In today’s NHL rumors rundown, with just a few days left before the NHL Trade Deadline, what is the priority of the Toronto Maple Leafs? Teams are making deals and acquiring defensemen, but what is Kyle Dubas going to do? Meanwhile, the Calgary Flames have shown they are going for it, is there one more move in the arsenal? The Panthers might be frontrunners for Claude Giroux now and what will the Edmonton Oilers and New York Islanders do? Are they going to make any moves ahead of the deadline?
What Is the Maple Leafs Priority?
While on Sportsnet 590 The Fan this past Monday, Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman discussed the Maple Leafs’ options and both weren’t sure what the Maple Leafs’ priorities are. While the Florida Panthers traded for Ben Chiarot and the Colorado Avalanche acquired Josh Manson, the Maple Leafs have yet to make a move. It could be because they are focused on something else.
The belief might be that Dubas is thinking goalie and Marek notes: “This has to be job number one.” Friedman agreed but said they have multiple needs. He noted, “This is all happening at the worst time for them. I’ve had people say to me, “Well, better it happens now than later and you try to figure it out,” And maybe that’s true. But as far as I look at it, it’s an awful lot to try to figure out right now. And I think it’s interesting.”
Friedman adds in his 32 Thoughts report:
Toronto GM Kyle Dubas continues to indicate he does not want to trade his top prospects for a rental. And, he does not want to move the team’s first-round draft choice for the third time in four years. We’ll see how the Chiarot deal adjusts the market. I believe [Hampus] Lindholm is the Maple Leafs’ top target, although they’ve also taken long looks at Giordano, Philadelphia’s Justin Braun, Dallas’s John Klingberg and San Jose’s Jacob Middleton. Travis Dermott and Justin Holl have been on the market for months, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Dermott is given a fresh start, regardless of what else happens in the next few days.
Flames Going For It
As per Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, the Calgary Flames outbid both the Los Angeles Kings and Washington Capitals for Calle Jarnkrok. The Flames gave up the Florida Panthers’ 2022 second-round pick, a 2023 third-round pick and a 2024 seventh-round pick, which is a big haul for a player that expects to be more of a depth guy on the Flames roster. The Flames were also rumored to be in on Ben Chiarot and they did add Tyler Toffoli earlier this season.
Frank Seravalli wonders if the Flames have one more big move left in them prior to the deadline and mentions Sean Monahan’s name as a player that could be moved. Seravalli suggested the Flames are lurking in the weeds in terms of another big deal and noted while the team’s preference isn’t to move Monahan right now and he could be a useful third-line center for them in a playoff run, it’s about money and there might be teams interested in seeing if he can find better success in a new environment.
Panthers in on Giroux?
Pierre LeBrun of TSN writes, “Habs got their first-round pick on Chiarot which some people didn’t think would happen. But Florida is all-in. The Panthers still aim to try and land Claude Giroux if they can swing it.” If the Panthers add Giroux, they will go down as arguably the busiest team at this year’s deadline and the top contenders when all is said and done.
Philadelphia would likely be looking at Owen Tippett and if they determine they like Tippett more than most prospects, there could be a deal here between the Panthers and the Flyers. Friedman writes, “I do think that the Florida Panthers are interested in Claude Giroux, it might actually be the frontrunner.” He adds in his 32 Thoughts column that the Chiarot trade shouldn’t take Florida out of the running. “Colorado is interested, but there’s a preference for the Panthers, although it doesn’t look like anything is close.”
Nothing Big Expected Out of Edmonton
Marek suggests the Oilers have been connected to the Columbus Blue Jackets in talks about Dean Kukan, but he’s of the opinion that deal probably won’t happen. Kukan is the kind of player the Oilers are looking at but not much is expected from Ken Holland heading into the deadline, and certainly not a blockbuster.
In some non-related trade deadline news, Edmonton is expected to get 2023-24 Heritage Classic game for the 20th Anniversary of the first-ever outdoor game.
Will Islanders Make a Move?
While the goalie market might be the most interesting storyline heading into the deadline, a couple of sources suggested they don’t believe Semyon Varlamov will be traded. GM Lou Lamoriello is not one to tip his hand, but there’s been some chatter that Cal Clutterbuck’s name is out there.
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.”