In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there are some updates on Chris Kreider’s negotiations with the New York Rangers, news about what type of deal the New York Islanders might be trying to sign Mathew Barzal to and what are the likeliest trade pieces coming out of the Edmonton Oilers organization? Finally, are there updates in Toronto where the Maple Leafs are still searching for a defenseman?
Still No Kreider Update Out of New York
Luke Fox of Sportsnet reports that Chris Kreider isn’t concerned about a lack of conversation between his people and the New York Rangers. They are not currently engaged in contract extension talks which lends speculation to the idea of him being traded at the NHL Trade Deadline.
The Rangers are struggling and sliding further and further out of the playoff picture and Kreider is among the most popular of rental pieces potentially available before the Feb. 24 deadline. Still, his mentality is, “I’m a Ranger until they tell me I’m not a Ranger.” Fox’s colleague Elliotte Friedman has named the Colorado Avalanche, Boston Bruins, St. Louis Blues and Pittsburgh Penguins as clubs interested in Kreider’s services.
What Will Happen With Barzal?
After winning the fastest skater competition at last night’s All-Star Skills Competition, it seems only fitting that Mathew Barzal is in the rumor mill.
Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post reports the New York Islanders have are contemplating what kind of offer to make the first-line, speedy center as he’ll be completed his entry-level contract at the end of the season.
Cyrgalis believes general manager Lou Lamoriello is leaning towards re-signing Barzal to a two- or three-year bridge deal worth between $6 – $7 million per season. Meanwhile, there is some beliefe that Bazal’s camp is seeking a similar deal to what Mitch Marner signed when he inked his six-year, $65.3-million contract.
Who Might the Oilers Look to Move?
One of the teams looking to add over the next four weeks but with not a lot of room to do anything is the Edmonton Oilers. David Staples of the Edmonton Journal looked at a handful of names and noted that the search for a third line center might not be as big the focus since Riley Sheahan has emerged as an excellent player.
The emergence of the unit of Riley Sheahan, Joakim Nygard and Josh Archibald as an effective checking line might well mean that the need to bring in a third-line centre isn’t quite so pressing.
That said, if Edmonton were to bring in a top forward as a rental, or even as a permanent fixture on the team, they’ve got any number of pieces they could move.source -‘Edmonton Oilers trade list from Jujhar Khaira to Adam Larsson: Who might move at the 2020 deadline?’ – David Staples – Edmonton Journal – 01/25.2020
Staples lists Markus Granlund, Joel Persson, Jujhair Khaira, Kris Russell, Adam Larsson, Matt Benning, Sam Gagner, and William Lagesson as possible assets the Oilers could move.
More Term the Better for Maple Leafs
Friday, Bob McKenzie was on TSN radio added details to the talk surrounding the Maple Leafs’ search for help on their blue line. He confirmed previous reports that the Maple Leafs weren’t necessarily looking for rentals, but players with term.
When asked about who the Maple Leafs might target and rumors of a possible interest in a player like Matt Dumba, McKenize said:
I think it’s a very specific need. I think it’s a right-shot [defenseman] or a left-shot who has a lot of experience playing on the right side. It’s also somebody who has a significant amount of term on his contract, and by significant I would probably say the low end of the bar would be what they did with [Jake] Muzzin.
McKenzie did note that the salary cap would play into all of this and said the Leafs would like someone with two, three, four… years left on their on the deal. That said, other reports suggest the Maple Leafs aren’t closed to adding a rental.
The Maple Leafs have been connected to T.J. Brodie of the Calgary Flames and The Athletic’s James Mirtle tweeted Brodie may have taken the Leafs off his eight-team no-trade list after hearing the Maple Leafs were interested. The consensus is though, as confirmed on TSN’s Leafs Lunch that Kasperi Kapanen or Andreas Johnsson would not be in play for a rental defenseman.
Jim Parsons is a freelance writer who covers the Edmonton Oilers and news and rumors posts here at The Hockey Writers.
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