NHL Rumors: Penguins, Maple Leafs, Ducks, More

In today’s rumor rundown, the Penguins look to be busy, the Leafs are hitting up the rental market and the Ducks will be hanging onto one of their forwards because he simply won’t let them trade him.

How Busy Will the Penguins Be?

Darren Dreger of TSN, Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now and Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette all seem to agree that the Penguins have something going on, potentially before the NHL Trade Deadline on Feb 25.

Derick Brassard

Dreger says that center Derick Brassard hasn’t meshed well with the Penguins since coming over and he could be in play. “I know that Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford is at least listening to some of the interest in Brassard. The expectation is that he will get traded and that the Penguins at least in return need a No. 3 center back.”

Penguins center Derick Brassard
Penguins center Derick Brassard (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

This is an interesting development considering it was believed Brassard would be kept so he could help the Penguins’ playoff run. Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now agreed it is more likely Brassard is moved and suggested the Dallas Stars have called. He mentioned that two Penguins scouts were in Dallas last week watching a game.

Apparently, the Winnipeg Jets and Colorado Avalanche had a previous interest but sources aren’t sure if that’s still the case.

Olli Maatta

When Justin Schultz returns to the lineup, the Penguins will have nine defensemen. That means they could send Juuso Riikola to the AHL without waivers or Chad Ruhwedel, who would require waivers. If the organization chose not to go that route, they might look at moving defenseman Olli Maatta.

Pittsburgh Penguins' Olli Maatta St. Louis Blues' Robert Thomas
Pittsburgh Penguins’ Olli Maatta skates around St. Louis Blues’ Robert Thomas (AP Photo/Bill Boyce)

With Maatta now in a top-four role with the team, they may prefer to ship out defenseman Jamie Oleksiak and his $2.1375 million salary cap hit.

Tristan Jarry

Jason Mackey suggests that recently signed goaltender Casey DeSmith could change the future of  23-year old goaltender Tristan Jarry, who might bring back a decent return in a trade. Rutherford’s comments in the Post-Gazette about the situation are telling. He said, “I like the idea that we have some depth there, preparing for the playoffs, but sometimes something comes along that you have to consider and maybe do earlier than you want.”

Tristan Jarry Penguins
Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

Jarry is on a two-way deal this season, but next year it will be a one-way deal. If there is a strong return out there and moving him now avoids the Penguins create a logjam they’ll have trouble moving next season, trading Jarry is a real possibility.

Related: NHL Rumors: Silfverberg, Zuccarello, Oilers Update, More

Maple Leafs Not in Rental Market… Yeah, Right.

Despite GM Kyle Dubas suggesting he wouldn’t look much at the rental market as the Maple Leafs approached the trade deadline, most had to know that wasn’t true. In fact, TSN’s Pierre LeBrun said that the organization is not just looking, they would consider trading their first-round pick this year to get what they need to compete for the Stanley Cup.

Jake Gardiner, Toronto Maple Leafs
Jake Gardiner, Toronto Maple Leafs, Dec. 12, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

LeBrun said, “Some of the teams that I’ve talked to, their understanding is that in the right package for a top-four defenceman, the Leafs would listen to including that first-round pick as part of the package.”

In a way, Dreger agreed and said the Maple Leafs are looking to add to their blue line and not subtract from it. That includes not trading a player like Jake Gardiner, who has been the ire of some of the fans in Toronto.

Some of the names being tossed around as targets in Toronto are Ryan Miller in goal, Wayne Simmonds or Micheal Ferland at forward, or Jay Bouwmeester, Niklas Kronwall or Dougie Hamilton at defense.

Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star writes:

Dubas is on record as saying he’d rather acquire a player on a long contract, but the price would be much higher. The Hurricanes remain an interesting match, with Dougie Hamilton believed to be on the market. They were interested in William Nylander and are also enamoured of Kasperi Kapanen.

source – ‘Free trade advice for Canada’s Stanley Cup contenders and pretenders’ – Kevin Mcgran – The Toronto Star – 01/15/2019

Related: NHL Trade Deadline: Our Top 10 Must-Watch List

Panthers Make Bogdan Kiselevich Available

Bogdan Kiselevich, who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, has been made available for trade, as per Darren Dreger of TSN. Panthers GM Dale Tallon has informed the rest of the league that the Russian defenseman is on the market. There could be interest considering he’s had a decent season in a smaller role.

Kelser Won’t Waive No-Move Clause

In an effort to shake things up, the Anaheim Ducks might have looked at trading Ryan Kesler this season but what Anaheim wants to do doesn’t really matter. Kesler has said he’s got no interest in waiving his no-move clause to facilitate a trade.

Ducks center Ryan Kesler
Ducks center Ryan Kesler (Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports)

He indicated to Craig Custance of The Athletic:

I don’t want to go anywhere. I love my teammates. I have a family, you take that into account. If we are going into a rebuild, I’m going to do my best to teach the kids how to be a pro and how to win.

source – ‘As the losses pile up, the Ducks are becoming a team of interest in the trade market’ – Craig Custance- The Athletic – 01/15/2019

Kesler has three years on his contract left after this season with an AAV of $6.675MM.  He would have been a tough piece to move regardless.

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