NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs, Oilers, Canucks, Blackhawks, Senators

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, one analyst made a number of predictions for 2023 when it came to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Meanwhile, Max Domi has found a home in Chicago. Is he more likely to be traded or retained by the Chicago Blackhawks before the NHL Trade Deadline on March 3?

Explore everything hockey with THW’s Hockeypedia pages.

The Hockey Writers HockeyPedia 800x120

The Edmonton Oilers might have their eyes on a Blackhawks defenseman and the Vancouver Canucks might have to trade a valuable forward not named Bo Horvat or Brock Boeser.

A Few Maple Leafs Predictions, Including Goalie Changes

Nick Kypreos made nine predictions when it came to the Maple Leafs’ 2023 year. Among them, the team might be facing tough contract negotiations with Auston Matthews, William Nylander’s name would be discussed in trade rumors, Michael Bunting would sign a long-term deal, and the goaltending would change.

Matt Murray Toronto Maple Leafs
Matt Murray, Toronto Maple Leafs (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Kypreos believes this will be the last and only season Matt Murray and Ilya Samsonov play together. He writes:

Samsonov’s development will progress enough that he re-signs for less than the $4.6 million the Leafs are currently paying Murray. Murray, who has one year remaining on his current deal, is also eligible to sign an extension July 1 and his asking number going into next season will be too high for the Leafs to justify. The Leafs will once again look for cheaper and capable veteran options.

source – ‘Will the Maple Leafs finally win a playoff round? Nine bold predictions for 2023’ – Nick Kypreos – Toronto Star – 12/29/2022

As for the short-term prognosis of the team, Elliotte Friedman reported during the 32 Thoughts segment of Hockey Night in Canada that the Maple Leafs might be rethinking their strategy of taking a big swing on one player before the trade deadline. Instead of one big move on the blue line, the club might make two smaller moves.

Max Domi Might Stay in Chicago

Jeff Marek discussed the future of Max Domi with the Chicago Blackhawks and reports that the forward is not a lock to be traded. Once considered an asset the Blackhawks would definitely flip, Domi loves it in Chicago and the team likes having him. They are considering keeping him around. He could be dealt, but it’s certainly not a given at this point.

Latest News & Highlights

Marek says there are already ongoing discussions between Domi’s agent and GM Kyle Davidson about what to do.

Jake McCabe Could Be a Target for the Oilers

While talking about the Blackhawks, Friedman said he believes Jake McCabe might be a potential target for the Edmonton Oilers. This would not be a rental deal, but a hockey trade where the Oilers see him as a good fit and a piece they can build part of their defense around. As Mark Lazerus of The Athletic writes, “The Blackhawks have given up twice as many goals as they’ve scored at 5v5, but are dead even when Jake McCabe is on the ice. He’s been really good. And he’s doing all he can to stay positive.”

Jake McCabe Chicago Blackhawks
Jake McCabe, Chicago Blackhawks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

McCabe does have a modified no-trade clause in his contract that allows him the right to name seven teams he won’t accept a trade to. He’s currently a $4 million cap hit and has two more seasons on this current deal after this one.

Senators Actively Trying to Trade Zaitsev

As per Kevin Weekes: “I’m told @Senators are actively seeking a trade of D Zaitsev. They’ve granted permission to his representatives to speak with clubs. My understanding is Sens willing to move a high draft pick or a prospect to accommodate the trade.

Might the Canucks Trade Andrei Kuzmenko?

Iain McIntyre of Sportsnet writes that the Canucks cannot afford to lose forward Andrei Kuzmenko and notes that if he isn’t signed to an extension before the March 3 NHL Trade Deadline, he could be traded. Kuzmenko has been great for the Canucks but as a pending UFA, has the opportunity to test the market this offseason.

McIntyre writes:

Agent Dan Milstein has said he may need the full season to determine a value on Kuzmenko as a potential UFA. But Allvin, despite his strong relationship with Milstein, can’t take that chance for an asset this valuable. If the winger isn’t re-signed by the deadline, he could become the Canucks’ second-biggest in-season trade since Bure.