NHL Rumors: Hurricanes, Oilers, Bruins, Maple Leafs, More

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Carolina Hurricanes are rumored to be interested in bringing back a familiar face while the Edmonton Oilers would like to make a deadline deal, but their GM says it’s not necessarily that simple. The Boston Bruins are rumored to be in on a few trade targets and finally, the Toronto Maple Leafs are looking for a top-six forward and Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic identifies a possible target.

Hurricanes Interested in Eric Staal

On TSN’s Insider Trading Thursday, Pierre LeBrun explained that Hurricanes management has discussed the idea of bringing Eric Staal back for one last run. He explained:

What I’m told is that the Hurricanes have talked about ’hey, if Eric Staal is on the Buffalo roster closer to April 12, maybe we give the Sabres a call and see what it would take to bring him back here to Carolina.’ It’s a storyline that I think a lot of people could get behind. 

Eric Staal
(Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The Hurricanes are 18-6-1 on the season, have won six straight and are competing for first in the Central Division. They will certainly be buyers at the trade deadline, but LeBrun makes it sound like they’ll only be thinking Staal is a fit if another team doesn’t first make a pitch for him. The forward’s name has been connected to both the Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers.

Oilers are “Dollar In, Dollar Out”

Ken Holland was a guest on Oilers Now with Bob Stauffer this week and discussed his approach to this year’s trade deadline. Noting the team’s LTI situation means every deal the Oilers do would have to be “dollar in, dollar out”, it limits Edmonton’s plans or ability to add rentals without shipping other money out.

Holland did say he would make calls and take calls over the next month to see where things were at. It sounds like he wants to do something and his focus would be on adding “experience” but it will be interesting to see what the cost of adding that experience will be and who he’d be willing to sacrifice to add it.

During a media conference the GM noted, “If there is a player out there who we think can go into our lineup and have an impact more than (just) depth, probably that is something I would look at.”

Related: Why Oilers Fans Calling For Ethan Bear Trade Are… Well, Wrong

Possible Bruins Trade Targets

Nick Goss of NBC Sports Boston names players like Taylor Hall, Mikael Granlund, Rickard Rakell and Kyle Palmieri as players the Bruins might target before this year’s trade deadline expires. He also included Nashville forward Filip Forsberg, but there’s talk the Predators aren’t looking to move him. Goss also wonders if defensemen Mattias Ekholm, David Savard or Alex Goligoski might be of interest.

Don Sweeney Bruins
Don Sweeney, Boston Bruins, 2018 NHL Draft, Dallas, TX, June 22, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Essentially, Goss is throwing out of some of the bigger names attached to this year’s deadline to suggest that the Bruins will be buyers and that the team may have their fingerprints on a number of possible options.

Fluto Shinzawa of The Athletic called the Bruins an “unfinished product” on the Brotherly Pod podcast and suggested their primary target would be Ekholm, but noted they’d have some competition in that regard. He explains, “Can they go after Ekholm? Yes, that would be a good fit for them”, Shinzawa adds, “But, many hands (are) raised for that kind of defenseman. So, you would have to pay the price.”

He added that short-term, the Bruins might focus on the left-side of their defense but also notes their attempt to help the forwards with Ondrej Kase hasn’t worked out. They could address their years-long issue and try to land a No.2 right-wing. He said, “There’s going to be some upgrades here, for sure.”

Maple Leafs and Rakell a Fit?

LeBrun took a look at some teams that will be competing the playoffs this season and who they might want to target before the trade deadline. When looking at the Leafs, LeBrun noted, “The word from sources around NHL front offices is that the Leafs have let it be known they’re poking around for a middle-six or top-six forward with a two-way game who is hard on the puck.”

He added that some sources said the Leafs will be all-in this season. He says that Rakell might be the perfect fit:

They would be getting at least two possible playoff runs out of Rakell and in the event they can’t get Zach Hyman re-signed, they would have already found his replacement. If Hyman re-signs, then they’ve got the offseason to juggle the cap and figure it out.

source – ‘LeBrun: Trade fits these 6 contenders should explore ahead of NHL deadline’ – PIerre LeBrun – The Athletic – 03/12/2021

LeBrun believes the Leafs would have to start by offering their 2020 first-round pick Rodion Amirov and add another asset in the package. 

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