In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news on the San Jose Sharks, namely Joe Thornton and whether or not he’ll waive his no-trade clause. The Toronto Maple Leafs look to insert a young blueliner while the New York Rangers send a young forward to Sweden. Finally, what are the Ottawa Senators doing with 10 different free agents?
Joe Thornton Will Consider Waiving For Trade
Talks surrounding Joe Thornton continue and Thornton himself has addressed speculation he might move at this year’s trade deadline considering how poorly the San Jose Sharks are playing.
A Sharks veteran, Thornton has stayed loyal to the Sharks organization and he’s consistently said during that time he had no desire to leave San Jose. That said, Thornton told reporters, including Curtis Pashelka of The Mercury News, that it’s something he has yet to consider this season. He said:
I really, I need to think about that. I haven’t thought about it at all. I’m just trying to win games here and see how it goes. I’m still optimistic we can make a run at it, I really am.
Thornton’s comments suggest he’s still committed to the Sharks but isn’t closing the door on waiving his no trade clause. Should he be willing, there should be no shortage of teams interested even with his declined numbers (2-17-19 in 50 games). That he also only has a $2 million contract (and no bonuses), make him one of the more affordable rental players over the next month.
Rasmus Sandin to Play
The Maple Leafs appear to be set to play defenseman Rasmus Sandin even with reports the Leafs will insert Jake Muzzin into the lineup as well.
Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston noted on Twitter the news of Sandin and calls it noteworthy because playing him will officially burn the first year of his entry-level contract as it’s his his tenth NHL game of the season. After this, the key will be to monitor Sandin up to the 40-game mark. That will accrue a year of service time towards unrestricted free agency.
Lias Andersson Loaned To Sweden
The New York Rangers recently announced they have loaned suspended forward Lias Andersson to HV71 of the SHL. It appears the Rangers haven’t found a solution that would either see Andersson traded or back with the team so allowing him to play overseas for now is the best case for his continued development. At the same time, if he excels, perhaps teams might notice and he’ll garner some interest before the trade deadline.
Senators Free Agents
The Ottawa Senators have ten impending UFA’s on their current roster, and the assumption is many of them may be traded prior to February 24. Bruce Garrioch reports that GM Pierre Dorion plans to sit down with each one before the deadline and discuss the possibility of an extension before publicly shopping them or trading anyone.
For the Senators, the key is maximizing any value in any of their 10 players. That means either keeping them or moving them for an asset. The biggest names to watch will be of Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Vladislav Namestnikov, Ron Hainsey, Mark Borowiecki, and Dylan DeMelo.