NHL Rumors: Flyers, Jackets, Oilers, Maple Leafs, More

In today’s rumor rundown, things have slowed on the Wayne Simmonds front while talk in Toronto has picked up, especially if discussing who might be available in trade from the Maple Leafs side of the equation. The Edmonton Oilers are in on a New York Ranger and are one of a few teams asking about Micheal Ferland.

Simmonds Talk Cools a Touch

While the likelihood is that Wayne Simmonds is still traded out of Philadelphia before the trade deadline, Elliotte Friedman said of his status:

“I think one of the things that happened overall though is that there’s so many players on the market. We are seeing a situation where more teams than in recent memory have said, ‘We’re giving up on this year, so we’re making players available.’ I think that’s flooded the market and made it a buyer’s market. But I do think teams like Simmonds.

Wayne Simmonds - Flyers
(Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

That means the talk has cooled just a touch and with a speculated high asking price, it makes sense as to why. If the market is perfect for buyers and the Flyers are asking too much, GM’s should step back just a touch to let the Flyers know their price needs to come down. It’s possible Philadelphia doesn’t drop the ask as Shawn Hutcheon writes “Darren Dreger said that the Flyers are “not fully committed to trading Wayne Simmonds yet.”

Make no mistake, teams are still very much interested in acquiring this player. Among them are Toronto, Nashville, and Montreal.

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

Oilers are in on Mats Zuccarello

Elliotte Friedman writes in his latest 31 Thoughts article:

With their horse, Oscar Klefbom, getting closer to a return, the Oilers are looking everywhere for forward help. They would prefer to avoid giving up a major young piece for a rental. Sounds like they’ve checked into the recently resurgent Mats Zuccarello who had three assists in the Rangers’ 6-2 win over Carolina on Tuesday. Last season, the Rangers dealt Michael Grabner for a prospect and a second-rounder; that’s probably where they’d like to go with Norway’s Finest.

Mats Zuccarello Rangers
Mats Zuccarello, New York Rangers, Mar. 22, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Zuccarello has been the subject of trade rumors all season but struggled in New York until recently. After publicly stating that the talk surrounding him staying or going was starting to bug him, he began to produce more. In Edmonton, he’s a top-six forward right away and could put himself in a good spot to get another year or two contract.

Currently 31 years old, Zuccarello needs to up his production. He’s on a similar point per game pace as last season, but there is concern he’ll drop off. Edmonton needs to be careful they don’t give up too much considering he is currently a rental with only this season left on his $4.5 million contract.

Edmonton is also part of a list of teams that has interest in Micheal Ferland out of Carolina. They will be competing with teams like Boston, Pittsburgh, and Vancouver for Ferland’s services.

One person who may not move is Jesse Puljujarvi. There is speculation his camp has been advised by the Oilers that they will not be moving him.

Related: Biggest Recent Trades in the NHL

Add Kapanen and Johnsson to the Leafs Possible Trade Pieces

To hear the Maple Leafs might be willing to move their first-round draft choice before the upcoming trade deadline was not terribly surprising, but a bit interesting considering how many times GM Kyle Dubas said he was not going to look to the rental market. Things are even more interesting now as Kasperi Kapanen and Andres Johnsson might be available as well.

Maple Leafs right wing Kasperi Kapanen
Maple Leafs right wing Kasperi Kapanen (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

Bob McKenzie confirmed that the Toronto Maple Leafs would consider trading Andreas Johnsson or Kasperi Kapanen in the right deal. “If you’re gonna get a good defenceman and they obviously want to get a good defenceman, you’ve got to give up something of value,” McKenzie told First Up on TSN Radio 1050 Toronto. He added, “And not only would the first-round pick be in play, but I’ve been saying for quite some time now – take your pick, but one of Andreas Johnsson or Kasperi Kapanen will be gone too in the most likely scenario.”

If the Maple Leafs end up moving Kapanen and Johnsson along with their first-rounder, you know that there is a huge piece coming back to the Maple Leafs.

Related: NHL Rumors: Penguins, Maple Leafs, Ducks, More

Blue Jackets Interested in Brassard

We covered the news on Derick Brassard in the rumor rundown yesterday, but an update today by Aaron Portzline says the Blue Jackets have held trade talks with the Penguins regarding Brassard. Portzline says, “Given CBJ need at center, not a surprise. But trading with a Metro rival would be a tricky business.”

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