In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news out of Toronto and comments from Kasperi Kapanen on his being scratched, the Arizona Coyotes have the potential to reshape the trade deadline and Pierre LeBrun looks at six trades he believe may go down over the next two weeks. Finally, with all the major players in Minnesota, is something brewing?
Kapanen Scratched After Over Sleeping
Fans and media in Toronto were waiting on Monday to hear from Kasperi Kapanen after he was scratched from the Maple Leafs lineup Saturday. The assumption was that maybe he’d been late for something and Sportsnet’s NHL insider Chris Johnston reported exactly that.
Kapanen says he was scratched on Saturday because he overslept for Friday’s practice and was late as a result. He believes the reason he was scratched instead of fined or punished in another way was that because this is now the second time he’s done this under coach Sheldon Keefe.
A similar incident happened when he played for Keefe when he was in the AHL and Keefe was the coach of the Marlies. After strike two, Keefe must have decided it was time to send a message that would sink in.
The question now is, what will insiders assume should Kapanen be traded before the Feb. 24 deadline? While one thing might not be connected to the other, should he be moved, many will jump to conclusions.
Six Trades to Watch For
The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun wrote a piece on Monday with his GM hat on. He took a look at six trades he believes could happen before the NHL Trade Deadline and a few teams are heavily involved.
Among the deals he suggested, the biggest might be The New York Rangers trading Chris Kreider to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for a 2020 first-round pick and RW Jordan Kyrou. He writes:
Yes, it’s a high price to pay. Teams don’t spend first-round picks at the deadline like they’re candy anymore. But here’s what I do know so far: Eight teams have informed the Rangers they’ve got Kreider at the top of their wish list. And the Rangers are looking for at least the return they got on Kevin Hayes a year ago at the deadline.source -‘ LeBrun: Six specific trade deadline moves that make a lot of sense’ – Pierre LeBrun – The Athletic – 02/03/2020
He also speculates that the Los Angeles Kings will trade Tyler Toffoli to the Calgary Flames and Alec Martinez to the Colorado Avalanche, he’s got Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Ron Hainsey going to the New York Islanders, Sami Vatanen to the Carolina Hurricanes, and Ondrej Kase to the Boston Bruins.
Taylor Hall on the Move Again?
In a recent article for The Hockey News, writer Matt Larkin wondered if the Arizona Coyotes might consider moving Taylor Hall since they are slipping down the standings and seemingly out of the playoff picture. There’s still time to left to go on a run and get in, but what happens if the Coyotes and multiple points back in two weeks and they sit on the biggest trade chip on the marketplace?
Suddenly, GM John Chayka would find himself sitting on the trade market’s No. 1 UFA rental option: Hall. It would surely be a painful move to make, but what if a team offered far more than what Chayka paid to get Hall?
If the Coyotes got the impression Hall wasn’t going to stay long-term and the organization knew that playoffs were unlikely, they would have to recognize they could reshape the trade deadline simply by making the statement that they’d listen to offers.
Related: The NHL 600-Goal Club
Something Brewing in Minnesota
The Athletic’s Michael Russo writes is speculating that something big could be coming out of the Minnesota Wild organization. After an embarrassing 4-0 shutout loss to the Boston Bruins on Saturday, the entire Minnesota front office is in town, including advisor Jack Ferreira.
GM Bill Guerin was not happy after the loss and has yet to really make his mark as a manager of the club. Russo writes:
So Guerin could decide that it’s smarter to wait ’til the summertime when he’d have the opportunity to essentially negotiate with 30 teams who have a better understanding of their cap and roster constraints as opposed to a dozen or so playoff contenders now who don’t want to necessarily delete from their rosters.
But horrible performances like Saturday certainly make it an easier decision for Guerin to finally say enough is enough and begin to put his own stamp on this team.source – ‘Russo: Absolute debacle vs. Bruins makes it clear — the Wild need changes’ – Michael Russo – 02/01/2020
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