NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs, Oilers, Capitals, Rangers

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, are the Toronto Maple Leafs open to adding rentals and players with term remaining on their contracts? Meanwhile, are a couple of teams out of the running for Jakob Chychrun? If so, who is still in the mix? The Edmonton Oilers are reportedly interested in a forward out of Columbus and the Washington Capitals might be making a heavy play for goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

Maple Leafs Open to Adding Players With Term

Chris Johnston on Insider Trading says the Maple Leafs may be considering acquiring players with some term at the deadline rather than trading for players with expiring contracts like they did last year. He notes, “… I think if the Leafs, all things being equal, could control things, they’d rather acquire a player who has a little bit of term left on their contract rather than a straight rental.”

Kyle Dubas, Toronto Maple Leafs
Kyle Dubas, general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Alana Davidson/NHLI via Getty Images)

It sounds like the Leafs aren’t keen on getting burned again in the same way they did last season when they added Nick Foligno. Not only did he not work out, but he immediately left for the Bruins and the Maple Leafs lost a first-round pick in the process.

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In other news related to the Maple Leafs, Elliotte Friedman talks a little about the team in his latest 32 Thoughts column and notes there were conversations about Josh Ho-Sang officially signing with the club when the team was battling injuries and COVID. Friedman notes:

But, by that time, it was known Ho-Sang was on the Olympic radar, and going on an NHL contract would end the opportunity. If it was known he’d be up for good, maybe it would have happened. But, it wasn’t worth the risk without a guarantee, and the team decided to wait. We will see what happens after.“

Rangers and Kings Out on Chychrun

While Johnston cited the Maple Leafs as a potential fit for a player like Jakob Chychrun, Friedman writes that the Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers are out on the defenseman for now. He explained that things can change, especially if you believe Marek’s report that the Rangers were a team that had officially made an offer.

Related: Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Manson, Dahlstrom, Forwards & Muzzin

The Florida Panthers and Columbus Blue Jackets are reportedly still in the mix.

Canadian Teams Buying Might Have Challenges

Friedman is reporting that Justin Faulk’s comments about not wanting to come to Canada to play is being seen by some as a sign that many players are thinking the same thing. That’s bad news for Canadian teams at the trade deadline, especially buyers who are hoping to attract rentals.

The NHL insider knows of at least one big-time rental who’s indicated he won’t come north of the border. “Not everyone will be like that, but it’s a challenge. Alternatively, this might be very good news for Canadian sellers because Canadian teams might have to buy from other Canadian teams.

Oilers Interested in Stenlund?

After listing multiple goaltenders that the Oilers have kicked tires on, Friedman said the team’s interest in a forward out of Columbus is getting some attention. Kevin Stenlund is a big center who has had some experience in the NHL but is currently playing in the AHL with the Cleveland Monsters. He played 32 games for the Blue Jackets last season, scoring five goals and ten points while averaging just 12:32 of ice time.

Kevin Stenlund Columbus Blue Jackets
Kevin Stenlund, Columbus Blue Jackets (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Friedman writes, “If Edmonton does a deal with Columbus, and I’m not convinced Korpisalo is the right move, watch to see if the Oilers also look at Kevin Stenlund. He’s in the AHL on a one-way contract. Big body who can play. Edmonton needs some beef.”

Capitals Trying to Land Fleury

In an interesting bit of news, Friedman writes, “We should prepare ourselves for the possibility of Marc-Andre Fleury, Washington Capital. At the very least, the Capitals are looking into it.” He’s already mentioned the Capitals are waiting to see what happens with the Evander Kane investigation.

If the Capitals acquired Fleury would likely take some salary negotiating because of the goaltender’s $7 million cap hit. That said, with Anthony Mantha on long-term IR with a shoulder injury, they have some flexibility.