In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news on the Boston Bruins who might have a trade option available but could be waiting on something bigger, there is news on Robin Lehner’s thoughts about staying in Chicago. Finally, are the Edmonton Oilers working on a deal with the Detroit Red Wings?
Bruins Waiting For Right Deal
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman suggested in the latest 31 Thoughts podcast (audio link) that at any time, the Boston Bruins could make a trade for Los Angeles Kings winger Tyler Toffoli. He also said, the Bruins are holding off for now.
Friedman didn’t explain why that deal was already in the Bruins hip pocket, only that he is and that the team is thinking about Chris Kreider before they pull the trigger on the Toffoli deal. Friedman believes Bruins GM Don Sweeney is likely focusing on trying land a bigger fish at this year’s trade deadline.
If the Bruins went the Toffoli route, they would need some salary cap assistance and for the Kings to retain a bit of his $4.6 million salary.
Lehner Speaks About His Future in Chicago
John Dietz of the Daily Herald spoke with Blackhawks goaltender Robin Lehner who admitted he liked it in Chicago but isn’t interested in taking a discount to stick around.
I’ve taken discounts my whole life. I’m not a guy that wants to be overpaid either. I want to gain some respect that I think I deserve and we’ll see if that happens or not.source – ‘Blackhawks’ Lehner likes Chicago, but he won’t sign a discount deal to stay here’ – John Dietz – Daily Herald – 01/10/2020
This has to mean the Blackhawks will either step up prior to the end of the season and provide him with a longer-term deal at fair market value or he’ll test free agency hoping to get more than the one year he got last summer.
He’s played well enough (.922 save percentage) that other teams will definitely be interested this upcoming season. At the very least, Lehner’s free agent case should be bolstered this summer.
Oilers and Red Wings Talking Deal?
“You can bet Holland is eyeing Athanasiou in Det too,” said Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal. He added, the Oilers general manager “Loves his speed. His hands don’t quite match his top 5 wheels but he’s restricted free-agent, and Wings’ Steve Yzerman didn’t draft him.”
The last part is a suggestion by Matheson that Yzerman doesn’t feel a loyalty to Athanasiou that a GM who’d pick him at the draft would. Do you know who that GM was? Ken Holland.
What the asking price is remains unclear but the assumption that the Red Wings would move Athanasiou is fair since they are certainly going to be sellers at this year’s deadline and Yzerman just stated in an interview that he’s not looking to be passive and is hoping to bring in picks or young players that can contribute sooner than later.
Discussion of Hall Being Trade Again?
In an interesting article that is catching lots of heat over at The Athletic, Justin Bourne wrote that he believed the Coyotes would be better served moving Taylor Hall than keeping him. He admits that it sounds strange considering they just got him and they are in a playoff spot but he writes, “Yes, I know they just traded picks and prospects. But you can recoup those and improve on them, otherwise, you don’t do a deal.”
The reason he suggests moving Hall is that he doesn’t believe the Coyotes are really that strong a team. He explains:
“And if you’re Arizona, isn’t the best, best, best thing you can do for your franchise is to acquire high draft picks or prospects that will be tied to your organization for the duration of their entry-level contracts (and they’ve had success keeping those players)? Wouldn’t trading Hall provide you cheaper talent that’s going to stick around?”source – ‘Bourne Thoughts: Why Arizona should consider trading Taylor Hall, flamethrower time in Montreal’ – Justin Bourne – The Athletic – 01/10/2020
Bourne didn’t say he had inside information that the Coyotes are thinking this, only that he believes they should be.
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.”