In today’s NHL rumors rundown, there are questions about the stability of the Toronto Maple Leafs goaltending heading into the playoffs. But, does that mean the team will look to try and make an upgrade before the trade deadline? Meanwhile, the Anaheim Ducks have potentially added another name to the list of possible trade assets, the Arizona Coyotes could have an interesting name available and the New York Islanders may be looking for a replacement for Anders Lee. Finally, could the Edmonton Oilers try and make room for Evan Bouchard?
Don’t Expect a Maple Leafs Goaltending Change
James Mirtle points out in a recent Athletic article that there is some concern in Toronto when it comes to the goaltending and questions about whether or not Andersen — who rates out as having the second weakest playoff performance among goalies who have regularly started in the postseason since 2016-17 — is the man for the job this season. At the same time, Jack Campbell has proven to be a remarkably effective backup, but his health issues are a concern.
Does that mean the Leafs might look at a goaltender before the trade deadline? The answer is probably no.
Due to cap considerations, any move to add a starter would likely necessitate sending Andersen the other way. But can the Leafs survive for two weeks without a starter? And would the risk be worth the potential reward?
At this point, I would be very surprised to see Dubas pull the trigger on something like that.source – ‘Mirtle: What’s wrong with the Maple Leafs? And how much of it is on Frederik Andersen?’ – James Mirtle – The Athletic – 03/15/2021
Mirtle writes the Leafs are going to hope Campbell returns and if effective but also that Andersen can boost his previous playoff numbers.
Ducks Taking Calls on Troy Terry
The latest name to watch out of Anaheim is that of forward Troy Terry. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports that sources say the Ducks are evaluating whether or not to trade the 23-year-old forward. Friedman suggests talk is that Terry could stand to benefit from a change of scenery and that while the Ducks aren’t shopping him, they are listening to offers.
An excellent college and AHL player, Terry hasn’t been able to transition that success over to the NHL. He’s often been a healthy scratch by the Ducks this season and has seven points through 22 games.
Oilers Won’t Trade Barrie to Make Room for Bouchard
There’s a bit of an outcry in Edmonton that defenseman Evan Bouchard isn’t getting much playing time. Some are suggesting the Oilers consider selling high on Tyson Barrie before the trade deadline and let Bouchard take his slot. Don’t expect that to happen.
Allan Mitchell of The Athletic writes:
Bouchard is going to play before the end of the season and he’ll be needed before the playoffs are over. Trading Barrie to make room for Bouchard runs counter with the job at hand: Making the playoffs and going as deep as possible.source – ‘Lowetide: How will Oilers GM Ken Holland make room in the lineup for Evan Bouchard?- Allan Mitchell – The Athletic – 03/15.2021
The Oilers do have more right-handed defensemen than they can actively play each night and it is possible Barrie moves on at the end of the season. That said, the Oilers want and need Barrie for their playoff push. GM Ken Holland is not about to trade him.
Clayton Keller’s Name Out There More Than People Think
According to Jimmy Murphy pf Florida Hockey Now, the Arizona Coyotes could hold a fire sale at the trade deadline and Keller’s name is out there. A source told Murphy the forward’s name has come up “more than you’d expect” but he stressed GM Bill Armstrong isn’t shopping the 22-year-old forward.
If Keller is dealt, it might not be during the season but something the Coyotes look at in the offseason around the NHL Draft.
Could Islanders Look at Taylor Hall?
With news that Anders Lee is on LTIR and the Islanders potentially needing to fill his spot with a top-line left-winger, connections are being made to Taylor Hall out of the Buffalo Sabres organization. It’s not a given that Hall is moved, but he could be one of the top left wing trade options at this year’s deadline.
While he’s not the same kind of player as Lee, Arthur Staple of The Athletic sees Hall as a natural fit for the Islanders. He writes:
He’s not having a great year, with two goals and 16 points, but he’s the most skilled winger who could be on the market. He has a history with Jordan Eberle, and while he’s not a Lee-style player, few are. Hall also has an expiring contract and could be a pure rental, though a costly one — if the Islanders announce Lee is out long-term, no one’s going to run to help Lamoriello.source – ‘What Anders Lee’s injury means for the Islanders at the trade deadline: Targets, cap space and more’ – Arthur Staple – The Athletic – 03/15.2021
As for what the return might be, Staple suggests that if the Islanders could somehow get the Sabres to take Thomas Hickey along with a first- or second-round pick (or two seconds), that could be a good deal for New York.
Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”