In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news on the Winnipeg Jets looking to add before the trade deadline, buzz surrounding Ottawa Senators center Jean-Gabriel Pageau and is there a possible deal available between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens brewing? Finally, what did Travis Zajac say when asked if he would waive his no-trade clause?
Winnipeg Jets Priority Is Defense
Tessa Bonhomme mentioned during Tuesday’s “TSN Insider Trading” segment that the Winnipeg Jets are looking for help at center and on defense. The center search is a result of injuries but the search for defensive help has been something the Jets have been on the lookout for since the start of the season.
Darren Dreger says that addressing the blue line remains Winnipeg’s priority with the departures of Jacob Trouba, Tyler Myers, and Ben Chiarot this off-season. Then, when Dustin Byfuglien was not available, that really altered Winnipeg’s plans. Dreger confirms that the Jets are specifically looking for a top-four defenseman and that the team will consider both rentals and term players while keeping an eye on the team’s salary cap situation.
Jets and Brenden Dillion?
Pierre LeBrun notes that one of the players to watch in connection to the Jets is San Jose Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon. That said, the Jets will have competition as LeBrun believes that at least six NHL teams are firmly in on Dillon, and more could be added. LeBrun speculates the ask for Dillon could get as high as a second-round pick and prospect.
Latest on Jean-Gabriel Pageau
Speculation continues to surround Ottawa Senators center Jean-Gabriel Pageau. The Senators are going to try and re-sign him but Pageau is enjoying a breakout year and he’s bound to get rewarded handsomely for it. With a marketplace that doesn’t have a lot of centers available, he’ll also fetch a healthy return at the deadline and the Senators could get a first-round pick for him.
The teams specifically named by LeBrun include the Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, New York Islanders, and Philadelphia Flyers and the Winnipeg Jets.
Related: Top 3 All-Time Maple Leafs Goalies
Potential Canadiens and Maple Leafs Deal Out There?
TVA Sports Jean-Charles Lajoie (translation required) writes that the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs could build a trade with Max Domi and Kasperi Kapanen as the centerpieces. Lajoie believes the decline in Max Domi’s production in his contract year could get the winger shipped out of town while other teams still feel he’s got something to offer.
The Maple Leafs, meanwhile, are looking for some team toughness to go with skill and Domi could be a nice compliment to some of their already skilled forwards. Lajoie also believes Kapanen could flourish in Montreal building chemistry with fellow Finns Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Joel Armia.
The downside of this is that it doesn’t address Toronto’s need for defense and backup goaltending and Kapanen might be used to fill those holes. Montreal could move Domi but to Toronto for Kapanen is a long shot at best.
Zajac Declines Trade From Devils
Corey Masisak of The Athletic reports that Travis Zajac met with interim GM Tom Fitzgerald to discuss his respective future and whether or not he’d consider waiving his no-trade clause to facilitate a deal. Zajac declined.
He’s got one year remaining on his contract and would like to stay in New Jersey. Zajac said of the reports:
“I know there’s obviously teams calling. For me, it’s just … I want to be here. I want to be in Jersey. I think we’ve got a good young group. Like I’ve said from the beginning, we’re going to mature and we’re going to be a really good team.source -‘ ‘I want to be in Jersey’: Travis Zajac and Andy Greene have unfinished business with the Devils’ – Corey Masisak – The Athletic – 01/27/2020
Andy Greene said he met with Fitzgerald but was not asked to waive his no-trade.
Related: Devils Desperate for Center Help
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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