NHL Rumors: Muzzin and the Leafs, Skinner, Oilers, and More

In today’s rumor rundown the Leafs have to decide the price they’re willing to pay for a defenseman, the Sabres and Jeff Skinner are working hard to get a deal done. At the same time, Kevin Shattenkirk is trying not to think about the possibility of being traded out of New York and the Oilers are looking at making a deal but also being cautious about their approach.

Maple Leafs Interested in Jake Muzzin

Darren Dreger was on TSN 1050 talking about the fact that Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas and the entire management group is having a hard time deciding how willing they are to trade assets for a defenseman. Dreger said one name the Maple Leafs are interested in is Jake Muzzin.

Jake Muzzin - LA Kings
Jake Muzzin #6, Los Angeles Kings – December 18, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Dreger says that the asking price for Jake Muzzin is a first round pick and a prospect and he’s a lefty so he doesn’t exactly fill their most pressing need and giving up someone like Kasperi Kapanen in that situation is not an ideal alternative for the Leafs.

Related: NHL Rumors: Senators, Red Wings, Hurricanes, More

Darren Dreger was on WGR 550 and said that he believes the Buffalo Sabres are working hard with Jeff Skinner’s agency – Newport Sports Agency– to get him re-signed. Dreger said, “I don’t think that they’re there yet.”

Buffalo Sabres forward Jeff Skinner
Buffalo Sabres forward Jeff Skinner (53) celebrates. Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018, in Buffalo N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

Skinner has been a revelation for the Sabres this season but there could still be such a sizeable gap that a deal can’t be figured out before the trade deadline. That will leave the organization with a tough decision. Does the team roll the dice and go into a playoff run without Skinner signed? Or, do they realize the gap is so large an extension seems unlikely?

In the end, Dreger said, he doesn’t think the Sabres will split up Jack Eichel and Skinner and he’d “be really surprised if they can’t come to terms.”

Related: Blockbuster Trade Scenario for Oilers and Blue Jackets

Oilers Trying to Take the Smart Approach to the Trade Deadline

Elliotte Friedman was on Sportsnet 960 and discussed the Edmonton Oilers possible approach to the trade deadline. If the Oilers are going to trade either Jesse Puljujarvi or their 2019 first-round pick, they are going to tread carefully and make sure the deal is the right one.  It has to be the type of deal that helps the team get into the playoffs.

Jesse Puljujarvi, Edmonton Oilers
Jesse Puljujarvi (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Friedman has heard that the team is and isn’t looking at moving Puljujarvi, so how real that possibility is, remains unclear. But, he believes while the team may not be shopping him, they are receiving calls and are listening to offers. they are interested in trading Puljujarvi, that they aren’t, and that they don’t want to if they don’t have too.

Friedman says:

“They’ll try some other things. They’ve got a first-rounder. Maybe they’ll think of moving that with some protection on for a really high pick. But teams are going to ask them about Puljujarvi, and we’ll see what they decide to do.”

At the end of the day, it sounds like the Oilers will be active and are looking to make a deal, but the plan is to move the pieces they want to move first before moving any pieces they are reluctant to move.

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

Kevin Shattenkirk on the Trade Board Again?

Larry Brooks of the NY Post is reporting that New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk is back in the news as it pertains to a possible trade. He feels he’s played better of late, and like other players who produce, they become a bit more attractive on the trade market.

Kevin Shattenkirk - Rangers
Kevin Shattenkirk, New York Rangers, September 27, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Brooks writes that Shattenkirk is not really thinking about being traded, but knows it’s possible. He explains, “I haven’t thought about the possibility too much, but I also don’t want to say that I’m numb to it.” He added, “Because of my past, I’m always aware of it, but I’m not worried about it, either. ”

Shattenkirk has two years left on his deal at a $6.65 million salary cap hit with a modified no-trade clause – a 10-team no-trade list that was submitted last July.

Listen to the Newest Episode of The Hockey Writers Podcast