NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs, Jets, Canadiens, Flames, Wild, Bruins

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Toronto Maple Leafs are among a handful of teams interested in defenseman Jacob Middleton. Meanwhile, despite an injury, the Winnipeg Jets are still seriously considering a trade that would move Andrew Copp. Jack McBain is getting a lot of interest out of the Minnesota Wild organization, and will Jakob Chychrun’s injury keep him from being traded?

Asking Price High for Middleton

As per TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, “The Toronto Maple Leafs are among the Eastern Conference teams that I’m told have checked in on Jacob Middleton.” They like his price point, his physicality and the team has been looking for a depth defenseman for a while. That said, if the Leafs are going to acquire Middleton, they’ll have to pay a hefty price because there are other teams interested, including the Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning.

Jacob Middleton San Jose Sharks
Jacob Middleton, San Jose Sharks (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Middleton would only cost $725K on the salary cap, but the ask is a second-round pick, plus another pick or a prospect. Considering this is Middleton’s first NHL season and he’s sort of coming out of nowhere after joining the Sharks off an AHL deal, it’s a high price that isn’t far off of what the Colorado Avalanche paid to land Josh Manson.

Andrew Copp Still an Option to be Traded

Reports are that Copp’s injury is not that serious and he’s not been in the Jets’ lineup because they’re holding him out for precautionary reasons, notes Darren Dreger. There is chatter he could play Friday, perhaps to show other teams he’s good to go. That said, this doesn’t mean he’s going to be moved.

Related: Maple Leafs Expected to Make More Than One Move Before Deadline

Still undecided as the Jets try to make the postseason, Dreger explains that the team is going to have to make a decision on Copp before Monday’s deadline. He asks, “so what do you do? Do you hold him as an own rental and let him potentially walk, leave the organization for free at the end of the season or do you take what you can get at the trade deadline?”

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Dreger reports that the Colorado Avalanche, Bruins and New York Rangers have all shown interest in acquiring the forward.

Talks Picking Up on Chiarot

After Manson was traded, LeBrun notes that chatter picked up regarding defenseman Ben Chiarot. LeBrun points to the Calgary Flames, Carolina Hurricanes, and St. Louis Blues as teams to watch in a pending trade, but says there are other teams who have shown interest as well, but some will not meet the Canadiens’ asking price.

LeBrun notes that the Canadiens know who they want from the Flames roster. He says, “The Flames have a prospect by the name of Jakob Pelletier that is of great interest to the Canadiens. I just don’t know if the Flames… don’t think they want to move him.”  Calgary was rumored to be in on Chiarot back when they acquired Tyler Toffoli. It appears the two teams are engaging in new talks.

Wild Likley to Trade Jack McBain

A team who has also been connected to Chiarot, the Minnesota Wild have a prospect they could dangle that is getting some interest around the NHL. Dreger said the Montreal Canadiens and the Wild continue to discuss 6-foot-3 college centre Jack McBain from Boston College. 

BC Jack McBain
Jack McBain of the Boston College Eagles playing in the 2019 Beanpot (Credit: Boston College Athletics)

McBain has made it clear to the Wild that he will not be signing with the organization and plans to test his luck as an unrestricted free agent. But, would the Canadiens feel comfortable trading for a player that might not sign with them? Dreger says the Wild’s ask of a second-round pick doesn’t scare the Canadiens, but they’d like to know they can get him signed.

Bruins Interested in Chychrun Deal

LeBrun tweeted that the Bruins showed some interest in Manson and have shown interest in Hampus Lindholm. Their priority would still be to make a hockey deal for Jakob Chychrun out of Arizona, if possible. Their concern is his injury situation.

Dreger reported on Tuesday that Chychrun’s injury may not be as serious as was originally feared and that he could be back on the ice later this week. Word is both the Los Angeles Kings and the Bruins have shown the greatest commitment to staying in the hunt with multiple-piece offers.

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