NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs, Canucks, Canadiens, Jets, Oilers, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, the Toronto Maple Leafs played it safe with their goaltending. Meanwhile, the Edmonton Oilers have signed a player off of a PTO, but lost a goalie to the waiver wire. In Vancouver, the team will need to move forward without a couple key pieces for two weeks and there’s plenty of buzz around Pierre-Luc Dubois, including noise out of Montreal and Winnipeg.

Plan Now After Oilers Lost Forsberg

The Edmonton Oilers were not hoping to lose goaltender Anton Forsberg on Tuesday, but that’s exactly what happened when the Carolina Hurricanes plucked him off the waiver wire. The Oilers had signed Forsberg on the first day of free agency and were very happy with the prospect of him as their third goalie for the season. For now, Stuart Skinner will take his spot.

Anton Forsberg Carolina Hurricanes
Anton Forsberg, Carolina Hurricanes (Photo by Jaylynn Nash/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

This leaves the Oilers with a couple choices. They can use Skinner in that role until the AHL season gets going in February and make a decision then. Or, they can wait to see if Carolina puts him on waivers to get Forsberg on their taxi squad and claim him right back.

In other Oilers news, the team has signed forward Devin Shore. The deal is for one year, it’s a two-way contract and the Oilers placed him on waivers immediately following the signing.

The belief is that Edmonton likes his depth scoring and he could potentially steal a spot on the fourth line over the course of the season.

Maple Leafs Chose Not to Waive Aaron Dell

The Toronto Maple Leafs chose not to take chances with potentially losing their third-string goalie, so they chose not to waive goaltender Aaron Dell on Tuesday. They would have preferred to place him on the taxi squad over keeping him on the active roster, but as Edmonton learned, there’s a risk.

The Maple Leafs specifically added Dell to give them a good third-string option and waiving him might have meant losing him. With Andersen, Jack Campbell and Dell, the team believes they’ve got a strong trio that will offer a vast improvement over last season.

Canucks Lose Two Key Players, Shopping for Top Six Forward?

Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning says J.T. Miller and Jordie Benn “aren’t available to us.” Both players are quarantining and the issue is Covid related.

JT Miller Vancouver Canucks
JT Miller, Vancouver Canucks (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Speculation is that both players will be out for two weeks which is a hit for the Canucks as Miller was arguably Vancouver’s best player last season. He led the Canucks with 27 goals and 72 points.

In his absence, the Canucks will take a good look at Nils Hoglander on the first power play unit to begin the regular season and Hoglander is said to be looking good and in mid-season form. Brandon Sutter said, “He looks like he’s going to be a special talent.”

Along with Hoglander, Jake Virtanen will get a good opportunity to show that he is a top six forward in Miller’s absence.

In other Canucks news, Darren Dreger of TSN said during the TSN hockey primer special on Tuesday night that the Canucks are potentially still looking to add to their top six forward group. The team likes what they have internally, but there is a belief that Benning would like to add if they opportunity presents itself.

Canadiens, Jets and Others Exploring Options to Acquire Dubois

In his latest “31 Thoughts” column, Elliotte Friedman reports several sources claim interested teams are “not screwing around” when it comes to potentially acquiring Pierre-Luc Dubois. The 22-year-old center has let it be known that he’d like to be traded and there’s plenty of interest, including from team like the Montreal Canadiens and Winnipeg Jets.

Arpon Basu of The Athletic was asked if the Canadiens are in the running and he noted it would like take one of Nick Suzuki or Jesperi Kotkaniemi but that general manager Marc Bergevin should find a way to acquire Dubois including either player.

Pierre-Luc Dubois Columbus Blue Jackets
Pierre-Luc Dubois, Columbus Blue Jackets (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Basu adds:

there is no guarantee Dubois will be any more productive in the long run than either Nick Suzuki or Jesperi Kotkaniemi. And there is no way Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen goes any further in any conversation that doesn’t include one of those two names.

source – ‘Ask Arpon: On the Pierre-Luc Dubois chase, Cole Caufield’s progress and more’ Arpon Basu – The Athletic – 01/12/2021

It’s not clear if any of the “serious offers” the Blue Jackets have received have come from either team but TNS’s Darren Dreger adds, “There’s been some speculation connecting Winnipeg to Pierre-Luc Dubois and Columbus. That makes a lot of sense but there’s nothing close there.”

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