NHL Rumors: Parayko, Hayes, Iginla, More

In today’s rumor rundown, it appears the Toronto Maple Leafs are actively looking to improve their defense and might have a player in mind out of St. Louis, the Red Wings continue to say Henrik Zetterberg will be back with the club this season but Zetterberg’s people are saying something else, Brian Burke suggested he’d almost given a recent retiree one more shot in the NHL and the Rangers may look to move someone they just signed for one more season.

Leafs and Colton Parayko?

Howard Berger of Between The Posts is reporting a source told him the Toronto Maple Leafs and St. Louis Blues “have recently kicked trade tires” on a trade that would include Colton Parayko. The Maple Leafs are looking for someone to bolster their blue line while the Blues are looking for offense. On paper, these two teams talking makes a ton of sense if that’s the case.

Colton Parayko St. Louis Blues
Colton Parayko, St. Louis Blues, January 6, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Berger believes the package GM Kyle Dubas might be trying to put together is Jake Gardiner and Andreas Johnsson for Parayko and that William Nylander is not part of the discussion.

This trade proposed by Berger seems a bit off though. When you consider the Blues added Ryan O’Reilly, Tyler Bozak, Patrick Maroon, and David Perron this summer, it doesn’t make sense they would move one of their best d-men for more scoring. But, if the trade were Nylander for Parayko, that might work for St. Louis. When you consider that Gardiner is also on the last year of his contract, there’s no sense in trading for a defenseman who could be gone in a year’s time.

When it comes to Nylander, he was asked by TSN recently if he was stressing the idea of getting his new contract signed before the start of the season and wondered if a bridge deal is the direction the Leafs would want to go. He responded

That’s between my agent and Kyle [Dubas], I mean they’re talking about it. I’m not really into that right now. Once it gets closer to the season I think I’ll be more dialed [in]. Kyle says it’s going to take some time so I’m not too stressed about it.

Related: NHL Rumors: Simmonds, Panarin, Tkachuk, More

Zetterberg Still Undecided

Gregg Krupa of The Detroit News says that as of last week, a report out of Sweden has Red Wings veteran forward Henrik Zetterberg still undecided about playing this season due to his back issues. “He has not decided if he will continue or not,” Svensson said, according to a report Tuesday by Piotr Arvidsson.

The report suggests that the back issues are lingering and that there’s no way to know how it will be. Zetterberg simply hasn’t made a decision yet, despite the fact the Red Wings think he’ll be back in time for training camp.

Flames Almost Signed Iginla

While on a broadcast panel to cover Iginla’s retirement, Brian Burke revealed to Sportsnet’s Faizal Khamisa that the Calgary Flames almost signed Jarome Iginla instead of Jaromir Jagr last season. Iginla recent announced his official retirement this summer but last summer he waited and hoped that a team would sign him, giving him one more chance to play in the NHL.

Jarome Iginla Flames
(Icon SMI)

The Flames ultimately signed Jagr who did not perform well and was out much of the season due to injury, but it could have been Iginla they signed instead.

Related: NHL Rumors: Lucic, Pacioretty, Hayes, More

Hayes Signs, Probably Done in New York

Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post is reporting what many believed was true, that a one-year deal between Kevin Hayes and the New York Rangers would likely spell the beginning of the end for Hayes and the Ranger’s relationship. Hayes signed a one-year, $5.125-million contract avoiding arbitration and it is speculated the Rangers will look to trade Hayes at some point during the season. He will be an unrestricted free agent next summer and while not a top-line center, will hold some value, allowing the Rangers to get something in return.

If the Rangers stick to their rebuild, Hayes could be sold for picks and prospects. But, the club will keep watch in the event he has a strong season under new Rangers coach David Quinn.

Related: NHL Rumors: Provorov, Faulk, Neal, More