NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs, Canadiens, Capitals, Rangers, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news on teams calling the Toronto Maple Leafs now that they know the struggles facing the team, the Montreal Canadiens will not trade their big names, the New York Rangers haven’t spoke with Chris Krieder and there is news on Braden Holtby and the Washington Capitals.

Maple Leafs Getting and Making Calls

We’ve discussed at length the injury issues currently facing the Toronto Maple Leafs and how the call-ups of Timothy Liljegren and Rasmus Sandin are meant to be a quick fix. With Morgan Rielly and Jake Muzzin sidelined, Bob McKenzie of TSN reports the Leafs are getting calls from clubs hoping to take advantage of the situation.

Toronto Maple Leafs Auston Matthews Andreas Johnsson Kasperi Kapanen
Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews celebrates with teammates Andreas Johnsson and wing Kasperi Kapanen (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn)

McKenzie also notes the Maple Leafs are not sitting idle during this process. He also suspects the Leafs are making their inquiries to address their issues and McKenzie believes the idea of trading for a defenseman isn’t entirely out of the question.

The Maple Leafs have the biggest issue on the right side of their blue line and the question is if the team would be willing to part with a talented but affordable young forward like Kasperi Kapanen, Andreas Johnsson or Alex Kerfoot to get what they need to fill that hole. Certainly, there would be teams around the NHL ready to swap for one of those players.

At the same time, if the Maple Leafs don’t find a qualified backup goalie, there may be no point as most insiders believe the team doesn’t stand much of a chance to be competitive in the post-season without one. All of this suggests the Leafs will be busy and that a move that appears dollar-for-dollar deal is the most likely scenario.

Related: The 8 Best Defensive Forwards in Hockey History

Canadiens Won’t Trade Price or Weber

Pierre LeBrun also reports that the Montreal Canadiens have no plans to try and move either of Carey Price or Shea Weber despite calls by many fans and media to do so.

Carey Price Montreal Canadiens
Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

General manager Marc Bergevin said he has no intention of moving either guy at the trade deadline. Bergevin wants veteran leadership on the team as they get younger during the rebuild or retooling process.

It’s not as though either trade would have been easy to accomplish anyway. Weber and Price both hold very high-priced contracts with Price having a no-move clause worked in. All that said, Bergevin said the same thing about P.K. Subban and moved him shortly afterward. If a team came calling for Weber, the Canadiens might consider it.

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Kreider and Rangers Haven’t Talked

Larry Brooks of the New York Post reports that there have yet to be any substantive talks between Chris Kreider’s representatives and the New York Rangers management team about a new deal. That’s not a good sign considering the deadline is mere weeks away.

Chris Kreider New York Rangers
Chris Kreider, New York Rangers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Part of the reasoning might be the fact New York doesn’t know if they can afford Kreider on a long-term extension or what his true value is around the NHL on both a new deal or a trade. If so, it’s hard to offer him something.

But, most signs lead towards a trade and TSN’s Darren Dreger reports in the latest Insider Trading that should GM Jeff Gorton feel a swap is next step, he’s looking for the best deal possible and is willing to retain up to the maximum 50% of Kreider’s cap hit to get it.

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Capitals and Holtby Speculation

Washington Capitals GM Brian MacLellan said he has a lot to consider before he can re-sign goaltender Braden Holtby to a new extension. First, he must ensure he has sufficient long-term cap room to re-sign Ilya Samsonov (their eventual starter), Alex Ovechkin, and Jakub Vrana at the end of 2020-21.

Second, even if Holtby agreed to a short-term hometown discount (which there is talk he’s not all that keen on doing), the Capitals still have to shed salary. More and more it appears Holtby will be leaving the Caps organization and it will be about if the team can get any assets for him while having the right combination of netminders for the playoffs.

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