In today’s NHL rumors rundown, with the news that Anton Khudobin will undergo surgery, the Dallas Stars goaltender is out for six months. What does that mean for Braden Holtby? Meanwhile, the Montreal Canadiens are holding defenseman Ben Chiarot out of the lineup. Is there a trade in the works? The Toronto Maple Leafs are being patient but one insider suggests they might have a plan and the Anaheim Ducks could make additional moves, as could the Colorado Avalanche.
Holtby Off the Table in Trade?
Mike Stephens of The Hockey News writes of news that Khudobin will be out long-term due to hip surgery, “you’d think this takes Braden Holtby, who the Leafs had interest in, off the board as a trade target.”
Elliotte Friedman agreed in a separate Twitter post and noted that the Stars are only one point out of a playoff spot and have multiple games in hand. It wouldn’t make sense to trade Holtby and ruin their shot at sneaking in.
Ben Chiariot Being Held Out of Lineup Ahead of Trade?
There’s talk coming out of practice for the Canadiens on Tuesday that Ben Chiarot will not be in the lineup for the team Tuesday night versus the Arizona Coyotes. Eric Engels of Sportsnet writes, “Ben Chiarot remains on the ice with the extras here after practice. I’d bet on him not playing tonight. Brett Kulak is expected to play despite treatment this morning.”
Head coach Martin St. Louis said later confirmed that Chiarot would officially be out tonight and that was a management decision. The St. Louis Blues are a team that has been linked to Chiarot trade talk and with Colorado adding Josh Manson on Monday, it would be curious to see if the Blues feel any urgency to add now that their division rival improved.
Pierre LeBrun notes, “Smart decision. You don’t want to risk injury at this stage. Trade talks have escalated on Chiarot the last few days…”
Maple Leafs Are Being Patient
LeBrun also noted that the Maple Leafs are being patient when it comes to trying to figure out who to add if they trade for a goaltender. He says the team isn’t panicked but they are calling around. They’ve called Chicago regarding Marc-Andre Fleury and LeBrun says it comes down to convincing him that Toronto is a desirable stopover for the next few months. LeBrun said there are a number of layers to all of this and lots that can play out, but the “Leafs are certainly making their calls.”
The asking price by the Blackhawks for Fleury would be a first-round pick or a first-round level prospect and maybe a mid-round draft pick.
LeBrun also said that in a perfect world, the Leafs get a defenseman and a goalie but can’t do both things with the limited cap space they have. The NHL insider did say that Toronto is known as a creative cap team and that if they have a deal in place to add the players they want, they’ll find a way to create the room financially. It might mean moving players out, but few doubt the Maple Leafs can pull it off, should they choose to.
More Ducks Trades Coming?
Nick Alberga of Sportsnet and co-host of the NHL Fantasy on Ice Podcast writes that Hampus Lindholm and Rickard Rakell could be following Josh Manson out the door in Anaheim. He notes, “At this moment, I’m told there are no ongoing negotiations on an extension with either player.”
That the Ducks were open to retaining 50% of Manson’s salary suggests they are open to making moves and if they’re willing to retain on other players, they should find takers for the players they have available. There is talk the Ducks are still working to try and get an extension done with Lindholm.
Avalanche Not Done
LeBrun tweets, “My sense is the Colorado Avalanche don’t intend to be done. They still hope to further improve the roster. Believe they’re still interested in Claude Giroux among other forwards…” They improved their defense, but with Gabriel Landeskog out indefinitely and with the way LTIR works for players coming back once the regular season ends, there might be cap space available.
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.”