In today’s NHL rumor rundown, the Toronto Maple Leafs are bringing in one of their top young prospects on the blue line to help, there are a number of teams in the race for Jean-Gabriel Pageau, and the Los Angeles Kings have made a d-man available. What is the cost?
Maple Leafs Call Up Sandin
After a great World Juniors Tournament and speculation he’d be joining the team, defenseman Rasmus Sandin is back with the Toronto Maple Leafs, recalled after the Maple Leafs embarrassing loss to the Florida Panthers.
If he plays four more games in the NHL this season, the first year of his entry-level contract will kick in. That said, the Maple Leafs seem willing to burn that year knowing they badly need help keeping the puck out of their net and Jake Muzzin out with a broken foot isn’t helping matters much.
Add to that, the Maple Leafs just learned Morgan Reilly will be out eight weeks with a fractured foot that he suffered in the Florida loss.
Three Times Fighting Over Pageau?
In a recent article for The Athletic, TSN insider Pierre LeBrun noted how fierce the competition is for center Jean-Gabriel Pageau. He names three teams specifically: the Edmonton Oilers, the Philadelphia Flyers, and the Boston Bruins.
And if Pageau does end up on the trade market, he’ll be a hot commodity. I believe Edmonton, if the Oilers stay in the race, have Pageau on their target list. I think Philadelphia would get engaged depending on where the Nolan Patrick situation stands. Maybe Boston, given that he’s a right-hand shot?source – ‘LeBrun: Kings open to dealing Martinez, Senators staying patient with Pageau and more trade rumblings’ – Pierre LeBrun – The Athletic – 01/13/2020
Lebrun goes so far as to call the Oilers desperate to add a forward, says the Bruins have been looking to bolster their top nine for another playoff run, and the Flyers are unsure where to go next thanks to uncertainty surrounding Nolan Patrick and his condition.
This not only means that Pageau is likely to be overpaid as a free agent in the summer but a team is going to give up a hefty sum to acquire him before the deadline.
Kings Making Martinez Available
In that same article discussing Pageau, LeBrun’s notes that Alec Martinez is available from the Los Angeles Kings. Martinez is signed through the 2020-21 season but the Kings are going to be sellers at this year’s deadline and his $4 million cap hit is affordable for some teams who have cap room and are looking for a player with a little term. He lists the Carolina Hurricanes, Colorado Avalanche and possibly the Winnipeg Jets.
What remains to be seen is what kind of return the Kings could get for Martinez compared to Muzzin, who fetched a first-round pick last June plus prospects Carl Grundstrom and Sean Durzi from Toronto.
… “Second and a prospect,’’ one Eastern Conference team executive suggested as the potential return for Martinez.
Related: Revisiting the Brayden Schenn Trade
Central Scouting Ranking Released
The NHL has released their Central Scouting midterm rankings for 2020 draft eligible prospects. As expected, Alexis Lafreniere leads the North American group and projected to be the first overall selection at this year’s NHL Entry draft. Quinton Byfield of Sudbury, defenseman Jamie Drysdale of Erie, center Cole Perfetti of Saginaw and center Marco Rossi of Ottawa round out the top five.
Jim Parsons is a freelance writer who covers the Edmonton Oilers and news and rumors posts here at The Hockey Writers.
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