In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is lots of buzz surrounding the Calgary Flames and Toronto Maple Leafs potentially working on a deal, the Montreal Canadiens were listed as the team to watch by one TSN trade insider and the Hockey News names 30 players worth watching over the next five weeks.
Maple Leafs and Flames Connected in Trade?
There are a couple of interesting and somewhat conflicting reports from different Sportsnet columnists when it comes to a potential deal between the Calgary Flames and Toronto Maple Leafs. The optics and reasoning for the trades are similar but the names a bit different.
Sportsnet’s Luke Fox is hinting the Maple Leafs and Flames may be chatting about a swap that would include defenseman Travis Hamonic. Suggesting the Maple Leafs have had their eyes on Hamonic since he was property of the New York Islanders, connection to the defenseman include almost trading Nazem Kadri for him.
The moment Treliving re-signed righty Rasmus Anderssen to a six-year extension signaled to us that one of his 29-year-old UFAs in the top four, Hamonic or T.J. Brodie, won’t be coming back for 2020-21.
Meanwhile, Sportsnet’s Eric Francis reports that there is something potentially brewing between the Leafs and Flames but it’s not for Hamonic. Instead, the conversation is about T.J. Brodie. He writes the Flames have been trying to move Brodie for some time.
Francis writes that GM Brad Treliving appears to have decided that moving him for something now is more desirable than keeping him for a potential playoff run and that Hamonic is untouchable in Treliving’s eyes.
All Eyes on Montreal Canadiens
Frank Seravalli has updated his TSN Trade Bait Board and during a video segment noted that he believes the Montreal Canadiens might be among the busiest teams at this year’s deadline with two big pieces available.
Seravalli admits Chris Kreider is the prize of the deadline but that the Habs have both Ilya Kovalchuk and Jeff Petry and assets they can move and that teams will be interested.
Kovalchuk’s situation is pretty obvious in that he’s making league minimum, will be a free agent and is crushing it in Montreal despite all expectations. Some team will want him and the Canadiens can flip him for a decent asset.
Petry might fetch the Canadiens a big return considering he’s a right-shooting defenseman who logs about 23 minutes per game. The problem is, Montreal might hesitate to take a player like that out of their lineup knowing they would need to replace him down the road. Seravalli suggests that if Petry is moved, it will be because a team pried him out of there with a really good offer, potentially of higher value than what Jake Muzzin was traded for last season.
Ducks and Leafs Working Together?
On Leafs Lunch on TSN, Craig Button discussed the possibility of seeing the the Maple Leafs and Anaheim Ducks work together, specifically related to the Leafs freeing up salary space to do something else.
The Ducks have already been noted as a team willing to take on contracts and salary at this year’s deadline and the Maple Leafs are a team that wants to do something but is somewhat handcuffed.
Button also suggests the two teams might work on a trade that would actually see the Maple Leafs pick up a useful player, noting defenseman Josh Manson would be a great pick for the Leafs. His style of play would be a good fit in Toronto and would be somewhat of an upgrade from Cody Ceci on the back end.
Hockey News Names Trades to Watch
Matt Larkin of The Hockey News lists New Jersey Devils winger Kyle Palmieri, defenseman P.K. Subban and winger Wayne Simmonds, as the most likely players to be moved by new Devil’s GM Tom Fitzgerald. He adds Canadiens winger Tomas Tatar, Blackhawks blueliner Erik Gustafsson, Anaheim Ducks winger Ondrej Kase, plus a number of others as potential trade pieces over the next five weeks.
Larkin figures the Buffalo Sabres will be busy with names like Marcus Johansson, Michael Frolik, and Conor Sheary all available. He also wonders if we’ll get more action than people are expecting. He writes:
Maybe the NHL trade deadline won’t disappoint in 2020. Not because it will yield spectacular deals, but because the list of names on the trade block isn’t very exciting compared to those of recent years, so expectations won’t be very high.source – ‘TOP 30 PLAYERS TO WATCH APPROACHING THE 2020 NHL TRADE DEADLINE’ Matt Larkin – Hockey News – 01/17/2020
Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”