interested party in Dumba, but it’s hard to see how they can help at center unless it’s somebody like Alex Kerfoot (which surely isn’t enough). Kasperi Kapanen is a talented, young winger, but the Wild are overwrought with wingers.source – ‘Russo: Wild’s latest blown lead shows why Bill Guerin has tough choice ahead’ – Michael Russo – The Athletic – 02/13/2020
Jets Need to Replace Bryan Little
TSN”s Darren Dreger tweeted after the news that Bryan Little would miss the rest of the season for the Winnipeg Jets. Saying Little requires surgery on his injured ear and an additional three months of rehab, Little will be re-evaluated in the summer.
Dreger notes, “Tough, tough year for the @NHLJets. However, Cheveldayoff will do what he can to plug holes.” He adds that the GM is exploring centre options while he continues to look for a top-four defenseman.
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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.”